Rounding up science's latest discoveries
FOR BETTER MOOD, WATCH CAT VIDEOS
If you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching Maru the cat playing in cardboard boxes, the effect may be more profound than you think.
A recent study by the Indiana University (IU) Media School found that cat videos boost the viewers' energy and positive emotions and decrease negative feelings.
The study, published in Computers in Human Behaviour, surveyed almost 7,000 people on their viewing of cat videos and how it affected their moods.
While some may think watching cat videos online isn't a serious enough topic for academic research, the fact is that it is one of the most popular uses of the Internet today.
IU researcher Jessica Gall Myrick said Internet data showed there were more than two million cat videos posted on YouTube last year, with almost 26 billion views.
Why not take a minute or two or even 15 to just watch cats at play... online.
BIRTH CONTROL PILL SAVES LIVES
Oral contraceptives have, in the last 10 years, prevented about 200,000 cases of endometrial cancer or cancer of the uterus, research has found.
While doctors have long noted that women on the pill have a lower risk of endometrial, ovarian and colorectal cancers, the new study by Oxford University showed the benefits of the pill for uterine cancer are dramatic.
Oral contraceptives work by making the body think it is pregnant, so the amount of natural oestrogen circulating in the body drops and lowers the risk of developing cancer.
Every five years of using oral contraceptives lowers the risk by around 24 per cent.
Hormone doses in oral contraceptives have dropped through the years, but the new findings suggest that the amount of hormones in the pill used today still offers protective benefits.
The study also found that the longer a woman uses oral contraceptives, the lesser the chance of getting cancer.
FAT NO LONGER ENEMY NO. 1
Good news for meat and dairy lovers: Saturated fats may not be the enemy we have made them it to be.
New research from the BMJ — formerly known as the British Medical Journal — claims that the decade-old advice restricting dietary fat intake may be completely unfounded.
Instead, researchers found that trans fats in processed foods are more dangerous. Large amounts of trans fats actually increase the risk of death by as much as 30 per cent.
The scientists from McMaster University in Canada reviewed 50 observational studies and found no association between the intake of saturated fats and death, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke or Type 2 diabetes.
The report said, by contrast, consumption of industrial trans fats was associated with a 34 per cent increase in deaths overall and a 28 per cent increased risk of heart disease.