First News
Volume:8, Number:02
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THIS WEEK

Drinking Water from Refilled Plastic Bottles Can be Harmful

Plastic bottle you are constantly replenishing could have the potential to leach chemicals and harbor harmful bacteria. In particular, there have been concerns about Bisphenol A (BPA) - a controversial chemical, which is used in the manufacture of plastics and is thought to interfere with sex hormones. Certain chemicals found in plastic bottles can have effects on every system in our bodies. In a study conducted by Treadmill Reviews, researchers lab-tested water bottles after each had been used by an athlete for a week and found that the highest number of bacteria reached over 900,000 colony-forming units per square cm on average. Worryingly, that is more bacteria than the average toilet seat. It also found that 60 percent of the germs they found on the water bottles were able to make people sick.

More Under-40 Women Getting Nipped and Tucked

While liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts and botox are generally associated with people trying to stave off the ravages of old age later in life – London-based plastic surgeon Dr. Julian De Silva says now it is often women who have not even hit middle age. The average age of women going under the knife is now 39, down from 42 just five years ago. Meanwhile for men, the average age has fallen from 47 to 45 years, which is what the Oxford English Dictionary defines as the beginning of middle age. Plastic surgery has been gaining ground among an ever younger demographic all over the world. The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics recently raised alarm on the influence of social media in engendering "appearance anxiety", especially in children.

Playing Video Games Can Boost Attention

Playing video games can help alter the brain regions responsible for attention and visuospatial skills – skills that enable us to recognize a square, triangle, cube or pyramid – as well as make them more efficient, say scientists in an analysis of over a 100 scientific studies. In the study, researchers led by Marc Palaus from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain, revealed that gamers showed improvements in several types of attention, such as sustained attention or selective attention. Playing video games also increased the size and efficiency of brain regions related to visuospatial skills. Further, in gamers, the brain regions involved in attention were found to be more efficient and required less activation to sustain attention on demanding tasks. The study appeared in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

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