Caffeine’s sport performance advantage for infrequent tea and coffee drinkers

A study has found that the performance enhancing benefits of caffeine are more apparent in athletes who do not drink caffeine-rich drinks such as tea, coffee, and energy drinks on a daily basis, according to Science Daily.

Researchers Dr Brendan Egan and Mark Evans examined the impact of caffeine, in the form of caffeinated chewing gum, on the performance of 18 male team sport athletes during a series of repeated sprints. The athletes undertook 10 repeated sprints under conditions with and without two sticks of the caffeinated gum, which is equivalent to two strong cups of coffee.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

 Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors, according to Science Daily.

One young man managed to rupture the back of his throat during this manoeuvre, leaving him barely able to speak or swallow, and in considerable pain.

Spontaneous rupture of the back of the throat is rare, and usually caused by trauma, or sometimes by vomiting, retching or heavy coughing, so the 34 year old's symptoms initially surprised the emergency care doctors.

The young man explained that he had developed a popping sensation in his neck which immediately swelled up after he tried to contain a forceful sneeze by pinching his nose and keeping his mouth clamped shut at the same time.

A little later he found it extremely painful to swallow and all but lost his voice.

Black Death 'spread by humans not rats'

Rats were not to blame for the spread of plague during the Black Death, according to a study.

The rodents and their fleas were thought to have spread a series of outbreaks in 14th-19th Century Europe, according to BBC.

But a team from the universities of Oslo and Ferrara now says the first, the Black Death, can be "largely ascribed to human fleas and body lice".

The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, uses records of its pattern and scale.

Benefits of a healthy diet greater in people at high genetic risk for obesity

The benefits of sticking to a healthy diet to prevent long term weight gain are greater in people at high genetic risk for obesity than in those with low genetic risk, according to Science Daily

The researchers say their findings indicate that improving diet quality over time might lead to greater weight loss for people who are genetically susceptible to obesity. The study also indicates that the genetic risk of weight gain is attenuated by improving diet quality.

Obesity is a complex disorder involving a mix of genes and environmental influences. Previous research has shown that diets high in sugar sweetened drinks and fried foods could amplify the genetic associations with higher body weight.

New discovery may explain winter weight gain

We may have a new reason, in addition to vitamin D generation, to bask in a little sunshine.

A breakthrough study researchers has shown the fat cells that lie just beneath our skin shrink when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun, according to Science Daily.

"When the sun's blue light wavelengths -- the light we can see with our eye -- penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don't store as much fat," said Peter Light, senior author of the study, who is a professor .