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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

Neuroscience in the News


New, exciting, and hilarious research has been released in the past few months, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. This is the latest research you must know and research you wish you didn’t.


Research Article #1 – Exploring the Appeal of Dangerous Men


A new study led by The University of Western Australia has probed the age-old question of whether women prefer risk-taking men over their more careful cousins and came up with some surprising results.


The study, published today in Evolutionary Psychological Science, used an evolutionary perspective to shed light on the topic and found that relationship context and the health status of women were critical factors.


More than 1,300 women from 47 countries were surveyed for the study. Lead researcher Dr. Cyril Grueter, from UWA’s School of Human Sciences, said the findings showed that risk-taking men were more attractive for short-term flings than long-term relationships.


For casual sexual liaisons, women prefer courageous men and risk-takers over the type of guy you want to take home to your parents.


Interestingly, the study found that women in better health and with better access to health care were more attracted to risk-takers than women from other socioeconomic backgrounds.


“For more serious long-term relationships, women place a greater value on committed men.”


“Preference for Male Risk Takers Varies with Relationship Context and Health Status but not COVID Risk” by Cyril C. Grueter et al. Evolutionary Psychological Science


Research Article #2 – Why You Need To Stop Picking Your Nose


Griffith University researchers have demonstrated that a bacteria can travel through the olfactory nerve in the nose and into the brain in mice, creating markers that are a tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.


The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that Chlamydia pneumoniae used the nerve extending between the nasal cavity and the brain as an invasion path to invade the central nervous system. The cells in the brain then responded by depositing amyloid beta protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.


Professor James St John, Head of the Clem Jones Center for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research, co-authors the world’s first research.


The olfactory nerve in the nose is directly exposed to air and offers a short pathway to the brain, bypassing the blood-brain barrier. It’s a route that viruses and bacteria have sniffed out as an easy one into the brain.


The team at the Center is already planning the next research phase and aims to prove that the same pathway exists in humans.


“Picking your nose and plucking the hairs from your nose is not a good idea.”

“We don’t want to damage the inside of our nose, and picking and plucking can do that. If you damage the lining of the nose, you can increase how many bacteria can go up into your brain.”


“Chlamydia pneumoniae can infect the central nervous system via the olfactory and trigeminal nerves and contributes to Alzheimer’s disease risk” by James St John et al. Scientific Reports


Research Article #3 – A Different Option For Exercise


Two-minute bursts of vigorous activity totaling 16 minutes a week are associated with a reduced risk of death, according to research published in the European Heart Journal, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). This exercise is associated with an 18% reduced risk of death and a 15% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.


“The results indicate that accumulating vigorous activity in short bouts across the week can help us live longer,” said study author Dr. Matthew N. Ahmadi of the University of Sydney, Australia.


“Given that lack of time is the most commonly reported barrier to regular physical activity, accruing small amounts sporadically during the day may be a desirable option for busy people.” There were nearly 72,000 adults in the study for nearly seven years.


A second study, also published today in EHJ, found that increasing the intensity was associated with a reduced likelihood of cardiovascular disease for a given amount of physical activity.


“Our study shows that it’s not just the amount of activity, but also the intensity, that is important for cardiovascular health,” said study author Dr. Paddy C. Dempsey of the University of Leicester and University of Cambridge, UK, and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia. There were 88,000 individuals in this study for nearly seven years.


Talk about a scale of different types of research. I hope you learned something valuable.

 

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