What We Read Today 17 May 2014

May 17th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • NASA's Asteroid-Capture Mission May Test New Method to Defend Earth (Mike Wall, Space.com) NASA has programs with the objective of preventing future asteroid impacts. If large enough such an impact could recreate a global extinction such as the one which ended the age of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The latest investigation is exploring the use of gravitational forces to deflect a threatening asteroid into a moon orbit.

Follow up:

  • IBM discovers first new class of polymers in decades (David Szondy, gizmag) It is very strong, brittle like glass but can form extremely strong, light-weight composites with carbon fibers with strength of metal, Yet the composites are self-healing when cracked, unlike metal.

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring plant chemical found in the skin of grapes, red wine, peanuts, cocoa powder, and certain berries and roots. There's interest in the chemical because of its proposed antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential anticancer effects.

Combine that with a possible role in extending lifespan (there'ssome evidence for this in yeast and flies), and you can see why this common substance has captured the imagination of medical researchers and the public alike.

But despite all this interest, there's little research linking resveratrol to favourable health outcomes when it's a normal part of the diet.

  • U.S. Drought Map (Earth Observatory, NASA) Follow details of official weather forecast and long-range projections published at least once a week (usually late Monday or early Tuesday at GEI News, written by climate economist Sig Silber) The latest report was a special update for 15 May.

Click on map for larger image at NASA.gov.

Today there are 11 articles discussed 'behind the wall'. The last one is a mini-article length discussion of credit contraction in the Eurozone.

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