what's the buzz


The researchers revealed that young and old pedestrians comprise with their road safety impaired when talking on hands-free cellphones. During the study, where participants crossed a virtual street while talking on the phone or listening to music, researchers found that users of hands-free cellphones took longer to cross the street and were more likely to get run over.
Older cellphone users, especially those unsteady on their feet to begin with, were even more likely to become traffic casualties.
“Many people assume that walking is so automatic that really nothing will get in the way,” said Art Kramer, University of Illinois, who led the research.

Moist snuff high in carcinogenic content
A new study has found astonishingly high levels of toxic and carcinogenic substances in smokeless tobacco often called moist snuff.
Researchers in Minnesota discovered that moist snuff is contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that may cause cancer. They found that the use of moist snuff surged nearly 80 times between 1986-2003, partly due to the belief that it is safer than smoking cigarettes.
However, smokeless tobacco can cause precancerous oral lesions and oral, esophageal, and pancreatic cancer. The team examined the PAHs in 23 moist snuff samples from the most popular American brands. They found 23 different PAHs in the samples out of which nine were carcinogens. Thus, it was established that PAHs are one of largest groups of cancer-causing substances in moist snuff.

Fit youngsters have higher IQs
Young adults who are physically fit have higher IQs, reveals a major new study.
Carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the study involved 1.2 million Swedish men doing military service who were born between 1950 and 1976. The research group analysed the results of both physical and IQ tests when the men enrolled.
The study shows a clear link between good physical fitness and better results for the IQ test. The strongest links are for logical thinking and verbal comprehension. But it is only fitness that plays a role in the results for the IQ test, and not strength.
“Being fit means that you also have good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen,” says Michael Nilsson.
He added: “This may be one of the reasons why we can see a clear link with fitness, but not with muscular strength. We are also seeing that there are growth factors that are important.”

Cells must get rid of garbage to keep up muscle strength
A new study has found that cells must shed the ‘garbage’ that piles up in them if muscle strength is to be maintained with age.
Researchers arrived at this conclusion by examining mice, which lacked a gene required for degradation and recycling inside cells, a process known as autophagy. The mice showed considerable muscle atrophy and muscle weakening that deteriorated as they aged.
Marco Sandri, University of Padova, Italy said: “If there is a failure of the system to remove what is damaged, and that persists, the muscle fibre isn’t happy.” Damaged and misfolded proteins, dysfunctional mitochondria, distended endoplasmic reticulum and free radicals keep on adding up inside the cells.  In the end, some of these muscle cells degenerate and “the muscles become weaker and weaker with age”.

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