There is a strong link between heavy internet use and depression, UK psychologists have said.
The study, reported in the journal Psychopathology, found 1.2% of people surveyed were “internet addicts”, and many of these were depressed.
The authors found that a small number of users had developed a compulsive internet habit, replacing real life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites.
They classed 18 respondents – 1.2% of the total – as “internet addicts”. This group spent proportionately more time on sex, gambling and online community websites.
The internet addicts were significantly more depressed than the non-addicted group, with a depression score five times higher.
Lead author Dr Catriona Morrison said: “The internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side. While many of us use the internet to pay bills, shop and send e-mails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities.”
Sophie Corlett, of the mental health charity Mind, said: “Evidence suggests that active pursuits such as exercise and socialising with people face-to-face are among the factors that help us stay in good mental health. Although excessive internet use can’t be said to cause mental health problems, if a web addict is substituting meaningful friendships and socialising with virtual contact on the internet, this might have an adverse affect on their mental wellbeing.”
Are you one of them?
I’m sure by now you’ve read everywhere that loneliness is quite contagious and that it can spread from one person to another like a virus. Well that’s old news for now; because another team of researchers have found that loneliness makes cancer both more likely and deadly.
Previously, scientists believed that loneliness is a social phenomenon that exists within a society and can spread through it, from person to person, like a disease. And while everyone feels lonely once in a while, for some it becomes a persistent condition, one that has been associated with more serious psychological ills like depression, sleep dysfunction, high blood pressure and even an increased risk of dementia in older age. Series of studies showed that emotional states and behaviors — including happiness, obesity and quitting smoking — can propagate like a wave throughout a network of people.
If one person reported feeling lonely at one evaluation, his closest connections (either family or close friends) were 52% more likely to also report feeling lonely two years later. The effect was strongest among those in close relationships, waning as the connections became more distant, but remained significant up to three degrees of separation — in other words, one lonely person could influence whether his friend’s friend’s friend felt lonely.
Having said that, now; Work in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows social isolation tips the odds in favour of aggressive cancer growth.
Rodents kept alone developed more tumours – and tumours of a more deadly type – than rats living as a group. The researchers put it down to stress and say the same may well be true in humans.
Good news is: cancer experts say more work is needed to prove such a link in people!
Traditionally however, doctors already know that cancer patients who are depressed tend to fare worse in terms of survival. And previous research has suggested that social support can improve health outcomes for patients with breast cancer. And now in this latest study, the researchers found that isolation and stress trebled the risk of breast cancer in the naturally sociable Norway rats.
Source: Time and BBC
Scientists have proved that it is possible for a mother’s cancer cells to be passed to her unborn child.
There are very rare cases where a mother and child appear to share the same cancer, but in theory the child’s immune system should block the cancer.
However, an analysis by a British-led team of one such case shows the cells which caused leukaemia in the child could only have come from the mother. Whether it is possible for a mother to “infect” her unborn child with cancer has puzzled scientists for 100 years.
In theory any cancer cells that manage to cross the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream should be targeted for destruction by the child’s immune system. But there are records of 17 cases of a mother and baby appearing to share the same cancer – usually leukaemia or melanoma.
The researchers used an advanced genetic fingerprinting technique to prove that the leukaemia cells found in the baby had originated from the mother. Next, the researchers examined how the cancer cells could have neutralised the baby’s immune system. They found that the cancer cells lacked some DNA which played a crucial role in giving them their own specific molecular identity. Without this telltale molecular sign, the child’s immune system was unable to recognise the cells as foreign, and thus was not mobilised to attack them.
Researchers are divided on whether radiation from cellphones pose health risks or not. Now, one nonprofit organization adds some hard data to the argument: the radiation emission profiles of more than 1,200 cell phone models. The data won’t resolve the debate, but does give concrete information to consumers to help them make their buying decisions.
Indeed, this interesting database contains up to some 1,200 phone models from all makers and the radiation amount emitted. Check it out yourself, and you might just be shocked to know how strong your phone’s radiation emission could be.
Head over to EWG‘s site to know more.
A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby, a children’s rights group said Monday.
Fawziya Ammodi struggled for three days in labor, before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday, said the Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Children.
“Although the cause of her death was lack of medical care, the real case was the lack of education in Yemen and the fact that child marriages keep happening,” said Seyaj President Ahmed al-Qureshi.
Born into an impoverished family in Hodeidah, Fawziya was forced to drop out of school and married off to a 24-year-old man last year, al-Qureshi said.
Child brides are commonplace in Yemen, especially in the Red Sea Coast where tribal customs hold sway. Hodeidah is the fourth largest city in Yemen and an important port. More than half of all young Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18 — many times to older men, some with more than one wife, a study by Sanaa University found.
Note: The image above is generic – not the photo of the deceased girl.
A new study links small doses of the popular artificial sweetener aspartame to leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer in rats.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it will review the data, but will not rush to judgment on the sweetener, which can be found in the sugar substitutes Equal and NutraSweet, as well as in diet sodas and food.
The study followed a group of 4,000 rats who were given low daily doses of aspartame (comparable to what a dedicated human diet soda drinker might consume) beginning during “prenatal” life, according to a report in the Consumerist.com. The rats were dissected after natural death and the effects of the aspartame calculated.
Source: Fox News
This is good news to those who love to swear! But then again, I’m not encouraging anyone to go around using bad language.
Well this all about health reasons, especially against pain. Apparently, scientists have discovered that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain. Not an alternative to pain killers of course! This refers to sudden and temporary pain, say during an injection.
The study, published today in the journal NeuroReport, measured how long college students could keep their hands immersed in cold water. During the chilly exercise, they could repeat an expletive of their choice or chant a neutral word. When swearing, the 67 student volunteers reported less pain and on average endured about 40 seconds longer.
Although cursing is notoriously decried in the public debate, researchers are now beginning to question the idea that the phenomenon is all bad. “Swearing is such a common response to pain that there has to be an underlying reason why we do it,” says psychologist Richard Stephens of Keele University in England, who led the study. And indeed, the findings point to one possible benefit: “I would advise people, if they hurt themselves, to swear,” he adds. Funny, but true.
Note this: There is a catch, though: The more we swear, the less emotionally potent the words become, Stephens cautions. And without emotion, all that is left of a swearword is the word itself, unlikely to soothe anyone’s pain.
Click here to read more on Do You %#$*ing Swear? Apparently It’s Good for Pain!
Cutting daily calorie intake by 30 percent may put the brakes on the aging process, have beneficial effects on the brain, and result in a longer life span, according to a new 20-year study of monkeys published in the journal Science.
Now, you might just brush this off because they were not conducted on us, humans; but remember, monkeys are the nearest primates to us, Homo Sapiens. And by and large, the effects would be pretty similar on both sides.
At the start of the study, the researchers analyzed how much the monkeys were eating and then cut the calories by 10 percent each month for three months in the calorie-restricted group. The other monkeys were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. The calorie-restricted monkeys preserved volume in areas of their brain that have been linked to motor control, memory, and problem-solving.
“The new study shows the effects of calorie restriction in primates that are closely related to humans,” says lead researcher Ricki Colman, Ph.D., an associate scientist at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, in Madison. “Monkeys in the calorie-restricted group are more likely to live healthier, longer.” The oldest monkey in the study is now 29. This species has an average lifespan of 27 when in captivity.
Click here to read more on Cutting Your Daily Calories = Slower Aging Process?
Audi is celebrating its 100th anniversary this coming 16 July, with a grand 4-day celebration in Germany. With various concerts and gala events, this celebration is expected to draw thousands of visitors and VIPs from all around the world. Apart from the mystery model launch on the 16th, there would be a grand philharmonic concert open to the public as well. And I guess Audi thought it wasn’t enough for the concert to use outside musical instruments, so it designed one of its own, to be made by the world famous Bosendorfer, since the four-ringer maker doesn’t have the capacity to do so anyway.
This unconventionally-designed piano shows that Audi doesn’t appear very eager to follow conventions of making the grand piano to look like a typical grand piano. The uniquely beautiful grand piano (seriously, it’s beautiful! will premiere on the 16th, and available for sale thereafter. You might also be interested in the Audi centenary watch from Chronoswiss released last March, but well, this beats that (not the price, but the design).
Of course, the same general shape had to be retained for the sake of acoustics, but one look at Audi’s Bosendorfer tells you this is no ordinary grand, and chief designer Wolfgang Egger says the process will help his design team take a fresh look at automotive design as well. The Bosendorfer Audi Design Grand Piano will make its world debut at Audi’s 100th anniversary celebration at the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt on July 16, after which it will be available to the public for a princely €100,000 (about $140,000). At that price level, don’t expect to see one in the window down at the local music shop, but you can check it out in the high-res gallery at Autoblog.
Click here to read more on Audi Celebrates 100th Anniversary with a €100,000 Grand Piano
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, US scientists say.
The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.
Previous research has also suggested a protective effect from caffeine.
But British experts said the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease study did not mean that dementia patients should start using caffeine supplements.
According to the test, when the mice that were given the prescribed dosage of caffeine were tested again after two months, those who were given the caffeine performed much better on tests measuring their memory and thinking skills and performed as well as mice of the same age without dementia. Those which drank plain water did poorly on the tests.
Read more on BBC