1) The Federal Trade Commission cracks down on shady weight-loss companies.
The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on supposed weight-loss companies that peddle quick "miracle" weight-loss products. Last week the commission charged four companies for fraud, claiming they misled consumers with bogus scientific claims. Neither affirming or denying the allegations, the companies will nevertheless pay $34 million back to their customers. The hunt for deception in the weight-loss market is expected to continue, with the commission urging the media not to endorse or carry advertisements of any suspected shady dealers. [NYTimes]
2) The first plastic cell makes its debut.
Chemists at the Institute for Molecules and Materials have developed a plastic cell that has working organelles. Although the synthetic version won't serve any immediate medical purpose, it may help provide key insights into the origins of life. [ScienceDaily]
3) What makes booze, booze?
The U.S. Trade Department is looking to clear up the shifting identity of the liquor market by calling in for inspection any product that could possibly be considered an alcoholic beverage. The department will test (not by taste, of course), all possible beverages to deem whether or not their labels are misleading and compile a comprehensive list of all the alcohol currently available in the country. [NYTimes]
4) Strategies for sticking to that resolution have now been scientifically tested. Researchers from Loughborough University have found that four strategies are key to keeping your fitness resolution alive.
1. Keep a diary about your daily activity.
2. Be held accountable for meeting your goals with a third party (friends, family, support group, or professional expert).
3. Look over your diary and reflect over successes and failures.
4. Create mini-goals that will lead up to the larger one.
Good luck to you. [ScienceDaily]