Around the world, more people are eating one type of food — and it’s bad news for the planet

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People around the world are eating way more red meat.According to the latest Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO) quarterly report, “The increasing middle class of the emerging countries, especially China, is rapidly increasing its meat consumption.”On the one hand, that’s good news, because it means people are eating more protein, an ingredient critical to healthy muscle and tissue development.But for the most part, it’s likely bad news for the world for two main reasons:

An unstoppable problem is making it increasingly difficult for the world to produce enough food

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 Food

The possibility of increased food shortages looms in a nearer future than we’d care to believe.Citing the UN’sIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the latest Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO) quarterly report noted, “humanity is risking ‘a breakdown of food systems linked towarming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes.’”Those changes to the climate threaten the way food gets produced around the world, which can drive up the price of foods and lead to a host of other problems.A June report from the Global Sustainability Institute of Anglia Ruskin University found that by 2040, food prices will be four times higher than they were in 2000. Already, they’re already twice as high as they were in 2000, the GMO report notes.

People are starting to walk differently because of texting

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using smartphone facebook while walking

Texting – or checking social media or watching a video – while walking causes people to walk in a special movement pattern that protects them from accidents, according to a new study.People who look at their phones while they walk subconsciously “shorten their step length, reduce step frequency, lengthen the time during which both feet are in contact with the ground and increase obstacle clearance height,”say researchers, effectively modifying their gait in order to compensate for the distraction.By adopting this new walking behavor, texting walkers protect themselves from falling down or walking into other people or objects in their environment.Researchers at the universities of Bath and Texas asked thirty participants, all between 18 and 50 years old, to walk around a specially designed obstacle course while attempting to text. The researchers then noted how they altered their movement to cope with the reduced focus and vision.

Scientists have discovered a new super material that can withstand temperatures more than 7,460 degrees

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A new substance, unlike any on Earth, could have one of the highest melting points we’ve ever seen, theoretically withstanding temperatures of more than 7,460 degrees Fahrenheit.To put that into perspective, this is about 180F warmer than the liquid iron and nickel outer core of Earth, about 2/3 the temperature of the surface of the sun, and almost 360F higher than the current record holder of the highest experimentally-recorded melting point — the temperature at which a substance turns from a solid into a liquid.That is, however, if the team can successfully synthesize it. There is no other compound like this on Earth, and it doesn’t occur naturally, study researcher Axel van de Walle, of Brown University, told Tech Insider in an email.These types of materials are tricky to study in a lab given that, well, you’d have to replicate mind-bogglingly scorching temperatures — think surface of the sun hot — to understand 

New study shows yet another reason not to overuse antibiotics

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Antibiotics

Scientists have been warning for decades that we use too many antibiotics, both in people to treat relatively mild infections and in agriculture to bulk up farm animals and keep them free of disease.The consequences, they caution, are dire—and already emerging in hospitals with bacteria that can’t be treated with any of our existing antibiotic medications.But the thinking went that to become resistant to the drugs we use on them, bacteria have to pay a price.They may be able to survive the pharmaceutical onslaught, but they’re less fit and therefore less able to reproduce, less likely to remain for long in their host of choice and otherwise sapped of the energy needed to really wreak havoc on human or animal immune systems.

This lake in Canada’s North is literally about to fall off a cliff

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In the coming months, a lake in the Northwest Territories is expected to breach the earthen embankment containing it and flow over a cliff, sending tens of thousands of cubic meters of water crashing into a neighboring valley.An advisory updated this week by the Northwest Territories Geological Survey warns that the small lake near the Gwich’in community of Fort McPherson is expected “to drain catastrophically during 2015, resulting in a flash flood and possibly a debris flow.”Although the hamlet is not threatened by the anticipated flood, scientists say the destruction of the nameless lake is one example of the climate change that is expected to continue to alter the environment of Alaska, Siberia, and Canada’s Far North.”It’s just another piece in the puzzle showing how the climate is changing in regions that are especially sensitive to even small changes,” said Michael Pisaric, a professor of geography at Ontario’s Brock University who has been monitoring that lake for the last five years. “As we change the atmosphere and alter the way systems operate, these events are going to become more and more frequent.”

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cigar smoking

 

(Reuters Health) – Long-time smokers may face an increased risk of death if they develop breast cancer, according to a Japanese study that adds to a growing body of evidence highlighting the lethal effects of cigarettes.Among more than 800 women with breast cancer, thosewho had smoked for more than two decades had at least triple the odds of dying of any cause, or from breast cancer in particular, compared with women who never used cigarettes.Fewer years of smoking were also linked to an increased risk of death from breast cancer, but the extra risk was so small that it might have been due to chance.Other studies have explored the connection between smoking and survival among breast cancer patients, but the current research is among the first to assess the impact of the duration of smoking on outcomes for women with this type of tumor, said study co-author Dr. Masaaki Kawai, a breast oncologist at Miyagi Cancer Center Hospital in Japan, in email to Reuters Health.

A new study shows a simple trick for sticking with your exercise routine

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It’s not always easy to convince yourself to exercise after a long day of work. (Ok, it’s never easy.)But people who consistently manage to do it may be using a simple trick—whether they realize it or not—according to a new study published in the journal Health Psychology.The most consistent exercisers, researchers found, were those who made exercise into a specific type of habit—one triggered by a cue, like hearing your morning alarm and going to the gym without even thinking about it, or getting stressed and immediately deciding to exercise.”It’s not something you have to deliberate about; you don’t have to consider the pros and cons of going to the gym after work,” explains L. Alison Phillips, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University and one of the study’s authors. Instead, it’s an automatic decision instigated by your own internal or environmental cue.The researchers wanted to see whether this type of habit, known as an instigation habit, was better than another type of habit at predicting who stuck with a month of exercise. At the beginning and end of the monthlong study, they asked 123 university students and faculty questions that assessed how often they exercised and how strong their exercise habits were—whether they did it without thinking, for example.

Dozens of whales are gathering around one part of the northern California coast

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dozens of whales are frolicking off Northern California’s coast in a feast for the eyes that has also prompted federal officials to issue a boating warning.Officials documented 115 humpback, blue and fin whales during a one-hour survey last weekend near the Farallon Islands, the Marin Independent Journal reported Saturday.”We are alerting small boaters and large vessel operators to be on the alert for endangered whales, and to maintain minimum distances,” said Maria Brown, superintendent of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.To ease the threat of vessels striking whales, federal officials say recreational boaters, including fishermen, should remain at least 300 feet away — the federal minimum distance guideline.Roger Thomas, the 80-year-old dean of the Bay Area salmon fleet who serves as skipper of Sausalito’s Salty Lady, said there seem to be more whales near shore this year than ever before.

Government researchers believe there’s a link between certain antidepressants and birth defects

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(Reuters) – A sweeping government study of thousands of women has found links between the older antidepressants Prozac and Paxil and birth defects, but has leared other popular treatments in the class, including Celexa, Lexapro and Pfizer’s Zoloft, which is the subject of a major lawsuit over birth defect claims.Earlier studies had raised questions about antidepressants in a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to issue a safety warning about use of the treatments during pregnancy.In the current study, published on Wednesday in the British Medical Journal, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to see if the birth defect risk affected the entire class of drugs, or only select treatments.For the study, the researchers asked nearly 28,000 women if they took Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft any time from one month before conception through the third month of pregnancy and analyzed which women bore children with birth defects.