Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, and scientists argue that the planet’s interior also contains a lot of water. But where did all this water come from?
My postdoc Ziliang Jin and I analyzed grains of the mineral pyroxene from an asteroid called Itokawa, which is the first asteroid that humankind ever sampled. The Japanese probe Hayabusa brought back about 1,500 particles from the asteroid’s surface in 2010, and our recent measurements show that this asteroid is wetter than we imagined.
Samples of meteorites that came from Itokawa-like asteroids that have been analyzed for water revealed barely detectable quantities. This led scientists to speculate that rubble-pile asteroids like Itokawa would be bone dry. But we found lots of water in these particles. To be clear, the specific amount of water that Itokawa particles contain is still low with respect to anything in our human experience. But the discovery of even these amounts of water with the correct isotope signature means that asteroids like it that struck the Earth could have provided more than half of Earth’s oceans.
I am a cosmochemist at Arizona State University who is interested in the small bodies in our solar system like asteroids and comets, which are the building blocks of the planets. Studying the chemistry of these types of seed materials can tell us a lot about how the planets formed and the conditions in the early stages of planet growth.
We were interested in studying samples from the asteroid Itokawa because we had speculated that Itokawa particles should have some water, based on some back-of-the-envelope calculations Ziliang had done. Then I wrote a proposal to the Japanese Space Agency and received the samples that we ended up studying.
Millions of people across Europe drink contaminated water, often without knowing it, a new United Nations’ report warned on Tuesday.
Some 57 million people across Europe and North America do not have piped water at home, the UN estimates in its latest annual World Water Development report released on Tuesday.
A further 21 million people lack access to basic drinking water services while another 36 million do not have access to basic sanitation, relying instead on unsafe, shared or unsustainable sanitation.
The situation is most severe in rural areas and in Central Asia and the Caucasus where 72% of the people have no access to basic water services.
But the UN warns that “many citizens in Western and Central Europe, as well as in North America, also suffer from the lack of or inequitable access to water and sanitation services.”
“Inequities are frequently related to socio-cultural differences, socio-economic factors and the geographical context,” it explains.
14 deaths per day
The European Commision estimated last year that water scarcity affects at least 11% of the European population.
Inadequate water bears strong human, ecologic and economic costs. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that every day, 14 people die of diarrhoeal disease caused by unsafe water.
According to WHO statistics, 480 people died in Germany in 2016 because of exposure to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. It was followed by France, which recorded 172 such deaths and the UK with 130 fatalities.
Lack of access also forces people to buy bottled water. Improving access to safe water would thus help European households to save more than €600 million per year, the EU Commission calculated. It would also, it noted, help to achieve one of the objectives from the Paris Climate Agreement as reducing the consumption of bottled water from 100 to 88 litres per year by 2050, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million tonnes CO2.
The UN recommends that inequities in access should focus on reducing geographical disparities by addressing specific barriers faced by marginalised groups and people living in vulnerable situations and by reducing affordability concerns.
It highlighted efforts made in the Greater Paris area as well as in North Macedonia to assess the level of equity of access to water and sanitation. It also praised Armenia’s 2017 action plan to improve access for the 579 rural communities not serviced by centralised water supplies.
Some 2.1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water with 4.3 billion lacking access to safe sanitation facilities, according to the UN.
Overzealous obedience to this hydration advice has uncovered a dark underbelly to superior hydration practices: overhydration. When high school football player Walker Wilbanks died in Mississippi in August 2014 from overhydration, the doctor said that the cause of death was an “unpredictable freak occurrence.”
Here’s another brilliant little video from the Jimmy Dore Show, which casts further light on the US’ role in spreading the carnage and chaos in Syria. In this clip, the comedian, with his co-hosts Steffi Zamora and Ron Placone, talk about a story which appeared in March, 2016, in the Los Angeles Times. The Pentagon and the CIA are backing different rebel factions in Syria. The Pentagon is backing one bunch as part of their campaign against ISIS, while the CIA is arming another group in order, the paper claimed, to bring Assad to the negotiating table. As Dore points out, this isn’t what the CIA and its government paymasters want. They want to oust Assad altogether. He reminds his viewers how the United States was approached by Saudi Arabia and Qatar several years ago. The two Arab nations offered to pay if America invaded Syria and overthrew Assad…
In the US, July is National Watermelon Month, so named not only because a cool, refreshing slice of watermelon represents the epitome of summer, but also because watermelon harvests peak this month.
Watermelon is now the most-consumed melon in the US (followed by cantaloupe and honeydew). This cousin to cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash is thought to have originated in Egypt close to 5,000 years ago, where it is depicted in hieroglyphics.
Today, upwards of 300 watermelon varieties are grown in the US and Mexico (although only about 50 are popular). You may think you know everything there is to know about this summertime fruit, but allow me to surprise you… watermelon is more than just delicious… it’s a super-healthy addition to your diet (in moderation, of course).
You just need to be careful when eating any melon, including watermelon to follow the advice of Wayne Pickering in my interview. Eat melon alone or leave it alone because it will make your stomach groan. So ideally, no food 30 minutes before or after eating melons.
6 Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You
1. Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes
Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.
Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato). More on why lycopene is so important shortly…
2. Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness
If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.
One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.
You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit, or opt for these other tips to prevent muscle soreness.
3. Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable
Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all). The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…
4. You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds
Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat. Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.
Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.
While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)
5. It’s Mostly Water
This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).
6. Some Watermelon Are Yellow
The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It’s likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.
Lycopene: Watermelon’s Nutritional Claim to Fame
Watermelon is an excellent source of lycopene, with upwards of 6,500 micrograms (6.5 mg) in less than half a cup (the red-fleshed varieties will contain significantly more lycopene than yellow-fleshed watermelon).
Also noteworthy, the lycopene in watermelon appears to be quite stable, with little deterioration occurring even after it’s been cut and stored in the refrigerator for more than two days. In one study, it took about seven days of storage for the lycopene to deteriorate, and then it was only by about 6 percent to 11 percent.
So what makes lycopene so important? Lycopene’s antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. In one study, after controlling for other stroke risk factors, such as older age and diabetes, they found that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest.
A 2014 meta-analysis also revealed that lycopene decreased stroke risk (including stroke occurrence or mortality) by more than 19 percent. In addition to lowering your risk of stroke, lycopene has been shown to have potential anti-cancer activity, likely due to its potent antioxidant properties.
A 2014 meta-analysis of 10 studies also showed that dietary lycopene may protect against the risk of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women. There is also some evidence from animal studies that lycopene may help with cancer treatment as well.
One study found that lycopene treatment reduced the growth of brain tumors while another showed frequent lycopene intake suppressed breast tumor growth in mice.
Watermelon Extract May Significantly Reduce Blood Pressure
New research also highlights the role of watermelon nutrients on heart attack prevention, via a significant reduction in blood pressure. Obese study participants who received citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract had significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress, both while at rest and undergoing a stressful cold-water test. According to the researchers:
“Watermelon supplementation reduced aortic BP [blood pressure] and myocardial oxygen demand during CPT [cold pressor test] and the magnitude of the cold-induced increase in wave reflection in obese adults with hypertension. Watermelon may provide cardioprotection by attenuating cold-induced aortic hemodynamic responses.”
Remember, in your body the citrulline in watermelon is converted into L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. Adequate nitric oxide is required to enable you blood vessels to stay relaxed and open for blood flow, which is one reason why it may help lower blood pressure.
Watermelon for Inflammation, Sexual Health, and More
L-arginine may also help with erectile dysfunction by helping to relax your blood vessels, including those supplying blood to your penis – and that’s why watermelon is sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Viagra.” In fact, citrulline supplementation has been found to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction.
What else is watermelon good for? It’s rich in anti-inflammatory substances. For instance, watermelon contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene as well as cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid, which reduces the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase – the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitors, which include most NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen. While being very low in calories (about 46 calories in a cup), watermelon also contains an impressive variety of other important nutrients in which many Americans are lacking, including:
Cutting into a watermelon and finding out it lacks flavor is disappointing. There’s a trick you can use to pick out a ripe watermelon, either from your farmer’s market or your own melon patch. Look for a pale, buttery-yellow spot (not white or green) on the bottom. This is where the watermelon sits on the ground ripening, and it’s one of the best indicators of ripeness you can use (even commercial watermelon pickers use this as a gauge). Other tricks for picking a ripe watermelon include:
Should be heavy for its size
Smooth rind with a dull top (the top is the side opposite the ground spot)
The thump test (this is controversial, but ripe watermelon is said to have a hollow bass sound)
Store your watermelon in a cool area (50-60 degrees F) until it’s cut. Cut watermelon should be refrigerated (and be sure to wipe off your watermelon with a damp cloth prior to cutting it). Remember, try the rind blended with some lime juice rather than simply tossing it in the trash (choose an organic watermelon especially if you’ll be eating the rind). Finally, watermelon should be enjoyed in moderation due to its fructose content. One-sixteenth of a medium watermelon contains 11.3 grams of fructose (I recommend keeping your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day if you’re in good health, and below 15 grams a day if you’re overweight or have high blood pressure or diabetes).
This article was brought to you by Dr. Mercola, aNew York Times bestselling author. For more helpful articles, please visit Mercola.com today and receive your FREE Take Control of Your Health E-book! ………….’
Water makes up around 80 percent of a dog’s body and its consumption is essential for optimum health, but how much is enough and is there such thing as too much?
Looking after an animal is a great responsibility as they’re dependent on us for their every need. We tend to assume that as long as we provide our dogs with a water bowl they will drink the amount they need, but unfortunately this is not always true as some dogs are under-hydrated, while others drink too much and are over-hydrated.
Water’s Vital Role in the Body
Water is the basis of life as it hydrates, nourishes and cleanses the body. While your dog can survive for a long time without food, incorrect water consumption can be seriously damaging to the body, and in a relatively short period of time just a 10 percent drop in hydration can be fatal.
From mental alertness and ease of breathing, to optimum digestion and bowel movements, every metabolic process in a dog’s body will be affected by their level of hydration
Blood flow takes oxygen around the body and removes toxins, and poor hydration can lead to a buildup of toxins in the muscles and organs, causing a huge array of health issues. Dogs regulate their heat by panting, and this heavy breath causes a lot of moisture to leave the body, very quickly on a hot day when they’ve been exercising.
Lack of water can result in dehydration, organ failure, and kidney stones or other urinary tract problems, but apart from these direct health issues, lack of water consumption can be an indicator of existing problems.
Water Consumption Can Be a Health Indicator
Dogs who are not drinking enough water or who have an insatiable thirst could be displaying signs of more serious health problems, which is why it’s essential to keep a close eye on their drinking habits.
Dogs with illnesses such as parvovirus, pancreatitis and leptospirois (as well as many others) do not tend to drink much water, so if you notice that your dog is barely drinking anything, it may be worth taking them for a check up. On the flip side, dogs with bladder infections, diabetes and Cushing’s disease (among others), are often extremely thirsty and can be observed drinking excessive amounts of water.
While it’s important to watch out for how much your dog is drinking, it’s also important to keep things in perspective with their other behaviors, temperature conditions and so on, so that you don’t become overly worried every time your dog has a big drink of water!
So How Much Water Does Your Dog Need?
A dog’s water needs vary from breed to breed, and also depending on size, age, diet, activity level and environmental conditions.
Your dog’s diet will play a big role in the amount of water that they need to consume, as dogs eating solely dry biscuits will be getting significantly less hydration from their food than those on moisture rich diets.
During the hot weather, if your dog is very thirsty after a long walk or play session, it’s a good idea to let them rehydrate over a period of time rather than letting them guzzle down too much water at once. If they finish all the water in their bowl, wait for half an hour before refilling it so that they have time to rest and digest. You can also help keep them hydrated during their exercise time by giving them access to water, little and often is best.
To test whether your dog may be dehydrated, you can lift the skin on the back of the neck and watch to see how quickly it returns to its normal position. If it forms a sort of tent, and doesn’t fall back into place immediately, then your dog may be dehydrated.
Nobody knows your dog better than you, and by keeping a close eye on your dog’s behaviour you can tell if they are happy and healthy, or if they’re showing signs of dehydration or illness. Monitoring their water intake should be a part of your behavior observation as it can tell you a lot about their health and wellness. ………’