WHATS THE BUZZ

New test to detect tainted milk

Researchers have developed a simple test that would help detect tainted milk within few hours.
Amer AbuGhazaleh, from Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Agricultural Sciences, and Salam Ibrahim, a food microbiologist from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, have shown that the combination of certain bacteria and a common purple dye can reveal the presence of toxins in milk in just a few hours.
“To date, detecting the presence of toxins or pesticides has only been possible by sending samples to a laboratory and waiting a few days for the results,” said AbuGhazaleh.
“An important step toward improving the safety of our dairy supply would be the development of an effective, simple and rapid test that would allow farmers or processors to detect the presence of foreign substances,” the expert added.

Stay-at-home parents ‘most stressed workers’

Parents who stay at home and look after the household are the most stressed out, a new UK study claims.
According to a research conducted by Mindlab Organisation, mothers or fathers who do household chores are more frazzled than those with traditionally high-pressure jobs, like city trading, teaching or nursing.
Stress levels were investigated in British adults as per their ‘work’ roles — stay-at-home parents, taxi drivers, teachers, nurses and city dealers.
The conclusion was reached by measuring levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout an average working day.
It was found that stay-at-home parents proved to be the most under pressure. Nurses ranked second in the list, followed by the traders, then teachers and finally, taxi drivers.
Chocolate, relaxation rooms can help beat exam stress
In an attempt to beat exam stress, some schools in the UK are offering pupils chocolate and access to relaxation rooms, academics told an education conference.
Researchers at Edge Hill and Manchester universities have urged that parents and teachers are putting the wrong kind of pressure on teenagers to succeed.
The study has been presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference in Manchester.
It analysed the link between teacher and parent behaviour and the anxiety levels of 175 sixth form students. The researchers also examined the stress levels of 224 GCSE pupils and compared them with their exam results.
The study found that higher anxiety usually leads to lower scores.
Lead researcher Dave Putwain said: “I know of one school that gives anxious children chocolate and a pat on the head immediately before an exam”.

Brisk walk a day can add years to your life

It will not only add life to your years, but a brisk walk a day can also add years to your life, a new study has claimed.
Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Medical Centres in Washington and Palo Alto in California have carried out the study and found that brisk walking for 20 to 40 minutes daily can halve the chance of dying for elderly men.
“The overall message is that although ageing and death are inevitable, the rate for both can be modulated by simply maintaining a physically active lifestyle at any age,” said lead researcher Peter Kokkinos.
For their study, the researchers compared death rates in men aged between 70 and 92 who were sedentary compared with those of varying levels of fitness. They found that for every two minutes of exercise, the mortality rate dropped by 10 per cent.

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