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Mon, 09 Dec 2019
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Breastfeeding 'aids class status'

Babies who are breastfed are more likely to move up the social ladder as adults, a study has suggested.

The University of Bristol team looked at 1,400 babies born from 1937-1939 and followed their progress for 60 years.

Those who were breastfed were 41% more likely to move up in class than those who were bottle-fed.

Experts said the Archives of Disease in Childhood study supported the idea that breastfeeding led to better long-term outcomes for children.

Question

Implants era: Inner ear implant may bring balance back

People who have lost their sense of balance could one day be fitted with an inner ear implant modelled on the body's own balance organs, say researchers.

Current designs are successful in animals, but two new studies promise a smaller, more accurate device, with a longer battery life - the crucial prerequisites for use in humans.

The sense of balance is controlled by the vestibular portion of the inner ear. It keeps track of the motion and position of the head using three fluid-filled hoops, called semicircular canals. These sit at perpendicular angles to each other. When the head rotates quickly in a certain direction, the fluid in the corresponding hoop pushes against a membrane, bending hair cells that trigger a nerve. The nerve sends the information to the brain which tells the eyes to adjust.

Heart

Afternoon naps may boost heart health

The next health trend might come out of nursery school instead of the gym: A study of nearly 24,000 people found that those who regularly took midday naps were nearly 40% less likely to die from heart disease than non-nappers.

Researchers suggest that siestas might protect the heart by lowering levels of stress hormones.

Dimitrios Trichopoulos at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, US, and colleagues recruited about 24,000 volunteers between the ages of 20 and 86, in Greece, who had no history of heart disease, stroke or cancer. The researchers collected information about the participants' napping habits and followed them for six years, on average.

Health

No sleep means no new brain cells

Missing out on sleep may cause the brain to stop producing new cells, a study has suggested.

The work on rats, by a team from Princeton University found a lack of sleep affected the hippocampus, a brain region involved in forming memories.

The research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed a stress hormone causes the effect.

Roses

Valentine Roses Hit With Toxic Chemicals

Bogota, Colombia - It's probably the last thing most people think about when buying roses _ by the time the bright, velvety flowers reach your Valentine, they will have been sprayed, rinsed and dipped in a battery of potentially lethal chemicals.

Most of the toxic assault takes place in the waterlogged savannah surrounding the capital of Colombia, the world's second-largest cut-flower producer after the Netherlands. It produces 62 percent of all flowers sold in the United States.

X

More Reasons to Avoid Potato Chips

One of our readers works with a company that converts used vegetable oils to biodiesel fuel. He read the potato chip article in the January 20 newsletter. His inside information will make you want to avoid potato chips even more.


Health

U.S. Says Autism Rate 1 in 150

About one in 150 American children has autism, U.S. health officials said Thursday, calling the troubling disorder an urgent public health concern that is more common than they had thought.

Comment: Based on the incomplete population sampling, and avoidance of the thimerosal issue, one might just think this article is 'shying away' from the truth, and that things are much worse than stated.

A 2005 article by Robert Kennedy, Jr. entitled Autism, Mercury and Politics begins with: "MOUNTING EVIDENCE suggests that Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in children's vaccines, may be responsible for the exponential growth of autism, attention deficit disorder, speech delays, and other childhood neurological disorders now epidemic in the United States." The entire article is linked.



Magnify

Repressed memories a recent development?

The idea of repressed memory - when traumatic events are wiped from a person's conscious memory but resurface years later - has had a chequered past. Some have cited it as evidence in court, yet others dismiss it as nothing more than psychiatric folklore.

A new study adds a literary layer of evidence to the debate. To see how long the idea of repressed memories have been around, a group of psychologists and literature scholars turned to historical writings.

Health

Autism-like disorder 'reversible'

The symptoms of a severe brain disorder similar to autism, which affects around 10,000 UK children, could be reversed, scientists believe.

A team at Edinburgh University made symptoms of Rett syndrome disappear in mice by activating a single gene, the magazine Science reports.

The condition, which mainly affects girls, was previously thought to be irrevocable.

Chess

Smart Strategy: Think of the Brain as a Muscle

Students who are told they can get smarter if they train their brains to be stronger, like a muscle, do better in school, a new psychology study shows.

Many people have various theories about the nature of intelligence. Some view it as a fixed trait, while others see intelligence as a quality that can develop and expand.

These ideas have can have a profound effect on the motivation to learn, said researcher Carol Dweck, a child and social psychologist at Stanford University.