What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Vit B12 may protect against Alzheimer’s

Vitamin B12 may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The research adds more evidence to the scientific debate about whether the vitamin is effective in reducing the risk of memory loss.

“Low levels of vitamin B12 are surprisingly common in the elderly. However, the few studies that have investigated the usefulness of vitamin B12 supplements to reduce the risk of memory loss have had mixed results,” said study author Babak Hooshmand, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

For the seven-year study, researchers took blood samples from 271 Finnish people age 65 to 79 who did not have dementia at the start of the study. During that time, 17 people developed Alzheimer’s disease.

Blood samples were tested for levels for homocysteine, an amino acid associated with vitamin B12, and for levels of the active portion of the vitamin, called holotranscobalamin.
Too much homocysteine in the blood has been linked to negative effects on the brain, such as stroke. However, higher levels of vitamin B12 can lower homocysteine.

E-waste may help destroy bacterial infections

Electronic waste, which can be an environmental hazard to the soil, has now been turned into an anti-microbial substance that can help destroy bacterial infections.

Researchers at the University of York’s department of chemistry have found a way to turn electronic waste from LCD screens into an anti-microbial substance that destroys infections such as Escherichia coli, some strains of Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria.

A key element of LCD televisions is polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), a chemical compound that is compatible with the human body.

Andrew Hunt and his colleagues had to cool and then heat PVA, dehydrate it with ethanol, and add a dash of silver nanoparticles to enhance the material’s anti-microbial properties. The final product could be used in hospital cleaning solutions to help to reduce infections.

According to a York University press release, the product “could also be used in pills and dressings that are designed to deliver drugs to particular parts of the body”.
But Hunt and his team have confessed that more work needs to be done.

Handheld fertility device as effective as IVF

A handheld fertility device, developed by former students of Cambridge University, is as effective as IVF for couples struggling to conceive, it has been claimed.

The DuoFertility system measures variations in body temperature to identify when a woman is most fertile.

The 495-pound device, dubbed the ‘sat-nav of the fertility world’, is claimed to be statistically as good as IVF.

Its developers, Cambridge Temperature Concepts, even promise to give couples their money back if they are not pregnant within 12 months of using the gadget.

DuoFertility combines a small sensor that fits under the arm and a hand-held reader that together can measure body temperature 20,000 times during the night to identify when a woman is at her most fertile.

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