I was fascinated by the article “Sweet confusion” (SN: 6/1/13, p. 22) about the ambiguous health effects of high fructose corn syrup. I was surprised, however, to find little mention of taste, flavor and satiety. I can clearly recall from my childhood the satisfaction from a bottle of Coca-Cola. The transition in America in the 1970s from sucrose to corn syrup as a sweetener in soft drinks was brought home to me in my travels to Central America in the ’80s and ’90s, where cane sugar was still used as a sweetener. Drink a soft drink with cane sugar and you are satisfied. Satiety is the key to the obesity epidemic.
Art Vaughn, Warren, Ohio
Vast quantities of high fructose corn syrup have been added to our diet. Is it safe? After reading the article, I think not. Don’t you think it’s up to the industry to prove to us that it is safe?
Robert Antonucci, Santa Barbara, Calif.
I especially liked the following two sentences in Erin Wayman’s article “Maybe Earth’s chlorine blew away” (SN: 6/1/13, p. 14): “The composition of ancient meteorites, which are remnants of the raw materials that built the planets, indicates that Earth should have 10 times as much chlorine as it does. The missing chlorine has perplexed scientists for decades.” I had no idea that this was an outstanding question, and I was pleased to learn of it. It seems to me that knowing the unresolved questions in a given field is as important as knowing the latest findings.
Leslie Houk, Houston, Texas
Congrats from longtime reader
I have been a regular reader of Science News for, perhaps, 65 years. There is something of interest to me in every issue! However, the June 15 issue achieved a new high: There was nothing in this issue that did not fascinate me. My compliments to everyone at Science News. I am looking forward to your next issue and many more to follow.
Warren Offutt, via e-mail
The article “Memory training questioned” (SN: 6/15/13, p. 12) notes the difficulty of evaluating the results of long-term memory training. There might be an abundance of data available in those who have learned musical instruments. Most classical musicians memorize dozens of scales and chords, plus long pieces for performance. Most have siblings with little or no musical training, and musicians come from almost all social groupings. The test groups may be sitting there waiting.
Ivan Mann, via e-mail