On Science – Holiday Treat Overload

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,126
    12-30-13: On this episode of On Science, Denmark is saying “Farvel” to cinnamon buns, the Endangered Species Act turns 40, and Chinese scientists make piglets glow in the dark.

    Did you over indulge this holiday season?  Well, you’re in the majority.


    Love the smell of cinnamon rolls in the morning?  Take a good whiff now!


    Is the Endangered Species Act really working?  We’ve got that answer…


    And technology of the future is here today coming up…. On Science!


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


    Well, the holidays might be over but did they little something behind?  Well, don’t feel bad!  You’re not alone. More than half of all adult Americans admit to binging on food and alcohol during the holiday season according to a new CNN/ORC International Poll.  And here’s the kicker—they don’t care!  Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would rather indulge than make a concerted effort to avoid gaining weight.  Only 35% said they would try to be mindful of their holiday treat intake.  So you’re guessing they’re New Year’s resolutions are to make up for it.  Not so says the CNN survey.  Only 23% of those polled said they are likely to start a major overhaul of their diets after the holiday.  Well, I’m in the 23% (with juice).


    And Denmark may be taking one tempting food off the market, which could be good for your 2014 diet if you’re in Europe.  Danish regulators are proposing to outlaw cinnamon rolls, or as they call them, “kanelsnegler.” The tasty treat calls Denmark home but new EU regulations restrict the public’s exposure to coumarin, a naturally occurring toxin found in cinnamon, because it’s been found to cause liver damage.  A survey showed that most of the country’s baked goods, like the cinnamon roll, were over the limit for coumarin.  The head of the Danish Baker’s Association said, “it’s the end of the cinnamon roll as we know it.”  It’s a sad, sad day for Cinnabon lovers everywhere.


     And here’s some good news heading into the New Year.  The Endangered Species Act recently celebrated its 40th birthday and with a bang.  According to National Geographic, the law has helped to recover more than 30 species and prevented the extinction of 99% of all species it was designed to protect.  Signed into law on December 28, 1973, the first species fully recovered was the brown pelican in 2009.  Other notable species that have benefited from the act is the bald eagle, the American alligator, sea otters and pumas.  It has protected over 1400 domestic wildlife, fish and plants, as well as 600 foreign species.  The Act has helped some species thrive so much that they may fall out of protection due to increased populations. Currently, it's being debated whether or not to continue protecting hundreds of grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park, a species that continues down the road to recovery.


    Here’s a vision of the future of visual display.  The Russian tech company, Displair, is working on a next-generation visual display that will feature “interactive images floating in mid-air” using water vapor.  Bored with what they call “electronic junk,” or what we refer to as our TV, the company wants to create a way for users to view and interact with visual data without having to use actual physical objects.  Displair is developing a method that projects 3D images onto sheets of mist, which pretty much creates a hologram.  The company is reportedly capable of producing 40 to 140-inch screens, but they won’t come cheap, reportedly costing an estimated $4,000 to $30,000.  I better be a very good girl this year, if I want one of those under my Christmas tree next year.


    Yeah, when pigs glow in the dark! Ha!  Actually I stand a chance then.  Reproductive scientists in China have created pigs that glow in the dark under a black or UVA light.  A video posted on Vimeo by the researchers shows the result of  their injecting fluorescent protein into the pig embryos, which successfully incorporated in the animal’s DNA.  The same technique was used to create glowing bunnies in Turkey earlier in the year.  But the work is for more than just kicks and giggles, although it’s kinda funny.  They hope that this technique could one day be used to make medicines in animals rather than a factory, significantly lowering the cost of production.



    And that’s what’s up today On Science!  (with cinnamon roll)  Oh well, I still have two days til my new year’s resolutions kick in!