Is Water an Antioxidant?

AntioxidantIn short, no.

But the following all contain water (clever that), so is it a conundrum? Water is found in most liquids, antioxidants are found in some of those liquids so whereas an antioxidant can be water, water can’t be an antioxidant. Excuse me, I have to sit down, my brain is hurting. (Clearly, not enough water). Okay. So, not a conundrum, it’s something else. Moving swiftly along!

What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are phytochemicals, chemicals found in plant foods. In our bodies, antioxidants protect healthy tissues from “oxidants,” also called free radicals. Over time, free radicals can damage cells and cause disease. Antioxidants are like microscopic police officers who seize these bad guys that plan to harm our cells. Read more

Cracking the problem of river growth

A general mathematical theory that predicts how cracks spread through materials like glass and ice can also predict the direction in which rivers will grow, according to a new MIT study.

151102163710_1_900x600In fracture mechanics, the theory of local symmetry predicts that, for example, a crack in a wall will grow in a direction in which the surrounding stress is symmetric around the crack’s tip.

Scientists at MIT have now applied this theory to the growth of river networks, finding that as a river fed by groundwater cuts through a landscape, it will flow in a direction that maintains symmetric pressure from groundwater around the river’s head. Read more

Desperate times, desperate measures: California experiments with leasing water rights

Last fall, farmers working the flat land along the Colorado River outside Blythe, California, harvested a lucrative crop of oranges, lettuce and alfalfa from fields irrigated with river water. But that wasn’t their only source of income. They made almost as much per acre from the seemingly dead squares of dry earth abutting those orchards and row crops, fields left barren for the season.

FILE - In this May 18, 2015 file photo, irrigation pipes sit along a dried irrigation canal on a field farmed by Gino Celli, who relies on senior water rights to water his crops, near Stockton, Calif. When water gets scarce and the government slaps restrictions on its use, farmers should be first in line at the spigot, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

The money crop that the fallowed land produced was one of the West’s most precious commodities: water. Under an experimental trading scheme set up by the Palo Verde Irrigation District in Blythe and the Metropolitan Water District — which supplies municipal water to the Los Angeles area, Orange and San Diego counties, and much of the Inland Empire — the farmers essentially leased millions of gallons of their Colorado River water to California’s coastal cities. Read more

“There’s no way to stop the water, and no time to waste”: The science behind rising sea tides

A hundred years after it spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic in the North Atlantic, the Jakobshavn Glacier is now a major contributor to global sea-level rise, this time threatening the homes and lives not of 2,200 passengers and crew but of a billion people across the world.

01As climate-watchers and coastal-dwellers keep a weather eye out for signals of irreversible changes in the environment, the world’s fastest-moving glacier has already begun self-destruction.

Jakobshavn is now shedding ice nearly three times as quickly as it was 20 years ago, dumping enormous and growing quantities into the ocean. It’s contributed 0.1 millimeters per year to worldwide sea-level rise — more than 3 percent of the 3 mm produced globally — for the past decade. Read more

NASA announces evidence of flowing water “creeping down slopes” on Mars

After a weekend of speculation, scientists were finally treated to NASA’s big reveal: there is flowing liquid water on the surface of Mars.

marsAccording to researchers, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified sloped streaks on the Martian surface that contain minerals called “perchlorates,” which are able to reduce the temperature at which water freezes up to -94 Fahrenheit. Those streaks only exist during the planet’s cold season, in which temperatures routinely dip below that, and disappear during the warm season, when temperatures climb above -10 Fahrenheit. Read more