Discovered: Omega-3s make cow dairy more nutritious; protons are just a tiny bit smaller than we thought, and that has huge implications; HIV's ancient origins; ADHD medicine is putting more people in the emergency room.
Cows given health food produce healthier milk. Flaxseeds—those Omega-3 fatty acid-rich morsels found in such abundance at Whole Foods—can make cows produce more nutritious milk, according to a new study from Oregon State University researcher Gerd Bobe. He and his colleagues found that cows fed a diet lower in saturated fats and higher in Omega-3s produced milk with the same texture but a better balance of unsaturated fats. "We were looking for a sweet spot," said Bobe, and that sweet spot turned out to be six pounds of extruded flax seed per day. "Too much of a good thing can be bad, especially when trying to maintain consistency with dairy products." Cows usually eat a mix of corn, grain, and alfafa in industrial feedlots. [Oregon State University]
Protons are smaller than we thought—and that's a huge deal. In physics, quadrillionths of a meter can go miles in the effort to making new discoveries about particles and forces. So you better believe scientists are paying attention to a study published today in Science that claims the proton is 4 percent smaller than what we previously thought it to be. The new study confirms previous theories that protons are 0.84 quadrillionths of a meter in radius, not 0.88 quadrillionths of a meter. "Poking at small effects you can’t explain can be a way of unraveling a much bigger piece of physics," comments Carl Carlson, a theoretical physicist at the College of William and Mary. "And this case is particularly intriguing." [ScienceNews]