Rounding up science's latest discoveries
PARENTING STYLE AFFECTS KID'S FUTURE
Spare the rod and spoil the child, you might say.
But a recent survey of 5,000 participants online has revealed that having encouraging parents has a significant impact on children achieving academic success and happiness as adults.
Such kids, when they grow up, are likely to earn more and have a strong sense of morality too.
The study, carried out by researchers from Kobe University Centre for Social Systems Innovation and Doshisha University in Kyoto, grouped parenting methods into six categories - supportive, strict, indulgent, easy-going, harsh and average.
From the survey, they concluded that children of parents who were supportive, earned high salaries, achieved academic success, had high levels of happiness and a stronger sense of morality as adults.
Those who had a strict upbringing also reported high salaries and academic achievement, but experienced much lower levels of happiness and suffered a lot more stress.
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DRUG FOR BRITTLE BONES STOPS BREAST CANCER GROWTH
Women at risk of breast and ovarian cancer may now be spared surgery.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne have found that a common drug used to treat osteoporosis or brittle bones may prevent the cancer from growing.
The breakthrough, which scientists are hailing as a potential "holy grail" in cancer prevention, will help women born with mutations in their BRCA1 gene, dubbed the 'Jolie Gene'. This was after actress Angeline Jolie opted for a double mastectomy and hysterectomy on learning that she carried the genetic fault.
About one in 1,000 women carries the mutation, which raises a woman's chance of breast cancer from 12.5 per cent to 58 per cent and increases her risk of getting ovarian cancer 29 times.
The breakthrough came when researchers found that the protein that fuelled pre-cancerous cells was the same one that drives the bone-destroying cells in osteoporosis.
Plus, there is already an existing drug called denosumab that shuts this protein down.
Lab trials on breast tissue from BRCA1 cancer patients showed the medication could prevent tumour formation.
ITCH FROM MOSQUITO BITE HELPS VIRUS SPREAD
The itch from mosquito bites does not just irritate you. It actually helps viral infections, such as dengue and Zika, spread, new research has found.
The study, led by the University of Leeds, discovered that inflammation where the insect has bitten not only helps a virus form an infection in the body quickly, but also helps to spread it through the body, making the disease more severe.
In the new research, published in the journal Immunity, the researchers used mouse models to study the bites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the species that spreads infections such as Zika, dengue and Chikungunya.
The researchers injected viruses into the skin of the mice, with or without the presence of a mosquito bite at the site, and compared the reaction.
They found that when a mosquito bites, it injects saliva into the skin, triggering an immune response. But instead of helping, some of these cells get infected and replicate the virus.
The viruses failed to replicate well at the injection sites without mosquito bites and their accompanying inflammation.
The scientists now want to look at whether medications such as anti-inflammatory creams can stop the virus establishing an infection if used quickly enough after the bite inflammation appears.