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Home News The Daily Dose The Daily Dose Daily Dose: Thursday 17/02

Daily Dose: Thursday 17/02

Every day IMN brings you a round up of the best stories from around the web


New ear cleaning trend sweeps Japan


In 2006, the Japanese government announced that ear cleaning would no longer be classed as a medical procedure, making medical licenses unnecessary for "ear cleaners". A new wave of business began - ear cleaning parlours.


Numbers run into the hundreds, spread out in Tokyo and other cities.


Clients are mostly male. And one ear cleaner said that three out of four fall asleep during the session. "Because of all the stress people have and lack of real-world communication due to the Internet, they want to make a connection with someone and experience healing."


There is something geisha-like around this service as a customer is first introduced to a kimono-clad young woman who serves him tea and makes small talk.


The ear cleaner places the customer's head on his or her lap and covers their face with a handkerchief.


Using a "mimikaki", an ear pick made of bamboo, metal or plastic with a small scoop at the end, the cleaner scrapes excess wax out of the ears, as well as massaging them and then tapping the shoulders, followed by more tea.


Phones, twittering, emails, the refresh button on your browser... just how much does technology interfere with your work?


Researchers at the University of Kent are striving to find out the effect of technological interruptions during our working days.


Psychologists there established a "reading lab" with an eyeball tracking camera to monitor eye movements. It then linked up around 100 participants and asked them to read a passage of text on a computer screen before interrupting them with one minute messages, such as phone calls.


They were then asked to return to the original reading, while the eye-tracking camera analysed how they did so. The researchers found that participants re-read a substantial portion of text before reaching the point where they left the original task, so much so, that each interruption caused an average 17 per cent increase in the total time it took to read the whole passage.



Human bones discovered in southern England show signs of cannibalism


The Natural History Museum in London discovered 15,000-year-old human bones in southern England which showed signs of cannibalism and skulls that were made into drinking cups.


Researchers believe that ancient Britons ate their dead and drank out of their hollowed skulls.


The skulls were found in Gough's Cave in the Cheddar Gorge in Somerset and had been meticulously cleaned of soft tissue, cut to remove the base and facial bones, and had their rough edges smoothed to create skull-cups or bowls, according to a study in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.


Women twice as caring as men.. at night time


Women are two and a half times more likely as men to interrupt their sleep to care for children or pets, a study from the University of Michigan has found.


While once they are awake, they are awake longer; 44  minutes for women, 30 for men.


"People are getting up for other things, too. We found that men are checking to make sure the door is locked and especially older men are getting up to use the bathroom. But more women are specifically getting up to care for dependents - that includes feeding, tending to physical or medical care, and especially for young children," says the study's lead researcher, Professor Sarah Burgard, an assistant professor of sociology and epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.


For the study, which is slated to appear in the journal Social Forces, researchers analyzed data collected by the US Census Bureau via the American Time Use Survey; more than 20,000 time diaries kept by working parents from 2003 to 2007.

Dwarfism cancer-preventing gene in Ecuador


A small group of Ecuadoreans with a genetic mutation that causes dwarfism may hold clues to preventing cancer and diabetes,two of the biggest killers in the Western world, researchers said on Wednesday.


A 22-year study of people in a remote village in Ecuador who have genetically low levels of growth hormone reveals startlingly few cases of both diseases, the international team reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.


And drugs that are already approved to block growth hormone may help prevent these diseases, they said.


The team followed residents of an isolated community who had Laron syndrome. The team followed about 100 people with the syndrome, and 1,600 normal-sized relatives in nearby towns.


It is a deficiency in a gene that prevents the body from using growth hormone, causing very small body size.


Over 22 years, there were no cases of diabetes and only one non-lethal case of cancer among the Laron group. Among the relatives, about 5 percent developed diabetes and 17 percent developed cancer.









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