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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Can you believe this - Potato chips can beat certain cancers

For any health conscious person, potato chips are something to be severly avoided. They are labelled as junk food, and have a major part to play in the creation of the lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity (and are part of the lifestyle of colas, chips and pizzas that lead to a much higher intake of fat). However, it seems that potato chips can also play a positive role in cancer treatment (link)

The mouth-watering chips have long been labelled as a “junk food”. Yet, experts have claimed that gorging on a deepfried potato diet can help people in beating certain cancers. According to them, chips are rich in vitamin C, which tackles dangerous free radicals associated with cancer growth, and those suffering with the disease can even shrink the size of their tumours by eating wafers, the Daily Star reported.
“Chips give vitamin C, which is an important nutrient believed to help protect against certain types of cancer. People who eat food rich in vitamin C are much less likely to suffer from cancer of the oesophagus, cancer of the stomach and breast cancer.

This is part of ongoing research, and one would expect that if you eat other foods rich in Vitamin C, you would get the same effect. This is something that more research should be able to validate.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Satellites crashing in space - Russian and US satellites

One always thinks of space as a large open area, with plenty of space in all directions. You combine this space with the concept of satellites being well regulated and following controlled orbits, and then it is difficult to believe that satellites under the control of such countries such as the United States and Russia could actually collide, and yet that is exactly what seems to have happened:

The collision between a U.S. and a Russian satellite over Siberia may have been accidental and the first of its kind, but experts say more crashes will inevitably occur and could have geopolitical consequences. "This is an event that really makes us realize that things are not so straightforward as we originally thought," said Francisco Diego, a senior research fellow in physics and astronomy at University College London.
The collision, between a spacecraft operated by U.S. communications group Iridium Satellite LLC and a Russian Cosmos-2251 military satellite, happened 485 miles above the Russian Arctic on Tuesday afternoon. The crash sent at least 600 pieces of debris off into space, officials said, increasing the risk that other satellites, including the vast International Space Station, which orbits 220 miles up, could be struck and damaged.

This crash may have been accidental, but what is to prevent countries from investing in such technologies. For example, a couple of such crashes have the effect of impacting the GPS and communication technologies that are used by the US military to great affect.

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