Why cilantro has such a polarizing taste


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series and features a look at why cilantro has such a polarizing taste.

Cilantro is grown in warm climates all over the world, with the largest exporter being Mexico, which is why it appears on a variety of different Mexican food dishes.

But the seemingly innocuous herb draws a wide variety of reactions, with some people who love it and some people who can’t stand it.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

A timelapse trip from Africa to Russia


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the European Space Agency (ESA) and features a look at a timelapse trip from Africa to Russia.

The clip was composed of a series of daytime photos taken by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, which includes a breathtaking view of his home country of Italy.

Nespoli is on board the International Space Station as part of the Italian Space Agency’s long-term VITA mission.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency

New technology helps cities more effectively de-ice roads


Today’s Video of the Day comes from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and features a look at a new technology that will help cities de-ice roads more cost-efficiently and effectively.

According to the research team, cities in the United States spend a collective $1.5 billion to remove ice and snow from roads.

The new technology combines software and hardware with city data and modeling to identify areas of the road that are most dangerous during hazardous weather. This piece communicates with a device on the salt truck to optimize use of the de-icing agent where needed.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Elevated stress levels for seals living in fear of sharks


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the University of Miami and features a look at the stress levels of animals who live under constant fear of predation.

While a little stress might keep you on your toes, prolonged exposure to stress hormones like cortisol have been linked to long term health problems.

A team of researchers set out to test the Predation Stress Hypothesis, which suggests that animals living under risk of attack experience elevated levels of stress hormones.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: University of Miami, Footage provided by Discovery Channel/Airjaws: Night Stalker, Jeff Kurr/Shark Entertainment Edit: Waterlust

How Xanax works to alleviate anxiety


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series and features a look at how Xanax works to battle anxiety.

Xanax is a type of drug known as triazolobenzodiazepines that interact with GABA-A receptors on proteins on the outside of neurons in your brain. This disrupts the charge balance, so that electrical signals get interrupted, and your brain quiets down.

That said, Xanax can cause you to become overly sluggish or sleepy, and can also lead to dependency or addiction.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

How garlic can be used to treat infections


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the University of Copenhagen and features a look at how garlic can be used to treat chronic infection.

According to new research, a garlic-based compound works to destroy biofilm of resistant bacteria and make antibodies function again by inhibiting small regulatory RNA molecules.

“We really believe this method can lead to treatment of patients, who otherwise have poor prospects,” said Tim Holm Jakobsen, assistant professor at the Costerton Biofilm Center at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.Because chronic infections like cystic fibrosis can be very robust. But now we, together with a private company, have enough knowledge to further develop the garlic drug and test it on patients.”

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: University of Copenhagen

Dogs help Hollywood make animation look more realistic


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the University of Bath and features a look at how real dogs are helping make animal animation more realistic.

Outfitted with special sensors, representatives from a variety of different dog breeds provide motion data, which help improve visual effects in both movies and video games.

“At the moment, actors have to walk around on all fours, and the computer software changes them into an animal,” explained Martin Parsons, Head of Studio at the Centre for Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research & Applications (CAMERA). “What we want to do is to look at the movements of the human actor and then use a kind of translator to look at a library of real animal data to make the character on the screen move in a realistic way. It works a bit like a puppeteer, with the actor using their whole body to drive the animal avatar.”

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: University of Bath

The ocean could offer alternatives to opioids


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the University of Utah and features a look at how the ocean could provide alternatives to opioids to treat chronic pain.

To battle the opioid crisis, the Department of Defense has granted this team of researchers $10 millions over the course of four years to identify natural compounds for pain management.

“Societal dependence on opioid drugs has created an urgent need to find alternatives to these medications to treat chronic pain,” said J. Michael McIntosh, M.D., professor of psychiatry at University of Utah Health. “This project turns to ocean organisms to identify the next generation of therapeutic pain medications.”

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: University of Utah Health

Why dogs might be smarter than cats


Today’s Video of the Day comes from Vanderbilt University and features new evidence of why dogs may be smarter than cats.

It’s the age-old question that dog people and cat people have been arguing over for years. But a new study set out to compare the number cortical neurons in the brains of a variety of different carnivores, including dogs and cats.

The results showed that dogs possess a significantly higher number of cortical neurons than cats, which allows them the capability to accomplish more complex tasks.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: Amy Wolf & Zachary Eagles, Vanderbilt University

How do hand sanitizers kill germs?


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society’s Earth from Space series and features a look at how hand sanitizers kill germs.

The active ingredient in most hand sanitizers is alcohol, either in the form of ethanol, isopropanol, or n-propanol. The alcohol breaks down the outer coating of bacteria and viruses, which causes the germs to explode.

This inhibits their ability to infect humans, rendering the germs useless.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

How glassblowing works


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series and features a look at how glassblowing works.

The primary ingredient in most glass is sand, which is made of silicon dioxide, also known as silica. When temperatures reach 1,700 degrees Celsius, silica melts. But adding sodium carbonate can lower this melting point to a more manageable 850 degrees Celsius.

Then, by adding calcium carbonate, the material becomes less water soluble and more durable to work with.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

Monitoring changes in atmospheric ozone


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the European Space Agency (ESA) and features a look at how scientists monitor changes in atmospheric ozone.

While ozone protects life on Earth from harmful UV radiation, it is also a potent greenhouse gas, and its levels often change with the seasons. As a result, scientists keep a close watch on ozone concentrations using satellites that detect UV light.

Most atmospheric ozone exists in the stratosphere, where it sits 3 to 15 miles above Earth’s surface.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency