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Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes

Oranges and other citrus fruits are good for you -- they contain plenty of vitamins and substances, such as antioxidants, that can help keep you healthy. Now a group of researchers reports that these fruits also help prevent harmful effects of obesity in mice fed a Western-style, high-fat diet.

"Our results indicate that in the future we can use citrus flavanones, a class of antioxidants, to prevent or delay chronic diseases caused by obesity in humans," says Paula S. Ferreira, a graduate student with the research team.

Cognitive offloading: How the Internet is increasingly taking over human memory

Our increasing reliance on the Internet and the ease of access to the vast resource available online is affecting our thought processes for problem solving, recall and learning.

In a new article, researchers have found that 'cognitive offloading', or the tendency to rely on things like the Internet as an aide-mémoire, increases after each use. We might think that memory is something that happens in the head but increasingly it is becoming something that happens with the help of agents outside the head.

Benjamin Storm, Sean Stone & Aaron Benjamin conducted experiments to determine our likelihood to reach for a computer or smartphone to answer questions. Participants were first divided into two groups to answer some challenging trivia questions -- one group used just their memory, the other used Google. Participants were then given the option of answering subsequent easier questions by the method of their choice.

Parkinson's could potentially be detected by an eye test

Researchers may have discovered a method of detecting changes in the eye which could identify Parkinson's disease before its symptoms develop.

Scientists at University College London (UCL) say their early animal tests could lead to a cheap and non-invasive way to spot the disease.

Parkinson's affects 1 in 500 people and is the second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide, according to BBC.

The charity Parkinson's UK welcomed the research as a "significant step".

The researchers examined rats and found that changes could be seen at the back of their eyes before visible symptoms occurred.

Professor Francesca Cordeiro who led the research said it was a "potentially revolutionary breakthrough in the early diagnosis and treatment of one of the world's most debilitating diseases".

Viruses 'more dangerous in the morning'

Viruses are more dangerous when they infect their victims in the morning, a University of Cambridge study suggests.

The findings, showed viruses were 10 times more successful if the infection started in the morning.

And the animal studies found that a disrupted body clock - caused by shift-work or jet lag - was always vulnerable to infection, according to BBC.

The researchers say the findings could lead to new ways of stopping pandemics.

Viruses - unlike bacteria or parasites - are completely dependent on hijacking the machinery inside cells in order to replicate.

Paralysis partly reversed using brain-machine interface training

Paraplegic patients recovered partial control and feeling in their limbs after training to use a variety of brain-machine interface technologies, according to new research.

The researchers followed eight patients paralyzed by spinal cord injuries as they adapted to the use of the technologies, which convert brain activity into electric signals that power devices such as exoskeletons and robotic arms, according to Reuters­. 

Between January and December 2014, the patients used virtual reality scenarios and simulated tactile feedback exercises to train their minds.

"To our big surprise, what we noticed is that long-term training with brain-machine interfaces triggers a partial neurological recovery," said Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, a professor of neuroscience and biomedical engineering at Duke University, according to a statement from Duke.