The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Baby talk helps kids learn language better

alking to babies in their own language ' baby talk ' may help them learn new words faster. Child psychologists at the Carnegie Mellon University in the US found that babies learnt more words efficiently when trained with baby talk than with adult speech. A group of researchers led by Dr Erik D. Thiessen, tested 40 8-month-old infants. The babies were played tapes of two sets of four-word nonsense sentences, one spoken in ordinary adult conversational tones, the other in the pitch and rhythm of baby talk. The study found that the second kind helped kids learn new words the fastest. Thiessen said, 'It's more important to interact through language in natural ways than to try to use some specific technique you think will make your baby grow up smarter.'

Smoking and test-tube therapy

Women who smoke has a slim chance of bearing a baby even if they opt for test-tube techniques, says a new study by Dutch researchers reported in the New Scientist. In fact, the effect of smoking on fertility was found to be so pronounced that it was equivalent of adding more than 10 years to a woman's reproductive age. According to a data scoured by Didi Braat, a gynaecologst at the University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, smoking more than a cigarette a day for a year cut women's chances of having a live birth through a tube by 28 per cent. Braat analysed data from nearly 8,500 women aged 20 to 45 who had undergone the test-tube therapy.

Zinc boosts teenage brain

uman beings are unique in the sense that their brain undergoes a second growth spurt in adolescence. According to a paper presented at a meeting of the American Society of Nutritional Sciences, zinc helps a lot in this important phase of brain growth which eventually teaches a teenager to think rationally and plan ahead. The study at the US Agricultural Research Service monitored 209 seventh-grade students randomly split into three groups after they were offered zinc supplements in varying amounts. The group which received at least 116 gms (roughly a glass) of fruit juice a day containing 20 milligrams of zinc were found to have got improved attention, memory, problem-solving and hand-eye coordination compared to those who drank plane juice.

Oyster triggers passion

Oyster, that fabled aphrodisiac, is indeed loaded with chemicals which can trigger passion. According to researchers at the Barry University in Florida Mediterranean, high levels of N-methyl-D-aspartame found in oysters boost libido by raising the levels of the hormone testosterone.

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