Daily Orbit – Studying Venus’ Storm

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,713
    3-26-13: On this episode the Daily Orbit, the giant storm on Venus is on the move, there’s new information on the lineage of the Texas longhorn, and why feeding your baby solid foods too soon might not be a good idea.

    Emerald Robinson: Mamas listen up! What science is saying about your baby. Venus' storm is on the move. And who doesn't love a Texas tale? It's a solar spring break on today's Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I'm Emerald Robinson.

    Get ready to be blown away! Okay well maybe it's not really that serious but scientists were able to confirm movement of Venus's giant storm. They already knew that it was a long-term vortex which changed shape daily. However, in recent observations using ESA's Venus Express spacecraft, they found that the center of rotation of the vortex wanders around the pole differently at different altitude levels, making it much more chaotic and unpredictable than thought.

    These vortices are fed by an atmospheric super-rotation in which Venus's atmosphere rotates 60 times faster than the planet - a phenomenon is still not understood. Well, the name of the planet is Venus. Would you expect anything less than a constant whirlwind?

    Well, in true Texas fashion, I'm about to tell you a long, tall tale about the Texas longhorn. A new study of the cattle's genes shows that it is a pure descendant of the ancestral cattle from the Iberian Peninsula in Spain, which Columbus brought over to the New World during his second voyage.

    But why do they look so different than the cattle living in Spain and Portugal today? Genetics showed that 85% of the Longhorn genome is taurine, meaning they descended from the now extinct aurochs that were domesticated in the Middle East 8,000-10,000 years ago. The remaining 15% of the Longhorn genome is indicine as a result of a 2nd domestication in India. Meaning they went from the Middle East to India, and then to Europe with the invasion of the Moors and then to the Americas with Columbus. Well, ain't that quite the history for the Texas Longhorn?

    And Mamas don't let your babies eat solid food too soon! A study showed that babies who started early on foods high in carbs may struggle with obesity and weight gain for life. They also found that mothers who used baby formula were twice as likely as those who breastfed to start solid foods before their babies turned 4 months old, two months earlier than the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation.

    Researchers say that while many moms claim their healthcare providers gave them the green light early to start feeding their infants solid foods, other reasons for the early switch were that moms just believed their babies were ready or that it helped their babies sleep better. Well, my mom said that I looked like I was starving to death on milk so, don't worry Mom, I don't blame you.

    But putting the blame on your spouse may be affecting your baby. New research shows that arguments in the home affect a baby's brain functioning. Researchers exposed sleeping infants to nonsense sentences spoken in very angry, mildly angry, happy and neutral tones of voice.

    MRI scans showed distinct patterns in brain activity depending on the tone of voice presented. Infants from high conflict homes showed greater reactivity to very angry tones of voices. Researchers say this shows that babies are not oblivious to their parents' conflicts and exposure to these conflicts may influence the way babies' brains process emotion and stress. So be careful what you feed baby, both literally and now metaphorically!




    are you joking me? Even Curiosity gets a spring break on Mars? For two weeks in April the Red Planet will be passing almost directly behind the Sun from Earth's perspective forcing NASA to give the hardworking Rover a well-deserved break. The sun is capable of disrupting radio transmissions when Mars moves behind it in what is called a Mars solar conjunction. But NASA plans to keep an eye on its little Rover as Curiosity will send beeps directly to Earth and to the satellites MRO, which is in record-only mode, and Odyssey which will transmit data back to Earth. Have fun behind the sun Curiosity!

    Well, that's all for the Daily Orbit! I think I deserve a spring break too!