Some Recent Scientific Studies

As you may have guessed, I love science. I thought I'd share some studies that have been recently published that seem interesting.

First, we'll start with Norway. They took a novel approach to dealing with staph infections. They drastically reduced their use of antibiotics. Some time ago I talked a bit about refraining from using antibacterial soaps which are harmful to you and those you love. Anyway, Norway is now the most infection-free country in the world. And they did it by reducing their use of antibiotics.

Midday Naps boost your learning capacity! Good news for those of us able to catch a few ZZZ's during the day. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that an hour's nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power. Indeed, the findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can make you smarter.

Few professionals keep current with what's going on in their field. This is disturbing but not surprising.

Nanotechnology creates a way to cheaply and efficiently make lightweight paper and fabric batteries, store energy, and still be stretchable!  (I love me some nanotech)  These are known as eTextiles. Imagine energy-storing wallpaper, charging your portables on the go by plugging them into your shirt. How about moving display clothing, high performance sportswear and wearable power for soldiers? Groovy!

Biogas may be even better than previously thought. Biogas from refuse produces 95 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, according to a new research report. With a few simple improvements to the biogas plants, the figure can rise to 120 per cent -- i.e. biogas becomes more than climate neutral. This can be compared with the standard figures used today, which indicate that biogas produces 80 per cent lower emissions than gasoline.

An inexpensive, fast, accurate DNA test that reveals a person's risk of developing certain diseases is expected to become a reality. Scientists have developed a method of pinpointing variations in a person's genetic code at critical points along the DNA chain. The technique could be used to analyze DNA in a drop of saliva.

While research over the past couple of years is showing that taking vitamins may be more harmful than beneficial (get your nutrients in your food!), a large survey study finds that middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D.

More about Vitamin D:Vitamin D is quickly becoming the "it" nutrient with health benefits for diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and now diabetes.

How about this? Scorpion venom could be an alternative to morphine, with no side effects!

Routine Driving, even for experienced drivers, increases the chances of accidents. The findings of the study show that the brain is more active and reacts more along unfamiliar routes. When the test persons became familiar with the routes, the activity of their brains became less; this was the case for both the experienced and inexperienced drivers. This means that drivers drive on familiar routes without consciously orientating themselves.

A Brain-controlled cursor doubles as a neural network. Scientists have found that watching a cursor respond to one's thoughts prompts brain signals to become stronger than those generated in day-to-day life. The finding holds promise for rehabilitating patients after stroke or other neurological damage. It also suggests that a human brain could quickly become adept at manipulating an external device such as a computer interface or a prosthetic limb.

So there you go, some recent random studies from the scientific world.

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