Science Scanner: Mapping an Asteroid; Why the Universe Didn’t Collapse; Spicy Food Saves Lives

Posted November 19th, 2014 at 9:07 pm (UTC-4)

Here's a sample of the new geological map of Vesta. Areas in brown represent the oldest, most heavily   cratered surface. Purple colors and light blue represent terrains modified by the Veneneia and   Rheasilvia impacts, respectively. Light purples and dark blue colors below the equator represent the   interior of the Rheasilvia and Veneneia basins. Greens and yellows represent relatively young   landslides or other downhill movement and crater impact materials, respectively. Tectonic features   such as faults are shown by black lines.  (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University)

A sample of the new geological map of Vesta. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University)

Scientists Create Geologic and Tectonic Map of Vesta the Asteroid

A group of scientists used high-resolution images captured by NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft between 2011 and 2012 to create what they say is the first total geologic and tectonic map of the asteroid Vesta.

Details on the work appear in the December edition of the journal Icarus.

According to the researchers, their study of Vesta shows that the asteroid had a history of impacts by large meteorites.

“The resulting maps enabled us to construct a geologic time scale of Vesta for comparison to other planets and moons,” said research team leader David Williams of Arizona State University in a press statement.  Read more here…


Time Line of the Universe. (NASA/WMAP Science Team)

Time Line of the Universe. (NASA/WMAP Science Team)

Cosmological Mystery May Have Simple Solution

Scientists studying the Higgs-Boson found that the production of these former mystery particles in the rapidly expanding universe should have created a bit of instability right after the Big Bang that would have led to the collapse of the newly-forming universe.

Researchers have been puzzled since as to why the collapse didn’t happen.  Some of the scientists believe that the reason was due to some new and so far undiscovered physics.

Now, a team of scientists from the UK’s Imperial College London, Denmark’s University of Copenhagen, and Finland’s University of Helsinki say they believe gravity is what provided the universe with the stability that was needed to endure the rapid expansion.

The scientists outlined their findings in a study published by “Physical Review Letters.”  Read more here…


Smily Sun (Creative Commons via Pixabay)

(Creative Commons via Pixabay)

People with Low Levels of Vitamin D are at Risk of Disease and Death

Vitamin D, also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, is important for maintaining good bone health and helping prevent cardiovascular disease.

A new study of 96,000 Danish people found that those with a deficiency in vitamin D are also at risk of other diseases, such as cancer, and are experiencing higher rates of death than those with normal levels of vitamin D.

Humans get their vitamin D from the rays of the sun, in the food they eat or by taking supplements.

What the study doesn’t show is the best way to increase levels of vitamin D in those with a deficiency in the vitamin.  The researchers said that they still need to figure out just how much vitamin D would be needed to help those with a deficiency maintain a healthy level of the vitamin that would help prevent these diseases and lower mortality rates.  Read more…


A gathering of herbs and spices (Casey Fleser via Wikimedia Commons)

A gathering of herbs and spices (Casey Fleser via Wikimedia Commons)

A Bit of Spice in Your Food Could Lengthen Your Life

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) found that spices and herbs, which are packed full of antioxidants, could be quite helpful to people who have high levels of triglycerides and other fatty elements in their blood.

While you need some triglycerides in your bloodstream to maintain good health, too high a level of this fatty compound may raise the risk of heart disease.

It’s been found that a person’s triglyceride levels rise soon after eating a meal high in fat.

The Penn State researchers, comparing the post-fatty meal triglyceride levels in people who ate their meal cooked with the high-antioxidant spices and herbs, had as much as a 30 percent lower level of triglycerides than those who ate a meal cooked without the added seasonings.

The high-antioxidant herbs and spices added to the meals of those with the lower triglyceride levels included garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, paprika, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.  Read more…

Rick Pantaleo
Rick Pantaleo maintains the Science World blog and writes stories for VOA’s web and radio on a variety of science, technology and health topics. He also occasionally appears on various VOA programs to talk about the latest scientific news. Rick joined VOA in 1992 after a 20 year career in commercial broadcasting.

2 responses to “Science Scanner: Mapping an Asteroid; Why the Universe Didn’t Collapse; Spicy Food Saves Lives”

  1. Shahg says:

    Another reason to enjoy Pakistani food….mmmmm

  2. […] Science Scanner: Mapping an Asteroid; Why the Universe Didn’t Collapse; Spicy Food Saves Lives […]