Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

Can’t wake up early? Blame those genes

Learning two or more languages makes a child smarter and use of deodorant can kill healthy microbes living in the skin that fights pathogens studies and research tips for a healthier you

Deodorants and antiperspirant kills good microbes in skin

Using deodorant and antiperspirant can kill microbes like Corynebacteria or Staphylococcaceae living in human skin and are considered good for health, a study suggests. Researchers recruited 17 people and took their swabs from armpits between 11am and 1pm every day for eight days. On day one, participants followed their normal routine related to deodorant or antiperspirant use. From second day to the sixth day, participants did not use any deodorant or antiperspirant. On the seventh and eighth day they were asked to use antiperspirant. The researchers then cultured all the samples and found that, on the first day, people using antiperspirant had fewer microbes in their samples than people who didn’t use product at all. On sixth day, the level of bacteria for all participants was similar. On seventh and eighth day, very few microbes were found on any of the participants. The study was published in the journal PeerJ. Read more here.

Waking up in morning is due to genes

Waking up early is not just a matter of habit but also affected by a person’s DNA. Scientists identified 15 genetic variants found in the human genome responsible for morningness. The scientists looked at the genomes of 90,000 people, who had submitted their DNA in saliva samples and took part in two separate surveys that asked the same question: Are you a morning or an evening person? Their findings showed that genetic patterns between morning and night people were different. People who had more of the 15 genetic variants were 5 to 25% more likely to be a morning person. These people were less likely to need more than 8 hours of sleep, sweat while sleeping, or walk during sleep. The study was published in Nature Communications. Read more here.

Children speaking two languages are smarter

Bilingual children are smarter than children who speak only one language, a study suggests. Researchers from Concordia University found this through a test where the bilinguals performed much better. The ability to speak two languages strengthens cognitive flexibility and selective attention as the speaker has more experience in switching between languages. The researchers measured the vocabularies of 39 bilingual children and 43 monolingual children at the age of two, and again after seven months. During the second assessment, the researchers gave the young participants a series of tasks to test their cognitive flexibility and memory skills. The bilingual group handled conflict inhibition better than those who spoke only one language. Conflict inhibition is mental process of overriding a well learned rule that you would normally pay attention to. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Read more here.

Being tall is good for heart but it can also up cancer risk

Taller people are less likely to have cardiovascular issues or diabetes but the risk of cancer can be high in them, a German study claims. Height has an important impact on mortality from certain common diseases, irrespective of body fat. Researchers from University of Tübingen found that every addition of 6.5 cm in height means 6% decline in mortality from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, but an increase in cancer mortality by 4%. They feel availability of better diet is the reason why people are taller. However, it can, certain systems like IGF-1/2 which makes the body more sensitive to insulin action and thus reduces risk of hearts issues and diabetes in taller people. Researchers suspect the activation of IGF-1/2 is the reason for increase risk of cancer. The study was published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Read more here.

Heathy sex life in old age is good for brain

Healthy sex life in old age can help keep the brain healthy, a British study suggests. To study the effect of hormones on brain and how it effects cognitive functions in older men and women, researchers from Coventry University examined responses of 6,800 adults to a survey. The adults were in the age group of 50-89 years and they had also volunteered for tests to measure their cognitive abilities after the survey. The survey asked the respondents about their sex life.

Those who answered in the affirmative were found to be more physically active, less depressed and lonely. When the survey results were combined with the findings of the cognitive tests, it was found that those who had an active sex life had better scores too. The study appeared in the journal Age and Ageing. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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