On Science – Amazon’s Staggering Prices

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,517
    12-17-13: On this episode of On Science, Amazon’s prices stagger more than 2.5 million times a day, Earth may one day dry up like Venus, and the FDA is looking into whether or not antibacterial soap is really better than traditional bar soap.

    What fave shopping site is constantly changing their prices?


    Why caffeine is good for the holidays?


    How the egg nog will help keep you healthy?


    And where is the ocean going?  Coming up today… On Science!


    Hello and welcome to On Science.  I’m Emerald Robinson.


    Well, it's that time of year when the stores are all bustling with merry shoppers and browsers are navigating to Amazon.com to find that perfect gift for a little girl or little boy.  But the price might be different the next time you click on the shopping site.  Price intelligence firm Profitero revealed that Amazon.com makes more than 2.5 million price changes daily.  Brick-and-morter retailers like Wal-mart and Best Buy only change their prices 50,000 times in a month.  Profitero says Amazon.com changes prices about every 15 minutes.  Why?  Because it constantly monitors and undercuts competitors’ pricing.  The current rate is a 10 fold increase over December 2012.  Dropping prices make holiday shoppers all the merrier!


    And with all that shopping you’ll likely need a boost! Researchers say reach for the caffeine.  A dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital says that caffeine has a valuable function, especially during the holidays.  It makes you more alert and focused.  But be smart in your beverage choice.  Stick to coffee or tea, which are plant based options, and help decrease the risk of liver cancer and diabetes---which you will need after all the eggnog and candy this season.  Also, less is more.  Try sticking to just two cups or less.  So go ahead and treat yourself to that peppermint mocha!


    But if you do go for the wassail or the nog instead, don’t feel too bad.  New research from the University of California, Riverside, says that moderate alcohol consumption can enhance vaccine response.  In rhesus monkeys, they found a diminished response in those who drank excessively and had no change in response compared to those who drank very little, if any at all.  The key is moderation.  They think the benefit from moderate alcohol consumption is manifested through boosting the body’s immune system.  Try telling your drunk uncle that the key is in "everything in moderation" when you're at the dinner table this holiday season.


    Think you’re killing all the germs by using antibacterial soap?  Maybe not…  The FDA announced it will be scrutinizing antibacterial soaps and body washes to determine their effectiveness in comparison to more traditional counterparts.  They are seeking to ensure that the soaps and washes are safe, effective, and prevent the spread of disease better than good ole soap and water.  If manufacturers can’t prove they indeed are safer, then it’s back to the drawing board to re-formulate and re-label.   This is also an effort to reduce the use of triclosan in liquid soaps and trilocarban in bar soaps, which are chemicals that can affect the thyroid and estrogen levels, causing early puberty in females and low fertility in males. Yeah, so please leave the body wash out of my stocking this Christmas Santa.


    And the Ghost of Christmas future paints a very dry portrait of the Earth.    Scientists say that in one billion years from now, all of the water on Earth could disappear, making it more like Venus.  And for once it’s not due to climate change.  Scientists say the Sun’s increasing brightness evaporates more and more water from the Earth’s oceans, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is turn heats up the Earth’s atmosphere which leads to more evaporation.  It’s a vicious, vicious cycle.  And they say the cycle will keep repeating until it reaches a point of no return.  Well, I guess nothing last forever right?


    And that’s all for today On Science.  See you tomorrow science elves!