Want to improve your putt? Try listening to jazz .

Listening to jazz music while putting can boost your performance on the putting green, according to new research. While any kind of music improves performance compared to listening to no music at all, jazz is the most effective musical genre for improving putting.
While any kind of music improves performance compared to listening to no music at all, jazz is the most effective musical genre for improving putting, according to a study.

Listening to jazz music while putting can boost your performance on the putting green, according to new university research.

The 22 participants in the research were university Division I golfers, an average of 20 years old with at least eight years of golf experience. Each of them completed a series of six trials, which comprised attempting five putts at four pre-designated locations around a hole. In a randomized order, participants were required to listen to either no music or a musical genre that included classical, country, rock, jazz, and hip hop/rap while putting.

Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies Ali Boolani says that music can enhance performance in other sports too. “Other research has shown that country music improves batting, rap music improves jump shots and running is improved by any up-temp music. But the benefit of music in fine motor control situations was relatively unknown. Hopefully, this is the first step in answering this question.”

Boolani conducted the study along with Assistant Professor Timothy Baghurst, Assistant Professor Tyler Tapps, and Regents Professor Bert H. Jacobson of Oklahoma State University, and student Richard Gill of Tennessee State University.

The paper indicates that future research will be needed with a larger sample to see if the findings can be replicated.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clarkson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Timothy Baghurst et al. The Influence of Musical Genres on Putting Accuracy in Golf: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Athletic Enhancement, November 2014 DOI: 10.4172/2324-9080.1000165

Spooky! Human Brain Waves Control Mouse Genes

Human thoughts can be used to turn on genes in mice, new research suggests.
A tiny, light-based machine uses people’s brain waves to generate a flicker of light, which then turns on genes in the brains of mice. The new method could one day be used by people who suffer from chronic pain or epilepsy to instantly deliver drugs from a brain implant when they experience characteristic brain waves at the onset of pain or a seizure, said study author Martin Fussenegger, a researcher at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland.
“For the first time, it was possible to use brain waves — the subject’s thoughts — to induce gene expression,” Fussenegger told Live Science. [Biomimicry: 7 Clever Designs Inspired by Nature]

Synthetic biology
In recent years, scientists have developed tiny, biologically based machines from some of the fundamental building blocks of life, such as DNA, RNA and proteins. For instance, scientists have designed microbial drug factories out of yeast and bacteria that produce drugs like morphine. Other groups have created life-forms with completely man-made six-letter DNA. And still others have created tiny computer hard-drives that use DNA as the coding language.
Other researchers have designed cybernetic brain implants where, humans or monkeys can control the brain waves of monkeys. But few researchers have tried to combine both synthetic molecular machines and brain implants.
In their new study, Fussenegger and his colleagues asked several volunteers to meditate, concentrate by playing a game of “Minecraft” or control their brain activity with biofeedback, a technique where people sync their brain waves using a guided display Each of these activities produces a unique signature of electrical brain activity, which was captured by electroencephalography (EEG) and fed wirelessly into an implant in a mouse’s brain.
“These brain-wave patterns they are recorded, processed and then we designated a certain threshold,” Fussenegger said. “If the pattern goes above this threshold level, it turns on a near-infrared LED for a defined period of time.”
This near-infrared light then trips a tiny cellular machine — a bacterial protein that is activated by light — inside the mouse’s brain implant. The bacterial protein sets off a chemical cascade that turns on a tailor-made gene snippet that encodes a specific human protein. The team then verifies that the genes are activated by measuring the human protein levels in the mouse’s bloodstream, Fussenegger said.
Tiny brain factories
Though the current experiment used a human protein with no therapeutic purpose, the same technique could eventually be used in the human brain to deliver precise quantities of drugs as needed, Fussenegger said.
For instance, just before an epileptic seizure, the brain produces a unique type of electrical activity that could trigger a tiny, light-activated genetic implant that quickly produces an anti-seizure medication. Chronic pain may also produce signature brain waves just before the onset of discomfort, which could be used to preemptively produce painkillers in the brain.
“This is an interesting proof of concept,” said Kevin Gardner, a structural biologist at the City University of New York’s Advanced Science Research Center who was not involved in the study.
But applications in humans are likely a long way off, Gardner told Live Science.

Are Your Sleep Habits Affecting Your Weight?


Are Your Sleep Habits Affecting Your Weight?

Good sleep habits are the foundation to overall health. People who do not get enough can suffer from a wide range of health issues, from heart conditions to depression. But can poor sleep habits really affect a person’s weight too? The answer is absolutely! Adequate sleep is an essential part of maintaining a healthy weight and finding balance in a healthy everyday lifestyle. Those who are looking to lose weight should be especially careful of the amount of sleep they get, because too much or too little sleep can slow or even stop their progress towards reaching their goal weight.

How can you improve your sleep habits?

There are a million different excuses people have for not getting adequate sleep each night. They say that they do not have time to go to sleep earlier, or they need to have the TV on while they sleep, but there are reasonable solutions to these problems that anyone can utilize. These solutions can not only help people lose weight, but it can also help them combat other health issues they are struggling with in their lives. Here are some common sleep habits that cause weight gain and how you can fix or prevent them.

Going to bed too late

Many people simply just do not allot enough time each day for sleep. They feel that there are not enough hours in the day for them to get everything done that they need to do each day, so they sacrifice some of the sleep they need in order to make up time during the day. These people need to make sleep a top priority in their schedule. They might need to cut back on a few other obligations, but the reward they receive from a full night’s sleep with be worth it.

Feeling tired even after a full night of sleep

Many people dedicate 8 hours a night to sleep, but they still feel tired and drained each day. This can cause emotional eating and over consumption of unhealthy foods, making weight lose more difficult. These people probably have an underlying issue that is causing their lack of sleep each night, like sleep apnea. Get yourself checked for possible sleep issues and consult CPAPMan for possible treatment options to get more restful sleep each night.

Sleeping with the TV on

Technology can have a big effect on the type of sleep a person gets each night. Many people are in the habit of sleeping with the TV on, or engaging in a lot of technology use right before bed. Technology stimulates the brain and can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Those who are trying to lose weight and get better sleep should turn off the TV and avoid using technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Try reading a book or a magazine instead.

Impact of Caffeine on sleep

Many people today are addicted to caffeine. It is not uncommon for a person to have 2-4 cups of coffee a day. This amount of caffeine a day can make it difficult for anyone to fall asleep at night. This creates a bad cycle, because people who lack sleep at night resort to caffeine during the day to stay alert, but more caffeine only makes it more difficult for them to sleep at night. Try to reduce your caffeine intake a little each day and instead drink more water to see a big difference in nightly sleep.

Taking regular naps instead of sleeping through the night

Naps can easily become a part of a person’s day to day life. You might take a nap one day when you are feeling a little sluggish, but taking naps on a regular basis can disrupt your sleep pattern and actually make sleeping at night more difficult. In order to get better sleep at night, you should maintain a regular sleep schedule, which includes staying awake during the day and maintaining a regular bed time and wake-up time. These little changes will help your body adapt to the new schedule and sleep more restfully at night.