Eye See You: Detailed Memories Easier To Conjure When You Close Your Eyes

Trips down memory lane are more detailed when you close your eyes, found a new study published in Legal and Criminal Psychology. Or, you know, if you’re an eyewitness to a crime.

Closed eye

Researchers from the University of Surrey recruited 178 participants to take part in two experiments. The first experiment involved watching a film depicting a thieving electrician. Afterwards, participants were assigned to one of four conditions, with eyes opened or closed, and asked questions about the film, such as “What was written on the front of the van?”

In the second experiment, participants (still in their respective conditions) watched a film of a burglary. Only instead of recalling visuals, participants were asked to recall what they heard. They were then asked back a week later to recall the details all over again. And while researchers didn’t find eye-closure had a significant effect on recall immediately following the experiment, it did during follow-up. Almost 40 percent of details, including ones not previously mentioned, were easier to recall if participants had their eyes closed versus opened.

“The findings extend previous research in showing that the eye-closure instruction can still be effective when witnesses are interviewed repeatedly, and that it can facilitate the elicitation of new information,” the researchers explained.

There is a second element to all this, and it has to do with the person asking you to recall the details of those memories. In addition to closing their eyes, participants who built a rapport with their researcher experienced improved memory recall, too.

“It is clear from our research that closing the eyes and building rapport help with witness recall,” Dr. Robert Nash, lead study author, said in a press release. “Although closing your eyes to remember seems to work whether or not rapport has been built beforehand, our results show that building rapport makes witnesses more at ease with closing their eyes. That in itself is vital if we are to encourage witnesses to use this helpful technique during interviews.”

The added benefits of a good rapport with a researcher or interviewer include comfort. Nash added participants who did not build a rapoort were uncomfortable when they closed their eyes following questions.

Source: Vredeveldt A, Baddeley A.D., Hitch G.J. The effectiveness of eye-closure in repeated interviews. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 2014.

Tips On How To Prevent Muscle Cramps .


Does having a hobby help you live for longer?

An international study has suggested that having a hobby can give older people a greater purpose later on in life, which could have a positive impact on their health. 1

The study, which was carried out by a combination of British and US universities, found that those who reported a greater sense of purpose in life were generally healthier and lived for longer than those who claimed to have little purpose.

The study could not prove hobbies directly affect your chances of living for longer however, especially with other more recognised causes of ill health to be considered too. That said, it did add to the link between health and mental wellbeing.

The study found that the relationship appeared to go both ways, with unhappy people developing illnesses, while ill people could become unhappy. The latter was certainly found to be prevalent amongst those with typical ageing illnesses, such as heart disease and arthritis.

This study was interesting, and it does back up the importance of us remaining both physically and mentally active as we age. Eating well and having a healthy lifestyle is also important, as is keeping up social activities and interactions.

Big Opportunities Exist for Cancer Research and Treatment, but Challenges Lie Ahead

  • Over the past year we have seen dramatic advancements in personalized medicine, particularly in the field of oncology. The industry has made strides in areas ranging from genetic stratification and biomarker identification to diagnostics, targeted therapies, and prognostic tests. As we look toward 2015 the bar will be set even higher, and major opportunities are on the horizon for personalized medicine and cancer research and treatment. Several trends are poised to be game changers for the industry over the next year, including big data and data quality, immunotherapy, combination treatments, and predictive biomarkers. However, as the industry seeks to overcome unique challenges in each of these areas, advancements will rely on the adoption of key drivers.

    In 2015, the following four trends will be at the forefront of cancer drug discovery and development, shaping the future of personalized medicine and how we develop therapies and treat patients going forward.

    Big Opportunities Exist for Cancer Research and Treatment, but Challenges Lie Ahead

  • 1. The quality of data will become just as important as the quantity.

    Demand is growing for the use of big data in clinical trials and treatments. We are now even seeing organizations develop data facilities to house genomic data, such as the University of Chicago’s Genomic Data Commons, to expand data access for researchers and doctors and quicken the drug discovery process. The use of big data will change how the industry thinks and operates in terms of developing therapies and treating patients—with more data on which to base decisions, the possibility of treating patients in a truly personalized way will become ever greater. However, moving forward the quality of data will become equally as important as the quantity of data researchers are gathering and analyzing.

    The industry currently struggles with a lack of standardization around the way data is collected, shared, and analyzed, leading to data accuracy issues. In order for big data to be useful, the data quality must also improve. The 2014 Journal of American Medical Association report, “Reanalyses of Randomized Clinical Trial Data,” highlighted this challenge, showing that in many cases clinical trial data did not match the data from the original researchers when reanalyzed. While the concept and use of big data in clinical trials and in the clinician’s office will continue to grow in 2015, the industry will simultaneously focus more on standardization and data quality.

  • 2. Combination drugs will become the next big thing.

    Combination therapies will grow in importance for the industry and patients in 2015. Combination therapies have become of significant interest to the industry as they have shown great promise in clinical trials, particularly for late-stage breast cancers. However, for the use of combination therapies to advance more rapidly, the current regulatory environment and drug approval process needs to be structured in a way that supports the simultaneous testing of multiple drugs. The classic FDA process requires looking at drugs individually and in comparison—not evaluating two in combination.

    Looking forward, the industry will look to move beyond this challenge and make advancements in combination therapies, seeking to make inroads particularly for melanoma as well as breast, lung, and prostate cancer.

  • 3. Immunotherapies will experience growth

    In 2015 the race for immunotherapy drug approvals will increase in intensity as pharmaceutical companies dedicate significant resources to developing these treatments. Moreover, greater emphasis will be placed on developing immunotherapies targeted at patients with early-stage cancers versus late-stage cancers.

    The industry is anticipating explosive growth for immunotherapies over the next year. However, quality clinical trial data and standardization will be important factors in driving advancements here. Important clinical trial data, which will help determine the future of immunotherapies, is still pending. Additionally, the industry is still working on a standardized approach to efficiently and reproducibly score patient immunoprofiles and developing biomarkers that predict response to treatment; it’s challenging for scientists to assess the immune profile manually due to its complexity, so there is still a significant need for more technological support of image quantification to fully realize the potential of immunotherapies.

  • 4. The approach to predictive biomarkers for stratification will become more sophisticated

    Enthusiasm for biomarkers has increased over the last year, and will remain strong in 2015: pharmaceutical companies recognize the importance of predictive biomarkers for drug approval as first and second line therapies, and physicians are seeking better tests to provide more targeted treatments to patients. However, successful biomarker discovery is dependent on numerous factors, and is thus more challenging than initially thought.

    As the industry becomes more experienced in this area, biomarker identification will become more methodical and sophisticated—and will in turn continue to incur challenges with new cost models and processes. Thus, while diagnostic and prognostic tests will become more robust and complex, the improvements will be gradual.

  • There are huge opportunities for personalized medicine over the coming year. The industry is on the right path and on the cusp of some developments that have the ability to drastically change patient lives. However, with each new milestone comes a challenge, and in 2015 the research and medical community will be focused on overcoming these challenges so we can make big strides in personalized medicine, and bring these major advancements to fruition.

10 Warning Signs You have a Thyroid Problem .

Some medical professionals estimate that as many as 25 million Americans may be suffering from some sort of hormonal imbalance – and that as many as half of those cases go undiagnosed and untreated. However, if this is the case, there are many long-term health problems that can result. Below are ten of the most common warning signs of a thyroid problem.



If you wake up tired after sleeping eight to ten hours a day or feel the need to nap frequently, this could be because your thyroid is underactive; the thyroid plays a big role in overall energy levels and fatigue is a very common complaint.

Weight Gain

The thyroid gland also controls your metabolism, which dictates who readily your body is able to burn calories. A slowed thyroid results in the slowed metabolism, and that it turn makes it easy to put on weight but difficult to lose it.

Mood Issues

Thyroid hormones also affect the emotions. If you noticed emotional or mood issues such as unexplained or rapid mood swings or feelings of anxiety or depression, this is also a sign that something may be amiss with your thyroid levels.

Sexual/Reproductive Difficulties

The thyroid gland also has some effect on sexual function. So if you notice that you have a low libido, are have menstrual difficulties or problems with conception, then it is also possible that these problems are stemming from an imbalance of thyroid hormones.


Chronic muscle, joint or tendon pain in absence of any other cause (such as arthritis or fibromyalgia) could also be a sign that your thyroid hormones are out of whack.


Coldness in the hands or feet, low body temperature, or feelings of coldness when others are comfortable in the same room can also be a sign that your thyroid – and thus your metabolism – is sluggish and not producing enough heat to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Skin, Hair and Nail Problems

Skin, hair and nail problems can also be a sign of an underactive thyroid gland – particularly if you experience dry, flaking skin, brittle nails that crack easily or excessive loss of hair.


Then your thyroid levels drops, it tends to result in the slowing-down of all your bodily processes, including peristalsis, or the process by which food moves through the digestive tract. Constipation can be a frequent result of this.

Cognitive Issues

Thyroid levels can also interfere with cognitive abilities such as the ability to concentrate and focus; people with low thyroid often complain of feeling foggy or spacy and can have poor concentration and memory.

Voice and Throat Problems

Voice and throat problems such as a hoarse voice, pain, discomfort or swelling in the neck or snoring can all result when the thyroid has become enlarged or is inflamed.

If you have read this list and realize that you are having some or many of these issues, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to discuss your concerns. Simple tests can confirm a diagnosis of thyroid imbalance and a plan of care can be formulated to help with this condition.

Understanding The Dangers of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs .

You see them in every grocery store and home center – those funny-looking curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that are rapidly replacing the old round bulbs. And pretty soon, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 kicks in, requiring bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2012 to 2014, and 70 percent more efficient by 2020, effectively phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs as a way to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy efficiency of CFLs may be significant, but unlike traditional light bulbs, there is a hidden danger sealed inside each little bulb that requires special handling and disposal.

Mercury – a potent, developmental neurotoxin that can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to mercury’s toxic effects. Even at low levels, mercury is capable of causing a number of health problems including impair motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional problems. Higher or prolonged exposure can result in much more serious health problems.

CFLs are marketed as “safe” and don’t pose any health risks as long as the glass remains intact. The danger comes if the bulbs are cracked, broken or not disposed of properly. Although it sounds like a miniscule amount – 4 to 5 milligrams – there is enough mercury in just one fluorescent light bulb to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.

So what does that mean if a CFL is cracked or breaks in our homes, releasing mercury vapors in an enclosed area?Consumers – especially those with young children –need to know what to do when a CFL breaks and the proper way to dispose of used bulbs. It’s no longer as easy as changing a light bulb.

Mercury Warning:

Compact fluorescent light-bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury and care must be taken in disposing of them or when they break.

The EPA suggests the following:
o People and pets should immediately leave the room.

o Open a window and/or door and Air out the room for 5 to 10 minutes.

o Turn off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system.

o Thoroughly collect broken glass and visible powder using wet cloths. Never use vacuum cleaners or brooms.

o Put all debris and cleanup materials in a sealable container and put outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Do not leaving bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

o If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

Also check out these frequently asked questions about CFLs below

Frequently Asked Questions Information on Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and Mercury November 2010

All of this needs to be done to protect people from the tiny amount of mercury in one fluorescent light bulb. Which begs the question, are these lights really safe and are the risks worth it?

Another equally important concern is what happens to the environment – the air, soil and water – when tons of discarded bulbs, along with the mercury, are dumped into local landfills?

The threat posed by billions of broken CFLs lying in landfills has resulted in some communities requiring their citizens to discard used and broken CFLs in designated recycling centers or in a hazardous-waste collection facility.

Given the known deleterious effects caused by mercury, it would seem logical to assume there will be some unintended consequences resulting from the switch to compact fluorescent lights.

Only time will tell how significant those consequences will be.

If you are concerned about the possible health risks associated with CFLs, LED or halogen lights are good alternatives. Both cost a little more but are as efficient as CFLs and can be recycled easily.

For more information about mercury and compact fluorescent light bulbs go to http://www.epa.gov/cfl/

For information about your communities recycling program go to http://epa.gov/cfl/cflrecycling.html

Compact Fluorescent Lamps are designed to fit standard light sockets as an energy-saving alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs have spiraling or elongated U-shaped tubes known as a single-envelope unit; the double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs have the tubes inside a glass bulb. Consumers should be aware of dangers associated with CFL bulbs before bringing the units into the home, school or workplace.

Mercury Content

  • Although CFLs are considered extremely energy efficient, each bulb contains about 5mg “elemental mercury,” says U.S. Army-Ft. Wood. General Electric, a manufacturer of CFL bulbs, notes the amount equivalent to the tip of a ballpoint pen. GE further claims the mercury is an “essential, irreplaceable element” that allows the bulb to perform as an efficient light source, posing no danger during regular use. Elemental mercury is a bioaccumulative neurotoxin that effects multiple neurological responses. High exposures may affect the kidneys, lead to respiratory failure and death. In addition, mercury accumulates in the environment, vaporizing into the air and leaching into water supplies.

Radiation Emissions

  • CFL bulbs are subject to scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as electronic products that emit ultraviolet radiation. However, as of May 2011, the FDA did not have “specific standards or annual reporting requirements” for manufacturers because the bulbs are considered of little concern, having insignificant levels of radiation. CFLs emit a small amount of UVA, UVB and infrared radiation, according to the FDA. The Australian Radiation Protection and NuclearSafety Agency tested CFLs from various manufacturers. With the exception of people with photosensitive medical conditions, such as lupus, ARPANSA noted that CFLs are suitable for use at distances beyond 10 inches. However, when using desktop and other close lamps, it’s advisable to utilize double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs.

Electrical Sensitivity

  • Electrical sensitivity, also known as electrical hypersensitivity and electromagnet hypersensitivity, is a recognized disability with chronic and systematic reactions to electromagnet fields given off by wiring, electrical equipment, transformers and florescent lighting — including CFLs. Approximately 8 million Americans experience electrical sensitivities, according to the Research & Training Center on Independent Living. It causes nervous system symptoms such as headache, fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances; skin symptoms including prickling, burning sensations and rashes, and pain and ache to muscles, as well as many other health problems. CFLs contribute to electrical sensitivity by emitting electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic Radiation

  • Electromagnet radiation, also known as electromagnetic frequencies — EMF — is a naturally occurring energy. Technological advances such as CFL bulbs have increased the EMF in modern environments. The electromagnet radiation bundle includes dirty electricity — sometimes called dirty power — electrical pollution and radio waves. Most of the EMF fields experienced every day and emitted from CFL bulbs are non-ionizing radiation and considered safe. However, for people with electrical sensitivity, CFL bulbs have significant accumulative dangers, according to ElectroSensitivity UK News.

Instant Noodles Could Hurt Your Heart

It’s convenient, cheap and best served hot, but how healthy is it? The instant noodles commonly known as ramen — a staple food for college kids and other young adults, as well as people in certain cultures — may increase people’s risk of metabolic changes linked to heart disease and stroke, new research finds.
In the study, women in South Korea who consumed more of the precooked blocks of dried noodles were more likely to have “metabolic syndrome” regardless of what else they ate, or how much they exercised, the researchers found. People with metabolic syndrome may have high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels, and face an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
“Although instant noodle is a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food’s] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads,” said study co-author Hyun Shin, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. [7 Foods Your Heart Will Hate]

Shin and his colleagues at Baylor University and Harvard analyzed the health and diet of nearly 11,000 adults in South Korea between ages 19 to 64. The participants reported what they ate, and the researchers categorized each participant’s diet as centered on either traditional healthy food or fast food, as well as how many times weekly they ate instant noodles.
Women who ate instant noodles twice a week or more had a higher risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate ramen less, or not at all, regardless of whether their diet style fell into the traditional or fast-food category. The researchers found the association even among young women who were leaner and reported doing more physical activity.
As for men, Shin and his colleagues guessed that biological differences between the genders, like the effect of sex hormones and metabolism, might account for the lack of an apparent association among males between eating instant noodles and developing metabolic syndrome.
The study was conducted in South Korea, an area known to have the largest ramen consumption group in the world, where people consumed 3.4 billion packages of instant noodles in 2010.
But the findings could apply to people in North American too, said Lisa Young, a nutritionist and professor at New York University who was not involved in the study. “We [in the States] don’t eat it as much, but the ramen noodles are being sold, so this could apply to anywhere they’re sold, and they’re sold almost everywhere.”
So what’s so bad about instant noodles?
“Instant noodles are high in fat, high in salt, high in calories and they’re processed — all those factors could contribute to some of the health problems [the researchers] addressed,” Young said. “That doesn’t mean that every single person is going to respond the same way, but the piece to keep in mind is that it’s not a healthy product, and it is a processed food.”
Processed foods generally contain high amounts of sugar and salt, primarily because they are designed to have long shelf lives.
But Young said there might be ways to dampen the dangers of eating instant noodles without swearing off of them altogether. “Number one, don’t eat it every day,” Young told Live Science. “Number two, portion control,” she said, and recommended that people eat a small amount of instant noodles and mix them with vegetables and other healthier, nonprocessed foods.
Above all, however, Young said a little bit of preparation could help people avoid processed instant noodles altogether. “You can easily make noodles, homemade pasta, ground-rice pasta and veggies” at home, with a little bit of planning, she said.

Why Sitting Too Much Can Kill You!

Many of us work hard to take care of our bodies by eating healthy and exercising, but new research says that it might not be enough! Laci reports on a new study that says that the amount of time we spend sitting is killing us!

Read More:
New Sitting Risk: Disability After 60
“If you’re 60 and older, every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to a 50 percent greater risk of being disabled – regardless of how much moderate exercise you get, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.”

Get Up! Study Says Sedentary Time Means Less Ability In Everyday Life
“It’s not enough for people to get regular moderate exercise as they age. Researchers say it’s also important not to spend the rest your time sitting too much.”

Want to Live Longer? Turn Off Your TV
“Sitting in front of the television may be a relaxing way to pass an evening, but spending too much time in front of the tube may take years off your life.”
Watch More:
Shivering Helps Weight Loss?
TestTube Wild Card
Common Things That Kill Will You

6 of the Creepiest Sounds Ever Recorded .

Sound has an intense effect on our senses – try turning off the sound on a horror movie and you’ll soon stop being afraid. It’s admirable that SFX designers and composers are able to create effects and eerie music to get us scared, but some of the most creepiest sounds ever recorded were created naturally…

Turn up the volume, turn off the lights, and listen…


From the desk of Zedie.

U.S. Painkiller Abuse ‘Epidemic’ May Be Declining, Study Says

The U.S. “epidemic” of prescription-painkiller abuse may be starting to reverse course, a new study suggests.

Experts said the findings, published Jan. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine, are welcome news. The decline suggests that recent laws and prescribing guidelines aimed at preventing painkiller abuse are working to some degree.

But researchers also found a disturbing trend: Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise, and that may be one reason prescription-drug abuse is down.

“Some people are switching from painkillers to heroin,” said Dr. Adam Bisaga, an addiction psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City.

While the dip in painkiller abuse is good news, more “global efforts” — including better access to addiction treatment — are needed, said Bisaga, who was not involved in the study.

“You can’t get rid of addiction just by decreasing the supply of painkillers,” he said.

Prescription narcotic painkillers include drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. In the 1990s, U.S. doctors started prescribing the medications much more often, because of concerns that patients with severe pain were not being adequately helped.

U.S. sales of narcotic painkillers rose 300 percent between 1999 and 2008, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The increase had good intentions behind it, noted Dr. Richard Dart, the lead researcher on the new study. Unfortunately, he said, it was accompanied by a sharp rise in painkiller abuse and “diversion” — meaning the drugs increasingly got into the hands of people with no legitimate medical need.

What’s more, deaths from prescription-drug overdoses (mostly painkillers) tripled. In 2010, the CDC says, more than 12 million Americans abused a prescription narcotic, and more than 16,000 died of an overdose — in what the agency termed an epidemic.

But based on the new findings, the tide may be turning, said Dart, who directs the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver.

His team found that after rising for years, Americans’ abuse and diversion of prescription narcotics declined from 2011 through 2013. Overdose deaths, meanwhile, started to dip in 2009.

The findings are based on data from five monitoring programs — four of which showed the same pattern of declining prescription painkiller abuse, Dart said.

One, for instance, followed patients newly entering treatment for drug abuse. It found that the number who said they’d abused a narcotic painkiller in the past month fell from 3.8 per 100,000 in 2011 to 2.8 per 100,000 in 2013.

“The big ‘but’ is heroin abuse and overdose, which is increasing,” Dart said.

Nationally, the rate of heroin-related deaths rose from around 0.014 per 100,000 in 2010, to more than 0.03 per 100,000 in 2013, the study noted.

“It’s a good news/bad news story,” said Dart, who agreed that some of the decline in painkiller abuse is due to some users switching to heroin.

A recent study highlighted the changing demographics of the U.S. heroin user. Today, it’s often a middle-class suburbanite who started off on painkillers.

“You see drug cartels expanding into smaller towns. Heroin is reaching rural areas where it was never seen before,” Bisaga said. “And that is going to be around for a long time.”

Still, the switch to heroin is not the only reason for the decline in painkiller abuse, Dart said. He pointed to the flood of federal, state and local legislation passed in the last decade to combat prescription-drug abuse.

Almost every state has prescription drug monitoring programs, which electronically track prescriptions for controlled substances. They can help catch “doctor shoppers” — people who go from doctor to doctor, trying to get a new narcotic prescription.

Medical groups have also come out with new guidelines on painkiller prescribing, aiming to limit inappropriate use.

“I can’t tell you which of these efforts is working,” Dart said, “or if they’re all working.”

But both he and Bisaga said it’s not enough to keep prescription painkillers out of the wrong hands.

“You have to reduce the demand, too,” Dart said. That, he added, requires education on the addictive potential of painkillers and wider access to addiction treatment.

Medications for narcotic addiction are available, but not enough people get them, Bisaga noted.

“We still have 3 million people addicted to these drugs,” he said, referring to painkillers and heroin. “We need to build a cadre of professionals who can treat them.”

Dart said the public has a role in limiting painkiller abuse, too — by not automatically asking for Vicodin after a tooth extraction, for example.

“A segment of the population is susceptible to developing an addiction,” Dart noted. “And it can happen to the fine, upstanding citizen, too.”