Bananas are a healthier alternative to sports drinks
Striking a cord
Doctors could be on the brink of being able to repair the spinal cord after injury. An Australian study on paralysed rats showed that bathing their spinal cords in chemicals and zapping them with electricity enabled them to walk again. If the same technique proves successful in humans this could be one of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the 21st century.
Strange but true…
…the colour of your eyes could predict your risk of certain skin diseases. If scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have got it right, people with blue eyes are less likely to develop vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that deprives the skin of pigment. Brown-eyed people are less at risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Research from the University of Manchester shows that certain bacteria spread by hitching a ride on a naturally occurring protein called calpain, which enables them to move and grow. The discovery could lead to the development of new drugs that block this process, so reducing the need for antibiotics, to which bacteria are increasingly becoming resistant.
Sports drinks have long popular as performance-boosters but a recent study on cyclists reveals that bananas could be just as effective. It seems they contain antioxidants not found in sports drinks as well as a wealth of nutrients such as fibre, potassium and vitamin B6. They also contain a healthier blend of sugars than sports drinks. So go on, unzip a banana.
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