Silk can keep fruits fresh without refrigeration
Wrapping fruits in silk fibre can prolong the freshness of the fruits by slowing fruit respiration and preventing decay, without the need for refrigeration, a US study suggests. Researchers from Tufts University dipped freshly picked strawberries in a solution of 1% silk fibroin protein four times. After the coating was crystallised, the strawberries were stored at room temperature. After seven days, the berries coated with the silk sheet were still juicy and firm while the uncoated berries had dried up and lost colour. Silk contains an insoluble protein called fibroin, which can stabilize and protect other materials. The study was published in journal Scientific Reports. Read more here.
A few minutes of light exercise can help diabetes patients
People suffering from diabetes and leading a sedentary lifestyle can benefit by doing light exercises for a few minutes every half an hour, an Australian study claims. Researchers from Diabetes Institute in Melbourne enlisted 24 overweight and obese adults with diabetes and conducted a series of tests after putting them through three minutes of walking or resistance exercises like squats and raising leg every 30 minutes. Brief walking and resistance exercises led to considerable reduction in blood sugar, insulin and c-peptide. Resistance exercise was to be quite effective in controlling elevated triglycerides levels. The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care. Read more here.
Reading on smartphones can change how you think
People who use tablets and laptops for reading are more likely to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly, a US study suggests. Researchers from Dartmouth College hired 300 individuals in the age group of 20 to 24 years. Participants were asked to read a short story on paper or on a laptop, and were asked to take a pop-quiz and comprehension test. Participants reading on PC scored better than the other group. But when the participants were asked to read a table of information about four Japanese car models on either a laptop or paper and select which car model is superior, 66% of those using paper gave the correct answer compared to 43% of those using the digital platform. Read more here.
Most instinctive friendships are often one-sided
When it comes to deciding who your real friends are, thinking objectively can be more reliable than going with one’s instincts, an Israeli study suggest. Researchers from Tel Aviv University in collaboration with researchers Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined six surveys involving 600 students from Israel, Europe and the US. They developed an algorithm to examine several objective features of a perceived friendship and were able to differentiate between unidirectional or reciprocal friendship. About 95% of participants thought that their relationships were reciprocal. But when they were matched up in the bidirectional friendship category, only 50% reciprocated the friendship.
The study was published in the journal PLoS One. Read more here.
Children prefer fries to apple even if apple is the default side dish
The notion that offering healthy food as an alternative can encourage children to choose them over fries is not true, a US study shows. Researchers from Cornell Food and Brand Lab served chicken nuggets from a fast food restaurant to 15 children in the age group of 6-8 years. Half of the children were given fries with their meal and told they could exchange them for apples. The other half were given apples and told they could exchange them for fries. Even when the default side was apples, 86.7% of the children opted to swap them for fries. The study was published in BMC Research Notes. Read more here.
Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar