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1. A study that has been conducted with almost 3,000 patients, published in The Lancet, has demonstrated that leg wraps in cheap inflatable devices may be responsible for saving the life of a person that has suffered a stroke. The study, which was conducted in Scotland, has also demonstrated the presence of fewer clots in patients that have been given the inflatable leg wraps.

Close-up of red blood cells and germsThese devices are able to prevent blood from flowing. When a deep vein thrombosis happens, the clots can form quite fast. This is a problem for patients in the hospital as well, because they are unable the walk or move. In the U.K. about 60,000 persons were not capable of moving their legs when they have been admitted to hospitals.

The new devices are fixed around the patient and are inflated from time to time; they manage to compress the legs, thus forcing the blood to go back into the heart. The wraps can be worn a month or so, until the patient recovers and is capable of moving again on his own. This is a simple, safe and cost efficient procedure that will definitely show to be of great help, say the specialists. The wraps are estimated to be able to help close to 100,000 persons every year in the UK.

2. A recent study conducted by Cochrane Collaboration has demonstrated that while antibiotics may produce diarrhea, probiotics may prevent it. In fact, it was known for years that diarrhea is one of the side effect of antibiotic intakes.

The probiotics are said to create a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, whereas antibiotics have the power to kill the necessary organisms, which are present in the digestive system of the patient. Clostridus is a known example of diarrhea trigger, and the infections with this bug are very difficult to treat; some of the patients might even die due to it. The study has clearly demonstrated that people that take probiotics experience in much less numbers the unpleasant side effects of antibiotics.

3. The U.K. plans to revive wildflower meadows. There have been identified over 60 coronation meadows in the U.K. and the plan is to revive more of them. The number of meadows has decreased with 97 percent since the 1930’s.

The Prince of Wales is involved in this project, along with three wildlife organizations. The persons involved will take seeds and green hay from the designated meadows and will create new ones. There have been identified more than 60 meadows until now, and they represent an important treasure of the U.K. By the end of this year, about one hundred such meadows will be included in a program that will rapidly allow people to know their precise location. The meadows vary in age and size, and they are spread all over the U.K. The campaign is meant to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.

4. German and Scottish researchers have found that city living has a major impact on biological clocks of both humans and animals. The study has shown that people living in the city, as well as the animals, wake up earlier and are unable to rest more. The researchers say that this may be a result of micro-evolutionary changes. The conclusions of the study have been published in the journal of Proceedings of the Royal Society; the study was conducted by researchers at Glasgow University.

One of the study’s conclusions was that birds in the forest have a totally different rhythm of life when compared to those living in cities. They begin their activity 30 minutes before those in the woods, and end their daily activities about ten minutes later. This means that their everyday activities last 40 minutes more.

As a consequence of the results of this study, researchers agreed that now it is vital that some studies are conducted in order to see if this alteration of the rhythm of life can trigger several diseases. It is known that when the sleep pattern is disrupted, depression occurs more often, the risk of obesity increases and some types of cancers may develop.

5. There may be no more homework for the kids in U.K. or at least this is the plan that a school in Norwich has. The idea is to give them less or no homework, so that kids will have more family time. The kids enrolled at Jane Austen College in Norwich will do the homework during their normal daily schedule, and not on their free time, at home. The school is supposed to extend the learning hours until 5 PM, so that the homework is correctly done.

Last year, the President of France was talking about ending homework during the primary years. There are several other primary and secondary schools that have banned homework, explaining that this way the kids will have more time to play and stay with their families. In 2014 the entire school program will change, so that kids will learn more English, gain more cultural knowledge and study Latin.

6. The way people choose to call their babies is influenced by an evolutionary tendency, say the results of a recent study. Boys’ names usually sound large, whereas the girls’ names sound small, and this is said to be directly connected to the chance they have to procreate.

Names like Thomas, Oliver or Jack contain broad vowels that are associated with largeness, while the girls’ names, like Emily, Olivia etc may seem small due to the type of sounds they contain.

The research has been conducted by scientists at University of London, and among the conclusions it has demonstrated that people connect some of the vowels to shapes and sizes. The explanation is that our brain does connections between low frequency noises and large animals or people. On the other hand, high frequency sounds tend to be associated to smaller sized people, so the scientists have concluded that parents choose the names of their kids so that they increase the chance of passing on their genes.

7. Several canoes have been dug out in Cambridgeshire. It seems that ancient Britons constructed such canoes out of tree trunks, using them as transportation means in prehistoric times. Archaeologists try to save eight of the canoes, which will be treated with all sorts of substances that will help conservation.

The boats date from 1600… 1000 B.C. Some of the boats were very light, and thus easily handled by the sailors. Others were very robust, and were probably used to carry heavy objects, and up to ten people. Specialists say that sailing with such boats required skills and that was not at all an easy thing to do.

This is the largest and most interesting canoe collection ever found in Britain or even in Europe. The excavations were led by archaeologists guided by Kerry Murrell of Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

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