What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Grazing cows can cut global warming

Grazing cows or sheep can cut emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas, a new study has found.Earlier, environmentalists, from Lord Stern to Sir Paul McCartney, have urged people to stop eating meat because the methane produced by cattle causes global warming.

But, a new study found that cattle grazed on the grasslands of China actually reduced another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.The researchers said that the study does not mean that producing livestock to eat is good for the environment in all countries.
However in certain circumstances, it can be better for global warming to let animals graze on grassland.

Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, carried out the study in Inner Mongolia in China. He found that grassland produced more nitrous oxide during the spring thaw when sheep or cattle have not been grazing, because microbes in the soil release the greenhouse gas, also known as laughing gas.
When the grass is long snow settles keeping the microbes warm and providing water. But when the grass is cut short by animals the ground freezes and the microbes die.

CT scans cause one third more radiation than needed
CT scans generate up to one third more radiation than needed to yield a clear diagnostic image, thus exposing patients to an increased risk of cancer, according to a study in Australia.

The findings have emerged amid concerns about the growth in referrals for CT scans and as radiation safety experts and radiologists prepare a national monitoring scheme to keep radiation doses to the minimum necessary.

A pilot programme aimed at optimising the radiation patients were exposed to in 10 Queensland hospitals found that radiation doses could be reduced by up to 32 per cent in a range of common CT scans while maintaining the quality of the diagnostic image.
A similar project is under way in Victoria and a national scheme is being developed to provide radiology practices with a ‘diagnostic reference level’ to compare their radiation dose rates with other practices.The use of CT (computed tomography) scans is growing at 9 to 12 per cent a year in Australia.

Trans fats dangerous for women with heart disease
Trans fats, found in many packaged foods, are deadly for women with heart disease, says a new study.
According to the study, females with heart disease who eat the most trans fats (at least 2.5 per cent of their daily caloric intake) are three times as likely to suffer a sudden cardiac death as compared to females who consume less than one per cent of their calories as trans fat. Published in the ‘American Heart Journal’, the study focused on data on more than 86,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study.
In the study, the Harvard researchers found a strong connection between trans-fat and women with coronary heart disease.
Trans fats raise bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower good (HDL) cholesterol, which means a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.