5 Things You Need To Know Today (April 9, 2018)

1. The coral reef situation is dire, but innovative scientists are responding.

As coral reefs around the world are being destroyed due to rising ocean temperatures, scientists are working to think of solutions that can protect them into the future. A new study finds that techniques like underwater nurseries, where coral fragments are relocated to new homes and closely monitored, show real promise. (The Conversation)

2. Carrageenan will still be allowed in organic foods.

The USDA has ruled that the controversial additive will still be allowed to be included in organic foods. This was after two-thirds of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an advisory arm of the USDA, voted to withdraw approval of the seaweed-derived product. Despite their allowance, several companies have phased out the emulsifier, including Organic Valley, Stonyfield, and Eden Foods. (FoodDive)

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3. The U.K. has taken a hard-line stance on sugar.

The country has imposed a sugar tax: From now on, drinks with a sugar content of more than 5 grams per 100 milliliters will be taxed 18p per liter and 24p for drinks with 8 grams or more. The government hopes that the tax will reduce sugar consumption in the country, and several manufacturers have already responded by lowering the sugar levels in their products. The tax is also predicted to bring in 240 million pounds a year for the government. Sounds like a win-win! (The Conversation)

4. How long does it REALLY take to make a friend?

If you've ever gone on a mission to make friends as an adult and found it frustrating, there's a reason why. According to new research out of the University of Kansas, making new friends is actually pretty time-consuming: The study found that it takes 50 hours of time together to consider someone a casual friend, 90 hours to consider them a "friend," and a whopping 200 hours before you consider them a close friend. As they say, good things take time. (The Cut)

5. It's been settled: Healthy older men and women generate as many new brain cells as younger people.

According to a study published in Cell Stem Cell, researchers have found that senior citizens are actually more cognitively and emotionally intact than commonly believed. (Science Daily)

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