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Your old toothbrush is NOT a danger, claim scientists as they dismiss link to illnesses.

May 05, 2013 - Tags:

A new study presented on Saturday challenges the assumption that an old toothbrush can carry germs that cause illnesses.

A team of experts at the University of Texas Medical Branch were unable to find any strep germs on more than a dozen toothbrushes used by children with strep throat.

However, those researchers did find potentially harmful germs on two brand-new toothbrushes right out the package.

Who Sleeps Better at Night?

Jun 06, 2012 - Tags:

Couples may get health benefits simply from sleeping in the same bed, a burgeoning field of study is showing. In fact, some scientists believe that sleeping with a partner may be a major reason why people with close relationships tend to be in better health and live longer.

The new research runs counter to studies that show women don't sleep as well with a partner and both men and women move around more when sleeping together. Other bed battles that interrupt couples' sleep include sheet-stealing and differing bedtimes and room-temperature preferences.

Sleep experts suggest there are ways to address these couple-sleep problems—without resorting to separate bedrooms.

"Sleep is a critically important health behavior that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric well-being," says Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. "It happens to be this health behavior that we do in couples," she says. In one of Dr. Troxel's studies, published in 2009, women in long-term stable relationships fell asleep more quickly and woke up less during the night than single women or women who lost or gained a partner during the six to eight years of the study.

Source : Wall Street Journal : Read the whole story here:

It’s His Immune System That You Actually Want to Sleep With

Feb 24, 2012 - Tags:

We've always assumed it was men's sexy faces, toned bodies, and feminist sensibilities that we women lusted after, but it turns out we might just have the hots for their immune systems. A powerful immune system might not sound as enticing as six pack abs, but in the long run it's probably more important. So it makes a fair amount of sense that we'd have developed a radar for who's body can defend itself, and a new study has found we rely largely on testosterone levels to tell who's healthiest.

Researchers from Abertay University in the U.K. recruited 74 Latvian men in their early 20s. They gave them a Hepatitis B vaccine, which triggers the immune system to create antibodies to fight the virus, and they took blood samples right before and one month after the first dose of the vaccine was given. They measured antibody levels, as well as levels of testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol. The researchers also showed photographs of each man to 94 Latvian women, who were also in their early 20s, and had them rate the pictures on a 10-point scale of attractiveness.

After analyzing the men's immune response and hormone levels in connection with their attractiveness score, researchers concluded that high testosterone correlated with both sexy faces and a strong immune response. It's not surprising, really, that women would find the more testosterone-y (that sounds like a pizza topping) faces more attractive, since that tends to come along with more masculine facial features—and who doesn't love a macho man? (Except all of the people who don't love a macho man.)

Source : Jezebel : Read the whole story here.

The myth of the eight-hour sleep

Feb 23, 2012 - Tags:

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.

It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.

Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.

In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.

Source : BBC News Magazine : Read the whole story here.

Aging of Eyes Is Blamed for Range of Health Woes

Feb 21, 2012 - Tags:

For decades, scientists have looked for explanations as to why certain conditions occur with age, among them memory loss, slower reaction time, insomnia and even depression. They have scrupulously investigated such suspects as high cholesterolobesity, heart disease and an inactive lifestyle.

Now a fascinating body of research supports a largely unrecognized culprit: the aging of the eye.

The gradual yellowing of the lens and the narrowing of the pupil that occur with age disturb the body’s circadian rhythm, contributing to a range of health problems, these studies suggest. As the eyes age, less and less sunlight gets through the lens to reach key cells in the retina that regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, its internal clock.

“We believe the effect is huge and that it’s just beginning to be recognized as a problem,” said Dr. Patricia Turner, an ophthalmologist in Leawood, Kan., who with her husband, Dr. Martin Mainster, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Kansas Medical School, has written extensively about the effects of the aging eye on health.

Source : New York Times : Read the full article here.

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