Daily Orbit – Ancient Spider Attack

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,616
    10-9-12: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, an ancient spider trapping its prey is caught in a seal of amber, people who eat more tomatoes have a lower stroke risk, and new soda vending machines will advertise calorie counts.

    Emerald Robinson: We've got yet another reason to pour a glass of wine!

    Would you like ketchup with your fries? Your heart says yes!

    And what will have you thinking twice before hitting the vending machine button?

    All that and more on today's Daily Orbit!

    Hello and Welcome to the Daily Orbit! I'm Emerald Robinson. Fossils tell a story - and one newly discovered fossil weaves the tale of a helpless prey trapped in a web. Literally! Researchers at Oregon State University have found a rare fossil of a spider getting ready to attack a wasp that had been trapped in his web. The amber fossil, created from tree sap, is about 100 million years old.

    Pour on the ketchup, dice up the tomatoes! New research suggests that eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods may lower your risk of stroke. And just why is that? Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps to protect the body's cells from damage. The study found that people with the highest amount of lycopene in their blood were 55% less likely to have a stroke, than those with the lowest amounts. Researchers say these results further support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So eat your tomatoes big boys and girls!

    There's nothing like a big cold Dr. Pepper and some French fries to me. It's the perfect combo! But why do we enjoy certain pairings, like red wine with steak? Researchers argue that our mouth is perhaps the most sensitive somatosensory organ in the body. And that it naturally looks for a balance of flavors. So having a steak, which is a fatty food, with wine or tea, both astringents helps to create a balance. Researchers say that maintaining a neutral palate of taste could come in handy in keeping a healthy diet.

    And speaking of a healthy diet, you'll soon feel even guiltier about that mid-afternoon vending machine to pick me up! Yes, soda machines in Chicago and San Antonio will be the first in the nation to get calorie count displays. The American Beverage Association said the machines will also increase the availability of lower calorie and zero calorie drinks. I'll stick with the "ignorance is bliss" motto myself!

    "When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hmmm?

    " Come on, I know you geeks out there know who said that! If you guessed Yoda, you are right, and this wizened old Jedi master is being immortalized by scientists who have named a newly-discovered species of acorn worm in his honor. The worm is one of three recently found living one and a half miles below the Atlantic surface. Scientists are interested in these deep sea creatures, because they are close to the evolutionary link between vertebrates and invertebrates. One scientist added, "In other words, the force is strong with them.

    "And that does it for today's Daily Orbit! May the force be with you!