What's the buzz

Standing on the roof makes you age faster

Believe it or not, standing on the roof of your building could make you age faster than standing on the ground floor.

Research has revealed that Einstein’s theories of relativity affect earthbound distances and time frames, which simply put means, a clock speeding away from an observer will appear to tick slower than a stationary clock.

The equations of relativity also predict that gravity similarly slows down, or dilates, time.
“So if you are experiencing stronger gravitational pull, then your time is going to go slower,” said James Chin-Wen Chou, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Using two ultra precise atomic clocks, Chou and colleagues showed that lifting one clock by only about a foot (33 centimetres) above the other creates enough of a gravitational difference that the higher clock ticks slightly faster.

However, the NIST scientists note that these effects are much too small for humans to perceive directly-adding up to approximately 90 billionths of a second over a 79-year lifetime.

Allergies a consequence of asthma, not cause of it

A new genetic study has revealed that allergies are an outcome of asthma, not a cause of it. Scientists have also found seven genes linked to the development of the ailment, which could lead to new treatments.

Researchers from Imperial College London and colleagues around the world carried out more than half a million genetic tests on 26,000 subjects. The findings have suggested that allergies are a consequence of asthma, which causes damaged airways. They also found that adult-onset asthma and childhood asthma were different diseases.

But the head of respiratory and environmental epidemiology at the Woolcock Institute in Sydney, Guy Marks, said he did not think the study had definitively shown that allergies were a consequence of asthma, not the cause. “That is the conclusion the authors have drawn but I would be a bit more cautious.”

He believed this type of research — including other genetic studies of asthma being conducted among Australians — might lead to better-targeted treatments and ways to prevent asthma in the first place.

Insulin spray could treat diabetes of the brain

New studies are showing that insulin could play a key role in treating ‘diabetes of the brain’.

Many experts have held Alzheimer’s disease akin to diabetes of the brain. The theory is that the aging brain also can develop insulin resistance or suffer from a dwindling insulin supply, damaging neurons and contributing to the widespread destruction of mind.
“It was about 30 years ago that Suzanne de la Monte at Brown introduced the idea of Alzheimer’s being diabetes of the brain ... Now, it’s coming back,” said Howard Chertkow, McGill University.

Dr de la Monte injected rats with an antibiotic that happens to block insulin, to give the animals ‘diabetes of the brain’. But the post mortems revealed that the rats’ brains were riddled with dead cells, plaques and tangled nerve fibres — a sign of Alzheimer’s.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)