10 Things You Need To Know Today (October 27)
1. This scientist was inspired to create a new type of heart transplant by a trip to the aquarium.
A jellyfish may seem like an unlikely heart model, but an innovative bioengineer realized the connection between its pulsating movement and the heart. He's currently developing a model for a jellyfish-like heart transplant robot (try saying that three times fast) that could efficiently bridge the gap between the options currently available. (The Atlantic)
2. People are finally starting to take a big-picture look at climate change.
San Francisco's Court of Appeals just supported a movement to list an Alaska population of bearded seals as "threatened." It made this decision based on climate predictions that show that climate change will drive the melting of the seal's habitat. "The Service need not wait until a species' habitat is destroyed to determine that habitat loss may facilitate extinction," a judge stated. (Huffington Post)
3. Saturn is changing right before our eyes (er, telescopes).
The planet's cloudlike barrier has historically appeared blue but is now taking on gold hues, causing scientists to question what's driving the change. The leading theory has to do with its shifting seasons. (CNN)
4. Genetically modified goats now exist so we can all have more cashmere.
Scientists in China have figured out a way to disrupt just one gene in "cashmere goats" to make their undercoats (that's the part that becomes cashmere) even longer. The concept is certainly a strange one, but this scientific development makes one thing clear: People really love their cashmere. (The Atlantic)
5. If you want to avoid burnout, you're going to have to learn how to shake things off.
According to a new study on burnout, people are less likely to experience feelings of burnout in the workplace if they're better at ignoring the rude, negative, and overall not great behavior of co-workers. In other words, you just gotta let that sh*t go. (Science Of Us)
6. Can love cure psychopathy?
A recent study found that the higher participants scored on the psychopath spectrum, the less happy they tended to be. Researchers believe that because psychopaths have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships, it affects their well-being, but, "Taking part in healthy social relationships may increase the empathy felt by people high in psychopathy and, by extension, decrease their psychopathic traits." So before you go calling that ex-boyfriend, make sure you're in a really good place. (Quartz)
7. Herbal life: Why the WHO is turning to traditional Mayan medicine.
Building bridges across different systems could be the key to integrating tradition with advances in medicine. In Guatemala, more than 50 percent of the population has indigenous roots, and so, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a traditional medicine strategy to increase awareness and understanding of these practices. Recognizing valid medical and cultural responses to worldwide health problems? We'll definitely get behind that. (Quartz)
8. What's next, VR hate crimes?
On Tuesday, developer Aaron Stanton and QuiVr creator Jonathan Schenker published an Op-Ed in Upload VR after a woman was groped while playing their virtual reality game. In it, they suggest that developers band together to create a universal "power gesture" to combat harassment in virtual reality, essentially a "safe word" in the form of a motion that would give the player special powers to protect themselves after an instance of inappropriate behavior. "We need to offer tools that give players better controls, not simply better ways to hide." (CNN Money)
9. Meet the totally preventable virus that's far more dangerous and common than Zika.
Cytomegalovirus, CMV for short, is a virus that causes hearing problems, birth deformities, brain damage, and vision impairments, and affects more than 20,000 infants each year (while Zika has affected 2,000 to date). The fascinating part is how it's transmitted—through urine and saliva—so pregnant mothers who are frequently changing diapers or picking up toys. One of the main ways to prevent spread of the virus? Vigilant hand-washing. (NYT)
10. We're so focused on cutting consumption of extra sugar, we often forget to appreciate its magic.
Naturally occurring sugar acts as a texture agent and helps with browning and holding water within foods. But, of course, the one we're most fond of: We wouldn't have fermented foods without the sweet stuff! (Eater)