Saturday Health (24 – 30 Oct 2020)

News related to Risk of Airborne COVID-19, Artificially Sweetened Drinks vs Sugary Drinks, Risk of Dementia, ‘Night Owl’ Sleep Disorder, Vitamin D Deficiency in COVID-19 Patients, Cancer Treatment Without Side Effects, Aging and Motivation to Learn, Device for Severely Paralysed Patients, New Estimates of Breast Cancer Risks, Drop in Body Temperature, Boosting Children’s Academic Achievement, Positive Student-Teacher Relationships

Note: None of the news bits given here are written by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Estimating Risk of Airborne COVID-19 with Mask Usage, Social Distancing

Source: American Institute of Physics 26 Oct 2020

The continued increase in COVID-19 infection around the world has led scientists from many different fields, including biomedicine, epidemiology, virology, fluid dynamics, aerosol physics, and public policy, to study the dynamics of airborne transmission. Researchers used a model to understand airborne transmission that is designed to be accessible to a wide range of people, including nonscientists.

2. Artificially Sweetened Drinks May Not Be Heart Healthier Than Sugary Drinks

Source: American College of Cardiology 26 Oct 2020

Sugary drinks and artificially sweetened beverages are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, which suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be the healthy alternative they are often claimed to be, according to a research letter. Research has shown that diets including beverages sweetened with sugar can have a negative impact on cardio-metabolic health. Artificially sweetened drinks have been suggested as a healthier alternative, but their impact on cardiovascular health is not fully known.

3. Hard Physical Work Significantly Increases the Risk of Dementia

Source: University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences 26 Oct 2020

Men in jobs with hard physical work have a higher risk of developing dementia compared to men doing sedentary work, new research reveals. The researchers, therefore, urge the health authorities to make their recommendations concerning physical activity more specific. The study shows that people doing hard physical work have a 55-per cent higher risk of developing dementia than those doing sedentary work.

4. Scientists Discover How A Common Mutation Leads To ‘Night Owl’ Sleep Disorder

Source: University of California - Santa Cruz 26 Oct 2020


A new study shows how a genetic mutation throws off the timing of the biological clock, causing a common sleep syndrome called delayed sleep phase disorder. People with this condition are unable to fall asleep until late at night (often after 2 a.m.) and have difficulty getting up in the morning. In 2017, scientists discovered a surprisingly common mutation that causes this sleep disorder by altering a key component of the biological clock that maintains the body’s daily rhythms.

Original written by: Tim Stephens

5. Study Finds Over 80 Percent of COVID-19 Patients Have Vitamin D Deficiency

Source: The Endocrine Society 27 Oct 2020

Over 80 percent of 200 COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Spain have vitamin D deficiency, according to a new study. Vitamin D is a hormone the kidneys produce that controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, although research is still underway into why the hormone impacts other systems of the body.

6. Cancer Treatment Without Side Effects?

Source: University of California – Irvine 27 Oct 2020

Treating cancer without debilitating side effects has long been the holy grail of oncologists, and researchers and they may have found it. They used an ultra-high dose rate of radiation therapy to eliminate brain tumours in mice, bypassing key side effects usually caused by cranial irradiation.

7. Study Helps Explain Why Motivation to Learn Declines with Age

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 27 Oct 2020

As people age, they often lose their motivation to learn new things or engage in everyday activities. In a study of mice, neuroscientists have now identified a brain circuit that is critical for maintaining this kind of motivation. This circuit is particularly important for learning to make decisions that require evaluating the cost and reward that come with a particular action. The researchers showed that they could boost older mice’s motivation to engage in this type of learning by reactivating this circuit, and they could also decrease motivation by suppressing the circuit.

Original written by: Anne Trafton

8. Small Brain Device Proves Big Game Changer for Severely Paralysed Patients

Source: University of Melbourne 28 Oct 2020

A tiny device the size of a small paperclip has been shown to help patients with upper limb paralysis to text, email and even shop online in the first human trial. The device has been implanted successfully in two patients, who both suffer from severe paralysis due to MND – also known ALS – and neither had complete ability to move their upper limbs. The results found the device was able to wirelessly restore the transmission of brain impulses out of the body.

9. Study Provides New Estimates of Breast Cancer Risks Associated With HRT

Source: BMJ 28 Oct 2020

A new study provides new estimates of the increased risks of breast cancer associated with the use of different hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preparations in the UK. It confirms that HRT use is associated with increased risks of breast cancer, particularly for older women. However, it suggests that, for longer term HRT use, the increased risks are lower than those reported in a recent meta-analysis that combined the results of 24 studies.

10. A Drop in Temperature

Source: University of California - Santa Barbara 29 Oct 2020

In the nearly two centuries since 98.6°F was established as the standard “normal” body temperature, it has been used by parents and doctors alike as the measure by which fevers — and often the severity of illness — have been assessed. Over time, however, lower body temperatures have been widely reported in healthy adults. Recent studies in the US and the UK showed the temperatures to be as low as 97.5°F and 97.9°F.

Original written by: Andrea Estrada

11. Cut Chores and Kill Chill Time: New Advice to Boost Children’s Academic Achievement

Source: University of South Australia 29 Oct 2020

Exploring associations between 24-hour daily activities and academic achievement, the world first study found that the less time children spent in light physical activity, the better their academic outcomes. Specifically, researchers found that lower light physical activity is related to better numeracy and literacy, and that higher sedentary time is related to better literacy.

12. Positive Student-Teacher Relationships Benefit Students’ Long-Term Health

Source: American Psychological Association 29 Oct 2020

Teens who have good, supportive relationships with their teachers enjoy better health as adults, according to research. Perhaps surprisingly, although friendships are important to adolescents, the study did not find the same link between good peer relationships and students’ health in adulthood.


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