Daily Orbit – Super Sense of Smell

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,794
    11-1-12: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, animals use their sense of smell like humans use their vision, agriculture is a critical player in global climate change, and Google releases a new and improved voice search.

    Emerald Robinson: Who thought a breakfast sandwich was dangerous? Why you might want to head to water aerobics with grandma. And what might have you kicking Siri to the curb. All that and more coming up on the Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I'm Emerald Robinson. I smell a rat. A research team recently found that animals learn to fine-tune their sense of smell, much as we humans do our vision. Animals adjust their sense of smell through sniffing techniques that allow scents to hit receptors in different parts of the nose; with different scents changing the animal's sniffing pattern. Through a unique experiment, the researchers learned that an animal's nose acts as a sort of chromatograph, separating chemicals in complex blends like flower scents. This ability is very important for animals to avoid predators and to look for food. Don't you wish we had a similar function to use when dating so you could smell a rat, like a rat?

    Not long ago we brought you a story on the high emissions of carbon dioxide released by rice paddies; well here's a little more news in that same arena. New reports indicate that over 1800 megatons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere annually by agriculture and food production. The researchers say that "we are coming to terms with the fact that agriculture is a critical player in climate change.

    " The report didn't just spell out all gloom and doom but laid out suggestions for minimizing the effect of agriculture production on climate change by outlining where and how crops should be grow in the future. They do warn that if farmers do not start adapting and mitigating, we could face global food shortages. Whew! All that negative reporting makes me nervous.

    Well, I was in the middle of enjoying my decadent breakfast sandwich with double egg, lots of pepper jack cheese, and chipotle sauce, when I read this news I had to drop it. A Canadian research team specifically looked at the effects of "breakfast sandwiches" on the arteries and the findings were not good. These sandwiches tend to be high in fats. High fat diets are known to be a fast track to narrow arteries, or atherosclerosis, with heart disease and strokes following close behind. These researchers say that eating just one of those yummy breakfast sandwiches in the morning immediately lowers the Velocity Time Integral of the blood vessels significantly, that is, how much blood increases in your arms after a brief interruption. Researchers say that these sandwiches "make the blood vessels unhappy.

    " But breakfast sandwiches make me so happy!

    ! Ugh! I couldn't even finish my sandwich after that.

    But if you are going to eat that double bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast, then you might want to join the little old ladies at the gym for their pool aerobics class. A new study says those who exercise in a pool receive the same health benefits as those who exercise on land. The study disproved the assumption that water resistance makes for an easier workout. They tested this theory by analyzing people exercising on land versus in water and found that the maximal oxygen consumption was the same across the board. So you might see me at the gym getting groovy with all the grannies in the pool.

    And if Siri makes you mad when she doesn't understand you or gives you the wrong answer, now you can break up with her because there's a new girl in town! Well, not really a girl, it's actually Google who introduced their new voice search. Google Search for iOS is a straight-talking service that the company says is faster and more accurate. But don't expect as much conversation as you get with Siri. Google voice search is a little less talk and a lot more action. In a recent Forbes test of the two searches, Google blasted Siri on speed and accuracy.

    Well that does it for the Daily Orbit! Siri who is the best science host in the world? Emerald, I am afraid, I can't answer that. Siri we are over, I am leaving you for Google.