Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010


Talk about climate change!

News from the astronomy world this week put a whole new spin on the idea of rising ocean levels due to climate change.

Scientists now suspect that Earth's oceans overall might have been created about 4 billion years ago as a result of a massive bombardment from space of asteroids composed primarily of water ice and organic molecules.

The theory is discussed in the April 28 edition of Nature by researchers who studied a large asteroid, called 24 Themis, located between Mars and Jupiter, using the NASA Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea on the Big Island.

“;What we've found suggests that an asteroid like this one may have hit Earth and brought our planet its water,”; said astronomer Humberto Campins of the University of Central Florida, as reported by Wired Science.


Researchers find way to make men 'sensitive'

Most men are said to have a feminine side, and a new drug reported on in the Mail Online from London could be just the thing to bring it to the fore. Called the “;cuddle chemical,”; the new drug is based on oxytocin - a hormone naturally made in the body that is involved in sex, sexual attraction, trust and confidence. The Mail Online said research shows it can make “;even the most macho of males as sensitive as a woman,”; raising the possibility that “;chauvinists could be turned into sensitive souls happy to watch weepy films and critique outfits on shopping trips and watch 'Sex and the City' rather than 'Match of the Day.'”; Dr. Keith Kendrick, of the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said women might like that, or maybe not.