Rounding up science's latest discoveries
DRINK BEER, BE MERRY
Most of us already know this, but science has confirmed it.
Researchers from the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, found that drinking just a glass of beer can make people more sociable.
The team tested 60 healthy people on alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer. They also did a range of tests, including face recognition, empathy and sexual arousal.
The researchers found that the desire to be with others in a happy, talkative and open environment increased in the group that was drinking the alcoholic beer and it was more marked in women.
The research was presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Vienna and published in the journal Psychopharmacology.
NO RAIN, NO PAIN
Many people say the weather makes their chronic pains act up. Some even say they can tell when it is about to rain.
The preliminary results of a major study, conducted by researchers from the University of Manchester, suggested that these people might have been onto something.
In the Cloudy With A Chance Of Pain study, more than 9,000 people who suffer from chronic pain, such as arthritis, back problems and migraines, logged their symptoms daily using a smartphone app.
The app also monitors hourly weather conditions, allowing the scientists to match the weather to how much pain the people were feeling.
They found that as the number of sunny days in Britain increased from February to June, the amount of time people experienced severe pain fell.
But when there was a period of wet weather in June and fewer hours of sunlight, the level of pain increased.
The researchers reported their preliminary findings at the British Science Festival.
LIGHTS ON, ACTION!
Guys, if you find your sex drive waning, just switch on the lights.
New research from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology found that strong daylight appears to improve men's libido.
Italian researchers studied 38 men with one of two conditions characterised by a lack of interest in sex - hypoactive sexual desire disorder or sexual arousal disorder.
They were divided into two groups. One received regular treatment with 10,000 lux of light (the equivalent of bright daylight) and the other 100 lux (the amount of light on a very dark, overcast day).
The men were then retested and the researchers found those exposed to bright light reported sexual satisfaction levels three times higher than before the treatment, while there was no significant change in the other group.