Science


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Every good dog deserves a musical tribute

Hector, dog of dogs, is the most glorious companion. Simon Tiffin reveals how he came to commission a piece of music that would evoke his spirit when he finally departs this worldOne of the earliest signs of spring in my garden is a ring of snowdrops and winter acconites that encircles the trunk of a medlar tree outside the greenhouse. This yellow-and-white display was planted to complement a collection of elegantly engraved, moss-covered mini-headstones that mark the resting places of the previ...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Dogs, Animals, Pets, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Alexa, Hector, Simon Tiffin


The seven types of rest: I spent a week trying them all. Could they help end my exhaustion?

When we feel extreme fatigue most of us focus on sleep problems. But proper relaxation takes many forms. I spent a week exploring what really works“Are you the most tired you can ever remember being?” asks a friend. Well, yes. I have it easy – my caring responsibilities are limited and my work is physically undemanding and very low stakes – but I am wrecked. The brain fog, tearful confusion and deep lethargy I feel seems near universal. A viral tweet from February asked: “Just to confirm … every...
Tags: Health, Google, Science, Sleep, Medicine, Life and style, Health & wellbeing


Housework may promote health in old age, study suggests

Researchers found chores could help prevent disease and falls, though other experts have urged cautionHousehold chores might seem a drag, but researchers have suggested tasks like dusting, scrubbing floors and washing the windows might help adults to stay healthy into old age.Writing in the journal BMJ Open, a Singapore-based team of researchers said regular physical activity “improves physical and mental health, mitigates the risks and effects of chronic diseases, and reduces falls, immobility,...
Tags: Health, Science, Fitness, Singapore, Life and style, Society, World news, Medical Research, Older people, BMJ Open


Glennon Doyle: ‘So many women feel caged by gender, sexuality, religion’

Glennon Doyle’s memoir inspired Adele – but do we all need to be ‘untamed’?The marriage wasn’t unbearable, but it didn’t feel right any more. The lightbulb moment came when she realised she needed to think about what she truly wanted, rather than about what society had trained her to think she wanted. Also, she became aware that remaining in an unhappy marriage meant she wasn’t being the parent she wanted to be: following her heart would cause heartbreak to her family now, but it had a noble pur...
Tags: Psychology, Books, Music, Science, Adele, Life and style, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Angelo, Glennon Doyle, Simon Konecki


Man’s severe migraines ‘completely eliminated’ on plant-based diet

Migraines disappeared after man started diet that included lots of dark-green leafy vegetables, study showsHealth experts are calling for more research into diet and migraines after doctors revealed a patient who had suffered severe and debilitating headaches for more than a decade completely eliminated them after adopting a plant-based diet. He had tried prescribed medication, yoga and meditation, and cut out potential trigger foods in an effort to reduce the severity and frequency of his sever...
Tags: Health, Food, Science, Nutrition, Neuroscience, Vegetables, Life and style, Society, UK News, World news, US news, Medical Research, Vegetarian food and drink, Veganism, Diets and dieting, Vegan food and drink


Can I give you a call bark? DogPhone lets pets ring their owners

When dog moves ball containing device it sends a signal to a laptop and launches a video callWhether it is a silent stare or simply a rousing bark, dogs have found myriad ways to communicate with humans. Now researchers have created a hi-tech option for canines left home alone: a ball that allows them to call their owners on the old dog and bone.The device – nicknamed the DogPhone – is a soft ball that, when moved, sends a signal to a laptop that launches a video call, and the sound of a ringing...
Tags: Science, Technology, Dogs, Animals, Pets, Life and style, UK News, World news, Computing, DogPhone


I used to hate exercise, but with support from my parents, I’m now jumping for joy

I was turning 40 and very unfit. Now my super-healthy parents, both in their 70s, have inspired me to exercise and I love itIt’s Saturday morning and I’m standing in the middle of Osterley Park, west London, between my mum and dad, getting ready for the weekly parkrun. My dad is jogging on the spot, my mum is doing the same. I am thinking how do I get out of this? Both of them are full of energy, encouraging me to get warmed up. All I want is a chocolate and nice masala chai – my favourite spicy...
Tags: Psychology, Science, London, Fitness, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Osterley Park


‘He drives me mad!’ Why don’t we dump toxic friends?

According to psychologists, ‘ambivalent’ relationships can cause us more stress than being with people we actively dislike. Is it time to let go – or can these friendships be salvaged?Roger and Jim have been friends for more than 30 years. When they were younger they were in a band together, and their friendship was forged over a shared love of music and beer. Even now, despite family commitments on both sides, they manage to catch up every couple of months. “Even though he drives me mad,” says ...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Science, Relationships, Friendship, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Jim, Roger, Roger It is Jim


‘Massage breaks the pain cycle’: the return of touch – after almost two years without it

For many people, social distancing and lockdowns left them bereft of physical contact. Here, touch experts explain why it is so essential and what we lost in its absenceIn a pandemic that has meant keeping 2 metres away from one another whenever possible, it appears that physical contact is beginning to return. Even handshakes are making a comeback: one poll found younger people were shaking hands again, although older generations are more uneasy about it. “We are wired to respond to emotional t...
Tags: Science, Biology, Relationships, Friendship, Life and style, Liverpool John Moores University, Francis McGlone, Coronavirus


‘I’m scared I’ve left it too late to have kids’: the men haunted by their biological clocks

It’s certainly not just women who worry about ageing and procreation – and now men have begun speaking about their own deep anxietiesIt was when Connor woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom that he started thinking about it. The 38-year-old civil servant from London got back into bed and couldn’t sleep: he was spiralling. “I thought: ‘Shit, I might not be able to have children. It actually might not happen,’” he says.“It started with me thinking about how I’m looking to buy a ...
Tags: Health, Family, Science, London, Biology, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Reproduction, Men, Parents and parenting, Ivf, Connor, Fertility problems


Sleep affluence: why too much shut-eye can be bad for your health

A new study re-emphasises the fact that oversleeping can be harmful for us – and especially for older peopleName: sleep affluence.Zzzzz. Hey! This is a very interesting and very informative column! Continue reading...
Tags: Science, Sleep, Life and style, Dementia, Older people, Alzheimer's, Ageing


The last great mystery of the mind: meet the people who have unusual – or non-existent – inner voices

Does your internal monologue play out on a television, in an attic, as a bickering Italian couple – or is it entirely, blissfully silent? Claudia*, a sailor from Lichfield in her late 30s, is not Italian. She has never been to Italy. She has no Italian family or friends. And she has no idea why a belligerent Italian couple have taken over her inner voice, duking it out in Claudia’s brain while she sits back and listens.“I have no idea where this has come from,” says Claudia, apologetically. “It’...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Biology, Neuroscience, Life and style, Italy, Claudia, Lichfield, Dolmio


Leos are most likely to get vaccinated, say Utah officials. Is it written in the stars?

Health authorities compared vaccination rates with Zodiac signs, but the results may require further investigationExciting news for people who believe in science enough to want mass vaccination, but not enough to think horoscopes are made up: Utah’s Salt Lake county health department says there’s a big difference in vaccination rates depending on your Zodiac sign.At least, that’s what officials found when they analysed anonymised data on 1.2million residents, providing a table of the least and m...
Tags: Health, Utah, Science, Life and style, Society, US news, Vaccines and immunisation, Salt Lake County, University of Texas Austin, Leos, Coronavirus, Utah 's Salt Lake county


Good vibrations: tapping in to ASMR

ASMR, the euphoric tingling certain sounds provoke, has created online superstars with millions of followers. Is it just a weird fad, or could it help people with anxiety and depression?When I was five years old something strange happened. After a busy afternoon finger-painting and running around, we were gathered by our teacher on the classroom carpet to listen to a story. I can’t remember which book she read – only that she began to do so in a soft voice, pitched somewherejust above a whisper....
Tags: Science, Youtube, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Tiktok


I knew that was going to happen… The truth about premonitions

Uncanny and creepy, premonitions that turn out to be authentic can feel profound. But is there science to explain them?Around seven years ago, Garrett, was in a local Pizza Hut with his friends, having a day so ordinary that it is cumbersome to describe. He was 16 – or thereabouts – and had been told by teachers to go around nearby businesses and ask for gift vouchers that the school could use as prizes in a raffle. There were five other teenagers with Garrett, and they’d just finished speaking ...
Tags: Psychology, Health, England, Science, Life and style, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing, Garrett


How to retrain your frazzled brain and find your focus again

Are you finding it harder than ever to concentrate? Don’t panic: these simple exercises will help you get your attention backPicture your day before you started to read this article. What did you do? In every single moment – getting out of bed, turning on a tap, flicking the kettle switch – your brain was blasted with information. Each second, the eyes will give the brain the equivalent of 10m bits (binary digits) of data. The ears will take in an orchestra of sound waves. Then there’s our thoug...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Life and style, Meditation, Mindfulness, Health & wellbeing, Coronavirus


We put our child in charge for a day – it was both terrifying and freeing

One day a year our daughter does as she pleases and it’s always great fun… and a good education for us allWe call it her “in-charge day”. A day when our nine-year-old daughter Flora is in charge, and we are, effectively, hers to command. A day when all the traditional hierarchies between parent and child are reversed, when she can fulfil her fantasies, refuse to do anything she doesn’t want to and experience a taste of power, authority and absolute freedom.OK, not absolute freedom. There are som...
Tags: Psychology, Family, Science, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Flora


Viva la vulva: why we need to talk about women’s genitalia

Ignorance about the basic biology of vulvas is still shockingly high – yet there are huge health benefits, physical and emotional, to be won with better understandingIf you have a vulva between your legs, could you identify the seven separate structures in a mirror? If your partner has a vulva, can you identify theirs?For over half the population, the vulva is a significant part of their body; an exit and an entrance, a site of pleasure and, often, pain, that speaks to core human function and ne...
Tags: Gender, Science, Education, Biology, Sex, Women, Life and style


‘Genius dogs’ can learn names of more than 100 toys, study finds

Six canines, all border collies, have proved some possess a remarkable grasp of human languageYour dog might follow commands such as “sit”, or become uncontrollably excited at the mention of the word “walkies”, but when it comes to remembering the names of toys and other everyday items, most seem pretty absent-minded.Now a study of six “genius dogs” has advanced our understanding of dogs’ memories, suggesting some of them possess a remarkable grasp of the human language. Continue reading...
Tags: Science, Dogs, Animals, Pets, Life and style, World news, Animal behaviour


I took the Covid vaccine while pregnant – let’s not pretend it’s an easy decision

Only 31% of pregnant Americans are fully vaccinated. I felt responsible for this bean-like bundle forming in my body. But the conflicting advice made it hard for me to decideThese are the first three things I did when I found out I was pregnant in February. I took about six more tests. Then, I called the doctor’s office to make an appointment. A few days later, I signed up for a Covid-19 vaccine. I stood in line, freezing, at a high school in Coney Island to get my shot.Deciding to get the vacci...
Tags: Family, Gender, Science, Women, Pregnancy, Life and style, Infectious Diseases, Health & wellbeing, Parents and parenting, Coney Island, Coronavirus


Why are so many pregnant women not taking the vaccine?

Only 31% of pregnant Americans are fully vaccinated. I felt responsible for this bean-like bundle forming in my body. But the conflicting advice made it hard for me to decideThese are the first three things I did when I found out I was pregnant in February. I took about six more tests. Then, I called the doctor’s office to make an appointment. A few days later, I signed up for a Covid-19 vaccine. I stood in line, freezing, at a high school in Coney Island to get my shot.Deciding to get the vacci...
Tags: Family, Gender, Science, Women, Pregnancy, Life and style, Infectious Diseases, Health & wellbeing, Parents and parenting, Coney Island, Coronavirus


Cake was my first love – it sees me through life’s highs and lows

There should be no guilt with cake, only romance – in the making, the display, the history… and, of course, the eatingThe Great British Bake Off is back! Sales of baking utensils skyrocket when the amateur baking show is on. It appears we’re all cake mad. But I’ve always been mad as a box of doughnuts for cake, long before the GBBO started. In fact, it’s one of my loves – not one of my vices.Cake and I are friends; we go back a long way. At school, we’d bake in home economics class and sell our ...
Tags: Psychology, Food, Cake, Science, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Baking, Gbbo


How standup comedy helped me conquer anxiety, depression – and fear of public speaking

Finding a humorous angle to some of my darkest episodes – and sharing them with strangers – was strangely cathartic“Have you gone mad?” asked one friend. “You’re so brave. I could never do that. Wouldn’t meditation be wiser?” said another. For someone with a long history of depression and anxiety, plus a morbid fear of public speaking, taking up standup comedy might seem like a masochistic decision. Yet to me it makes perfect sense. Excruciating fear of failure is at the heart of most people’s a...
Tags: Psychology, Comedy, Science, Life and style, Society, Depression, Anxiety, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Hertfordshire


The great sperm heist: ‘They were playing with people’s lives’

Paul was in his 80s when someone called to say she was his daughter, conceived in a fertility clinic with his sperm. The only problem? He’d never donated anyFor 40 years, Catherine Simpson thought she knew who she was: a nurse, a mother of three, a daughter and a sister. She looked like her mother, Sarah, but had the same temperament as her father, George: calm, unflustered, kind.Then her father died. There was a dispute over his will, and that led her mother to call and tell her something that ...
Tags: Health, Family, Science, Life and style, Society, UK News, Harley Street, Doctors, Reproduction, Parents and parenting, Private healthcare, Catherine, Sarah, Sperm Donation, George, PAUL


The smart toilet era is here! Are you ready to share your analprint with big tech?

Loo design has barely changed in 150 years – until now. Will people trade their privacy for the chance to find out exactly what is in their waste?For the past 10 years, Sonia Grego has been thinking about toilets – and more specifically what we deposit into them. “We are laser-focused on the analysis of stool,” says the Duke University research professor, with all the unselfconsciousness of someone used to talking about bodily functions. “We think there is an incredible untapped opportunity for ...
Tags: Internet Of Things, Science, Design, Technology, Biology, Life and style, Architecture, Art and design, Smart Homes, Duke University, Grego, Sonia Grego, Coprata Grego


Readers reply: why do humans cry when they are sad?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsI understand that tears flush away foreign objects from the eye. But what advantage does crying have when one is feeling sad (or happy)? Perhaps it is to signal an extreme of emotion, but then why would a solitary sad person cry when there was no one around? David DobbsSend new questions to [email protected] Continue reading...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Biology, Life and style, David DobbsSend


Seven simple steps to sounder sleep

How I overcome my chronic insomnia with scienceEverything about our day impacts our sleep. How many minutes we spend outside, what and when we eat, what’s happening with our hormones, our habits, emotions, stress and thoughts – all this feeds into the sleep we end up with at night. All of which I was completely oblivious to when battling chronic insomnia for years on end.Sleep anxiety can create a very real and vicious circle. I would spend hours lying in bed, increasingly wired, anxious and exh...
Tags: Psychology, Science, Sleep, Life and style, Health & wellbeing


Dream on! The surprising health benefit of a weekend lie-in

An extra hour on Saturday and Sunday may be no substitute for a regular good night’s sleep – but according to new research it may help stave off depressionName: The weekend lie-in.Age: As old as the weekend. Continue reading...
Tags: Science, Sleep, Life and style, Depression, Health & wellbeing


A decade after she died, I can finally grieve the Amy Winehouse I knew and loved

Coming to terms with the loss of my friend Amy Winehouse, amid the media frenzy that surrounded her death, has taken me 10 yearsGod knows what I must have looked like: a bedraggled 25-year-old dressed as a psychedelic game hunter with glitter smeared across my face crying hysterically in a Cambridgeshire field. It was 4pm on 23 July 2011, and a friend of mine had broken the news to me: Amy was dead. I was totally inconsolable, while around me fellow-revellers danced.It was the Saturday of Secret...
Tags: Psychology, Music, Science, Life and style, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Amy Winehouse, Cambridgeshire, Jamie, Amy, Secret Garden Party


Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing

Research shows there is a ‘sweet spot’ and subjective wellbeing drops off after about five hoursThe lesson of Goldilocks, that one can have too much of a good thing, even when it comes to the size of a chair, has applied in fields from astrobiology to economics. Now, it seems it may even govern our free time.Researchers have found that while levels of subjective wellbeing initially rise as free time increases, the trend does not necessarily hold for very high levels of leisure. Continue reading....
Tags: Psychology, Health, Science, Life and style, UK News, US news, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing



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