What's The Buzz

What's The Buzz

Pine tree powder can cure hay fever

Researchers have found a possible cure of hay fever that is plagued by itchy eyes and a runny nose in summer. The sufferers may find relief in a powder produced from pine trees.

The cellulose nasal spray forms a barrier over the membrane, lining the nose and filtering out allergens like tree and flower pollen. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden said they have proven that the spray does reduce symptoms of hay fever, otherwise known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, especially among children.

"The cellulose powder has no adverse effects, and this fact makes it a particularly attractive treatment for children," the Daily Mail quoted associate professor Nils Aberg, as saying.

"It is used increasingly in many countries, but there is until now no scientific study proving the efficacy of the cellulose powder in children during the pollen season," added Aberg.

Musical games helps dyslexic kids in learning to read

A study led by an Indian-origin researcher has shown a strong association between the ability to perceive metrical structure in music and learning to read among children with dyslexia.

Dyslexic children often find it difficult to count the number of syllables in spoken words or to determine whether words rhyme.

In a study, researchers at Cambridge have shown, using a music task, that this is linked to a broader difficulty in perceiving rhythmic patterns, or metrical structure.

The children with dyslexia found the music task quite difficult, even when presented with simple tunes containing just a few notes. The findings of the study indeed showed a strong relationship between the ability to perceive metrical structure in music and learning to read.The researchers argued that the ability to perceive the alternation of strong and weak "beats"  is critical for the efficient perception of phonology in language.

Furthermore, as rhythm is more overt in music than language, they suggest that early interventions based on musical games may offer previously unsuspected benefits for learning to read.

Alcohol-related blackouts raise students’ injury risk

The higher the number of alcohol-related memory blackouts a student experiences, the greater is his/her risk of a future injury while under the influence, according to a study.
Research indicates that alcohol alters nerve cell communication in the hippocampal region of the brain, which affects memory formation.

Researchers analysed data from almost 800 undergraduates and more than 150 postgraduate students at five universities in North America between 2004 and 2009, who were monitored for two years. Hazardous drinking - and its consequences - “are pervasive on college campuses,” the researchers found.

More than half of all the students had one or more memory blackouts in the 12 months leading up to the start of the study; 7 per cent reported six or more during this time.Those aged between 18 and 20, “sensation seekers,” and those clocking up the heaviest drinking days reported the highest number of blackouts.The subsequent analysis showed that the overall prevalence of injury associated with alcohol was just over 25 per cent, with women just as likely as men to be injured.

One to two memory blackouts increased the odds by 57 per cent. With six or more memory blackouts, a student was almost three times as likely to sustain an injury.“Our results suggest that memory blackout screening at student health services could be a useful tool in college alcohol related injury prevention,” conclude the authors.

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