Job pressure no factor in breathing problems
Many people breathe easier as they get ready to leave the office at the end of the workday. But there may be more to it than just getting out of the pressure cooker. Breathing seems to become easier in the late afternoon, report researchers who were looking at the biological clockís effects on the lungs. The study, at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, looked at the daytime breathing patterns of more than 4,800 patients, many of them having asthma or other lung problems. While the researchers expected to see the highest breathing discomfort in the morning, they found it most pronounced at dusk. The study suggests that patients with asthma, for example, may be able to use less medicine if they concentrate their doses at those times of the day when they are most needed.
Older fathers spoil genes
Children born to older fathers are more likely to develop schizophrenia when they grow up, suggests a study by British and Swedish scientists. The researchers have shown that for each extra decade in a fatherís age at the time of his childís birth, the baby is almost 50 per cent more likely to suffer from schizophrenia later in life. A report in the New Scientist says having an older father is believed to increase a childís schizophrenia risk because spontaneous mutations in the fatherís DNA are more likely to occur in his sperm as he ages. These mutations can contribute to the overall risk of schizophrenia, as well as other diseases, in his children.
Mobile aid for diabetes patients
Mobile phones are being used to make the lives of people with diabetes easier by high-speed data transfer. A team in Oxford is using mobiles to record and organise information from patients, and to send it directly to a hospital for rapid analysis and advice. More than 170 million people globally have diabetes, caused when their bodies stop regulating blood glucose levels. A mobile will record the blood sugar levels, and the latest versions will also allow high-speed data transmission so that the information can be sent straight to the patientís hospital. There, software can look for patterns in the levels, giving doctors an accurate picture of how they change over time. Within seconds a patient can see a graph showing whether the level has risen or fallen since the last test.
Testosterone boosts memory
Lack of testosterone not only robs men of manliness, it makes them forgetful too. Scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University have found that men undergoing testosterone deprivation therapy for prostate cancer had a marked memory loss. Lack of the hormone affects the hippocampus of the brain, making people forget things faster.