May 8, 2012
A fence post

A fence post     Photo: Nanagyei/Flickr

Being Outside Linked to Fewer Allergies

Rural kids get more exposure to microbes

A study published in the May 1 issue of the journal PNAS suggests that children who grow up in rural environments are less likely to develop allergies than kids who live in cities or towns. A group of scientists studied allergy prevalence and exposure to biodiversity in more than 100 teenagers in Finland. They found that kids who lived near farms or forests had higher levels of exposure to flowering plants and were more likely to have microbes on their skin. They were also less likely to suffer from allergies or other inflammatory diseases. “Urbanization can’t be stopped," said lead author lkka Hanski, "but perhaps we should take the planning of green spaces in cities more seriously.”

Read more at Wired


Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish     Photo: Peter Huys/Flickr

Cavendish: Kick Ferrari Out of Giro

Italian rider caused crash in sprint

Mark Cavendish on Monday called for Italian cyclist Roberto Ferrari to be expelled from the Giro d'Italia after Ferrari clipped Cavendish's wheel and caused a massive pileup near the finish of stage three. "Is the team of Roberto Ferrari or the UCI going to do the right thing?" Cavendish tweeted after the accident. "Other riders, including myself, have been sent home for much less." Cavendish, the 2011 UCI road champion, walked away with just a few scrapes. Several other riders were caught in the ensuing pile-up, including overall leader Taylor Phinney, who crossed the finish line in an ambulance but is expected to start stage four on Wednesday.

Read more at the Guardian


Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps     Photo: Marco Pak√∂eningrat/Flickr

Michael Phelps To Retire After Olympics

Swimmer plans to travel more

Fourteen-time Olympic gold-medalist Michael Phelps announced on Sunday that he will retire from swimming after the London Olympics. "I've been able to go to all these amazing cities in my travels and I haven't been able to see them at all," Phelps told Anderson Cooper in an interview. "I'm just going to go and do whatever I want to do." The swimmer said he had doubts about his passion to compete after Beijing but is training harder than ever and hopes to bag several medals in London. Phelps has taken to sleeping in a hypoxic chamber to simulate altitudes of 8,000 to 9,000 feet to boost his aerobic strength.

Read more at CNN



Marathon     Photo: Martineric/Flickr

Woman Finishes Marathon in Bionic Suit

Paralyzed woman walked two miles a day

On Tuesday, a British woman who is paralyzed from the chest down completed a 16-day mission to walk the London Marathon course with the help of a bionic suit. Claire Lomas, who broke her back and neck in a horse-riding accident in 2007, walked two miles each day to become the first person to finish a marathon using the "ReWalk" suit, a $70,000 apparatus that responds to shifts in the wearer's balance. Lomas crossed the finish line in tears with her husband and 13-month-old daughter. "There were times when I questioned whether I would make it when I was training. Once I started, I just took each day as it came and every step got me a step closer," she said.

Read more at The Telegraph


Google's driverless car

Google's driverless car     Photo: Maria Ly/Flickr

Nevada Licenses Driverless Cars

State issues special plate for Google tests

On Monday, Nevada issued Google special licenses for its prototype driverless cars, becoming the first state in the nation to sanction the use of a computer-controlled automobile. The cars have already been tested on state highways, in urban neighborhoods, and even on the Las Vegas Strip. Google says the cars will "help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions." The company has already completed more than 200,000 miles of automated driving in the cars.

Read more at CNN