Do your genes make you susceptible to colds?
Do you ever feel like you’re always sick? Or every time there 's a cold going around, you always catch it? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have found that there may be an genetic explanation for your tendency to catch colds.
The scientists found that the length of telomeres - protective cap-like protein complexes at the ends of chromosomes – may predict susceptibility to an upper respiratory infection during young adulthood into midlife. There was no correlation between telomere length and disease susceptibility in patients under 21 and telomere length stopped being an appropriate indicator around age 55.
The study found that the length of telomeres changes with age, indicating that this age window provides the most accurate view of functionality. Shorter telomeres have also been associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer in older adults.
The study also found that the presence of a specific white blood cell - a CD8CD28- T-cytolytic cell -may also serve as an accurate predictor of cold and infection.
Sourced from: Science Daily, Biological Marker Predicts Susceptibility to Common Cold
Political ideology predicted by brain scans
In today’s hyper-political climate, political affiliation can say a lot about a person, ranging from values and religious affiliations to education level and geographic location. Now, researchers from the University of Exeter (UK) have taken a scientific approach to gauge a person’s political leaning. By using brain scans, scientists were able to see how the brain processes a situation, and they say the brains of people of different political ideologies react differently.
In the experiment, participants were presented with a gambling game, and the way their brains responded to risk largely reflected their party affiliations. Though the Republicans and Democrats did not show a difference in how much risk was assumed during the game, different parts of the brain were activated during the game. For those who said they were Republicans, the parts of the brain associated with risk, reward and fear were activated; for the Democrats, it was the parts of the brain dedicated to emotion and internal body cues.
The researchers said they were able to predict the political ideology of the participant in 82.9 percent of situations.
Sourced from: Live Science, Brain Scans Can Predict Your Political Ideology
Healthy diet, healthy sleep
It has long been said “you are what you eat,” and now, apparently, you sleep how you eat? According to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, sleep patterns and diet are closely linked. People who eat the healthiest diets are also those who have the healthiest sleep patterns.
The study separated participants into three groups: those who got very little sleep (under five hours per night), a healthy amount of sleep (seven to eight hours) and those who slept longer (nine or more hours per night). From these groups, people were surveyed about their daily diets.
The short sleepers were found to consume the most calories, followed by the normal sleepers. The normal sleepers showed the most variety in their diets, while diet diversity was lowest in the short sleep group. Short sleepers also consumed less water and had lower vitamin C intake, among other nutrient deficiencies in their diets.
The researchers feel that this study could be important to studying obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a variety of other conditions.
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Healthy Sleep, Healthy Diet: Sleep Pattern Linked To Variety Of Food Intake