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Science

Using Infrared Cameras To Find Tastiness of Beef 108

JoshuaInNippon writes "Might we one day be able to use our cell phone cameras to pick out the best piece of meat on display at the market? Some Japanese researchers seem to hope so. A team of scientists is using infrared camera technology to try and determine the tastiest slices of high-grade Japanese beef. The researchers believe that the levels of Oleic acid found within the beef strongly affect the beef's tenderness, smell, and overall taste. The infrared camera can be tuned to pick out the Oleic acid levels through a whole slab, a process that would be impossible to do with the human eye. While the accuracy is still relatively low — a taste test this month resulted in only 60% of participants preferring beef that was believed to have had a higher level of Oleic acid — the researchers hope to fine tune the process for market testing by next year."
Earth

Great White Sharks Visiting San Francisco 105

Ponca City, We love you writes "Juliet Eilperin writes in the Washington Post that while for years, humans have thought of great white sharks as wandering the sea at random, only occasionally venturing close to shore, it turns out we were wrong. Scientists lured 179 great white sharks to their boat with a carpet decoy designed to look like a seal, and used a lance to attach satellite tags with the aid of 2.3-inch titanium darts to track the sharks and discovered that Pacific white sharks spend months near the northern and central California coast between August and February, foraging among elephant seals, sea lions, and other prey. The sharks were spotted as far inland as the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, east of the Golden Gate Bridge. 'It shows you how wild it is off our West Coast of North America. This is Yellowstone,' says Stanford University marine sciences professor Barbara A. Block. The fact that 'a major concentration' of great whites can ignore humans 'shows us the sharks are really minding their own business. The number of interactions with people is very small, considering,' says Salvador J. Jorgensen."
Space

Cassini 'Tastes' Organic Material at Enceladus 70

Riding with Robots writes "As previously reported, the robotic spacecraft Cassini recently flew through the mysterious geyser plumes at Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. Today, NASA released the preliminary results of the flyby, including some intriguing findings, such as organic materials 20 times denser than expected and relatively high temperatures along the fissures where the geysers emanate. 'These spectacular new data will really help us understand what powers the geysers. The surprisingly high temperatures make it more likely that there's liquid water not far below the surface,' said one mission scientist."

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