The global human population is set to hit 7 billion on Oct. 31, and by century's end it will stand at 10 billion, according to the United Nations. That's a lot more mouths to feed.There's a very good chance that generating food from traditional farming and livestock practices will not be able to keep pace with this boom. What if a worldwide food shortage were to become so terribly dire that people resorted to eating . . . people?In such a dreadful event, the most-sensible first choice for meals might seem to be the elderly. After all, a fifth of those 10 billion humans will be at least 65 years old, and less physically able than the rest to contribute to what remains of society. [5 Ways the World Will Change Radically in the Next Century]Mercifully, researchers say that feeding on the old – or, really, anyone – would not solve world hunger. In the short term, eating old people might satisfy the gruesome dilemma of how to feed the population and lower it at the … [Read more...] about Eat the Old: Could Mass Cannibalism Solve a Future Food Shortage?
Metformin is a prescription drug used primarily in the treatment of Type II diabetes. It can be used on its own or combined with other medications. In the United States, it is sold under the brand names Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza and Riomet. "Metformin is very often prescribed as the first step in a diabetic's regime," said Ken Sternfeld, a New York-based pharmacist. How it works"When you're diabetic you lose the ability to use the insulin you need to offset the food," Sternfeld explained. "If you eat a carb or sugar that can't be metabolized or offset by the insulin you produce, your sugar levels will be higher. Metformin and drugs in that category will help your body better metabolize that food so that insulin levels will be able to stay more in line."Metformin aims to decrease glucose production in the liver, consequently lowering the levels of glucose in the bloodstream. It also changes the way that your blood cells react to insulin. "It makes them more sensitive to … [Read more...] about What is Metformin?
Major League Baseball had a serious hitting bubble in the late 1990s, as any fan probably knows, but what caused it has been an ongoing controversy that smells of steroids.Players had a collective batting average in the late '90s of .269, about 10 points higher than an earlier era from 1969 to 1973, according to figures collected by two University of Nebraska-Lincoln sports historians.Afterwards, from 2001 to 2006, the aggregate MLB batting average dropped to .265. Runs per game follows the same pattern, the historians state in a new report.Bursting the bubbleBenjamin G. Rader and Kenneth J. Winkle wanted to understand the hitting trends for the 1969 to 2006 seasons. The era following 1994–2000, which they call Baseball's Great Hitting Barrage of the 90s, has been the puzzling one. What cooled down the wild hitting bubble, with its home-run rallies and record-breaking performances?Was it drugs that pumped up those figures and then drug testing, which began in 2003 (although … [Read more...] about The Truth Behind Baseball’s Hitting Slump
Draper, the MIT spin-off engineering lab, is famed for developing the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (not Draper Esprit, I hasten to add). Ken Gabriel, President and CEO, also recently made a major announcement. Blue Origin has now partnered with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to build elements of the company’s human-rated lunar lander, and Draper will lead the development of the lander’s avionics and guidance systems, with an aim to be ready to land a crew on the moon by 2024. “While Blue Origin is the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin is building the ascent stage, Northrop Grumman is building the transfer element and Draper is doing the GNC (guidance, navigation and control),” Blue Origin CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said, announcing the move at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington. Blue Origin is competing for a NASA contract to develop a crewed lunar lander, or Human Landing System, for the Artemis program, which aims to return … [Read more...] about The man behind Jeff Bezos’ next lunar guidance system talks future tech