Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gems From National Geographic

From National Geographic magazine, November 2005 issue:

Health - Women feel more pain - and feel pain more - than men, notes a new study. The sexes' coping strategies may hint at why. Men in the study focused on physical aspects of discomfort, which apparently helped increase pain thresholds. Women focused on pain's emotional as well as physical aspects. Their pain proved harder to treat and seemed of greater intensity.

Astronomy - A new planet with three suns in its sky has been found 149 light years from Earth. Its type is named Tatooine after the dual-sunned planet in the film "Star Wars".

From the December 2005 issue:

Health - Olive oil contains a natural painkiller, scientists say. An ingredient in olives known as oleocanthal works in much the same way as the drug ibuprofen to suppress pain-causing prostaglandins in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of oleocanthal may help explain the reduced incidence of certain cancers, stroke, and heart disease in Mediterranean populations that traditionally use large amounts of olive oil in their diets.

Animal Kingdom - Cats can't taste sugary foods. A defective sweet-receptor gene is why, according to a new study. This antipathy toward sweets may have helped shape feline evolution in the wild, leading to a preference for muscle-building protein over carbohydrates. Or, say scientists, the gene may have become defective from lack of use in cats' high protein diet.


I truly love this magazine. I remember growing up as a kid reading my uncle's old back issues, and it felt like I was travelling a different country each time. My not-so-secret fantasy was to become a National Geographic photojournalist...