Is Sugar as Bad as Alcohol and Tobacco?
Researchers who study the effects of sugar on the body say it should become a controlled substance. Biologically, it interacts with our body in ways similar to alcohol and tobacco.
What's the Latest Development?
How cruel that something so sweet could be so bad for us. Yet researchers confirm that a diet high in sugar can result in some very serious health consequences. Much like alcohol, sugar can change metabolism rates, raise blood pressure, cause hormones to misfire and cause liver damage. Laura Schmidt, a researcher at UC San Francisco, wasn't surprised at the findings: "When you think about it, this actually makes a lot of sense. Alcohol, after all, is simply the distillation of sugar. Where does vodka come from? Sugar."
What's the Big Idea?
Schmidt and her co-authors recommend taxing sugary foods and controlling the product's availability to individuals under 17. They insist they do not want excess intrusion and regulation, however. By making healthier foods more price competitive with sugary snacks, they say individuals' freedom of choice would be increased. The current obesity pandemic, to which sugar contributes, is estimated to cause 35 million annual deaths worldwide from noninfectious diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
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Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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