What's the buzz

Sleep’s vital role for memory revealed
 
Researchers have claimed that infants who nap are better able to apply lessons learned to new skills, while preschoolers are better able to retain learned knowledge after napping.
 
Rebecca Gomez of the University of Arizona said that sleep plays a crucial role in learning from early in development.

A growing body of research shows how memories become reactivated during sleep, and new work is shedding light on exactly when and how memories get stored and reactivated.

In Gomez’s new work, she and her team are examining how young children can recognise instances similar, but not identical, to something they have learned and apply it to a new situation – so-called generalisation.

Examples in language include the ability to recognise the letter “A” in different types of font, understanding a word regardless of who is speaking it, or recognising a grammatical pattern in a sentence never before heard.
 
In one of her new studies, Gomez played an artificial “training language” over loudspeakers to infants 12 months old who were playing.

They then tested whether the infants recognised novel vocabulary after either taking a nap or being awake.
 
To create the artificial languages in her studies, Gomez mimics structure in natural language that may be useful in language learning.

For instance, nouns and verbs have subtly different sound patterns in many languages.
 
Gomez’s team is also investigating the role of naps for preschoolers who are learning words.

“Infants who nap soon after learning are able to generalise after sleep but not after a similar interval of normal waking time,” she said.

“Preschoolers with more mature memory structures do not appear to form generalisations during sleep; however, naps appear to be necessary for retaining a generalisation they form before a nap,” she added.
 
Coughs and sneezes stay 
 
Airborne for long distances
 
A new study has revealed that coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.
 
The study conducted by MIT researchers have showed that when some coughs or sneezes, there is a gas cloud that is formed, which keeps the potentially infectious droplets aloft over much greater distances.
 
The study revealed that the smaller droplets that emerge in a cough or sneeze may travel five to 200 times farther than they would if those droplets simply moved as groups of unconnected particles.
 
John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics, said that the tendency of these droplets to stay airborne, resuspended by gas clouds, means that ventilation systems may be more prone to transmitting potentially infectious particles than suspected.
 
According to the research, the droplets 100 micrometres in diameter travel five times farther than previously estimated, while droplets 10 micrometres in diametre travel 200 times farther and those less than 50 micrometres in size can frequently remain airborne long enough to reach ceiling ventilation units. 
 

Paleo diet more about combating chronic diseases
 
Paleo diet, which is a weight-loss regime embraced by Hollywood royalty, was originally designed to help combat the chronic diseases faced by the modern world, according to its founder.
 
Colorado State University researcher Dr Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, has revealed that it was never his intention to write a book about a new diet craze.

He said that most of the book is directed at chronic disease in the Western world, and it is a lifelong way of eating to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
 
A two-year trial in post menopausal women in Denmark found the Paleo diet produced more weight loss at six months than another diet but the advantage faded after two years.
 
However, the study found after two years those women on the Paleo diet had a significantly greater reduction in levels of the triglycerides linked to heart disease than women on the diet recommended by Nordic nutritionists.
 
According to the Paleo diet, you are suppose to eat grass-produced meat, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthful oils.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry