Nieuws - 14 maart 2013

Old news

Hardening of the arteries is not such a modern complaint after all, suggests research by cardiologists from Saint Luke's in Kansas City. They put 137 mummies through the scanner. One third of them (the mummies, that is) had clogged up arteries. This casts doubt on the link with lifestyle. Or does it? Perhaps our ancestors were partial to fatty snacks too.

The quality of sperm seems to vary with the seasons, say Israeli gynaecologists after studying 6455 samples. The quantity and mobility of the seed peaks in the winter. According to the researchers that explains the peak in births in the autumn. Does it? Exam question: name three other explanations for the autumn baby boom.
Writing a dissertation is unhealthy. If you are too fanatical about it, that is. Maastricht scientists have concluded that sitting for extended periods of time - about 14 hours per day - is bad for you. Even if you also do an hour of intensive sport and walk around for a couple of hours. Eight hours of sitting and six hours on your feet is much healthier. So postpone graduation or go to the lab.
Caffeine buzz?
It is not just humans who crave caffeine. Bees will go out of their way to get a shot too. British scientists discovered this when they tried to train bees.
They turned out to remember the odour of nectar with caffeine three times better than that of nectar without it. Good for their memory then. It would be nice if that worked for people too. Holland would be the smartest country in the world.