Can clenching fists improve memory?
Believe it or not, scientists at Montclair State University in New Jersey say their research suggests that clenching your fists can actually help your memory. And they don’t stop there. They contend that each clenched fist has a different benefit–clenching your right fist for 90 seconds can help with memory formation, while clenching your left fist improves memory recall.
The study involved 50 right-handed adults who were given a list of words to learn, and were then divided into five groups. One group clenched their right fist for 90 seconds before memorizing the list of words, then clenched the right fist again before recalling the words. Group 2 carried out the same test, but with their left hands. The third and fourth groups clenched one hand prior to learning the words, then the opposite hands when recollecting the information. The final group did not clench their fists at all.
The results indicated that the group that clenched their right fists during memorization and their left during recollection performed the best on recall tests as compared to the other groups.
Past research indicates that hand right-hand clenching activates the left side of the brain and is associated with happiness, while left-hand clenching activates the right side of the brain and is associated with sadness. Scientists acknowledged, however, that the field could use more research, including brain scans while clenching fists to track blood flow within the brain.
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Sourced from: BBC News, Clenching fists ‘can improve memory’
Closed windows increases infection risk
Sufficient air flow may be a key to reducing infections in hospitals, according to new research from the University of Leeds in England. The report found that air flow in traditional hospital wards has the potential to dramatically lower the risk of infection.
The researchers used a combination of computer modeling and experiments to map the passage of air and germs. The experiments utilized balloons filled with carbon dioxide to represent an airborne pathogen. When the balloons were popped, tracers were used to track its flow through hospital wards. Smoke sticks were also used to track the passage of air and wind streams.
The results indicated that while more modern wards have accounted for air flow dynamics, older sections of hospitals may require windows to be opened to ensure appropriate ventilation. When the windows were closed and didn’t provide alternative ventilation, risk of infection could go up fourfold, according to the researchers.
The study found that using “little extractor fans” – like those found in your bathroom at home – were also very helpful in increasing air flow.
These findings could be useful both in hospitals with older wards and in household settings, where collections of germs could extend the life of an infection or spread it to other inhabitants.
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Sourced from: BBC News, Closing hospital windows ‘increases infection risk’
A soda a day can increase diabetes risk
It may not seem like much, but, according to a study at Imperial College in London, just one can of sugary soda a day can significantly increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Researchers concluded that drinking a single 12-ounce sugar-sweetened drink every day may increase the risk by as much as 22 percent. .
This study observed 28,000 people using data from eight existing studies across eight European countries. When total energy intake and BMI of the participants were accounted for, the figure fell from 22 percent to 18 percent increased risk. The results indicate that risk of type 2 diabetes goes beyond simply a sugary drink’s effect on body weight. Similar studies conducted with North American participants reflected a 25 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes for each daily soft drink consumed.
This study also looked at the effects of pure fruit juice and nectar consumption, finding that this was not associated with increased risk of diabetes, though it was difficult to definitively make that statement given the challenge of identifying fruit juices with added sugar, as opposed to those that were 100 percent fruit juice.
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Sourced from: Science Daily, Drinking One 12-Ounce Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drink a Day Can Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 22 Percent, Study Suggests