A team of scientists has uncovered how goldfish survive the harsh winters beneath frozen lakes by producing alcohol. Continue reading Revealed: Goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen
US researchers have discovered two previously unknown areas of the brain that help humans process familiar and unfamiliar faces differently. Continue reading Decoded: How brain recognises familiar faces
Astronomers have identified the oldest known asteroid family, which extends throughout the inner region of the main asteroid belt. Continue reading Astronomers identify oldest asteroid family
A new study says that origin of human genus could have occurred by chance and might not be directly related to climate change, as commonly believed. Continue reading Did humans evolve by chance?
Engineers in the US have designed a smart, mechanised undergarment that may help prevent lower back pain by reducing muscle fatigue. Continue reading Smart underwear may help prevent back pain
A small asteroid that is expected to fly close to the Earth in October will help NASA to test its network of observatories, a group of NASA researchers, including an Indian-origin scientist, has said. Continue reading Asteroid flyby to help NASA test global tracking network
Chinese researchers have developed a user-interactive electronic skin that can change colour—an ability associated with animals such as chameleons, octopuses and squid. The changes are perceptible to the human eye without much strain. Continue reading Colour-changing e-skin developed; can have robotics uses
In a bid to change the way people interact with each other, Blippar — a visual discovery application — has announced a new in-app feature that changes face profiles into a digital format using augmented reality (AR). Continue reading New augmented reality based facial recognition feature unveiled
Clothes that double up as cell-phone charger could be a reality soon as researchers have found a way to generate electricity from human motion. Continue reading Device that can harvest electricity from human motion
Late night mobile phone use has devastating effects on teenagers’ mental health, a study by Australian researchers at Murdoch and Griffith Universities said.
Funded by the Australian Research Council, the world’s first long-term assessment of adolescent mental health regarding late night mobile phone usage examined students’ quality of sleep, along with mood, aggression, coping skills, self esteem and whether they experienced any symptoms of depression, Xinhua news agency reported.
The process was conducted as an annual survey over four years and included 1,100 students from 29 schools.
When the subjects began the process, they were in Class 8 of High School. When the programme concluded, they had hit Class 11.
The questionnaires focused on what time of the night students continued to receive or send text messages and phone calls.
“We found that late night phone use directly contributed to poor sleep habits, which over time led to declines in overall wellbeing and mental health,” lead researcher Lynette Vernon said.
“We have demonstrated how poor sleep is the key link connecting an increase in night-time mobile use with subsequent increases in psychosocial issues.”
Around two thirds or 65 per cent of students in Class 8 who owned a mobile phone were reported to use it regularly after “lights out”.
When the study concluded four years later, the figure was 78 per cent, finding that “as their levels of mobile phone use grew over time, so did their poor sleep behaviour”, co-author Kathryn Modecki said.
According to Mark Levi, a Sydney-based sleep doctor, the scientific reason why mobile phones can have such a negative influence on sleeping patterns is due to the unnatural light they produce.
“Blue light in your bedroom retards your sleeping, it affects your hormones, it affects your melatonin secretions, your insulin secretions, it affects a lot of balance in the body,” Levi told Xinhua on Tuesday.
“So the more you sit in bed and watch TV, play with your tablet, phone and have your phone beeping at 3 in the morning, all these things affect the slow waves of your sleep pattern and will give the person poor quality sleep.
“Blue light is a real, real problem in the bedroom. It’s a big, huge problem.”
For Levi, the findings of the study are no surprise, “there is no question, no question at all that it’s a growing issue with teenagers, adolescents and the young”, the sleep expert said.
“When a phone is beeping all night or they are watching a screen all night, it’s affecting their sleep a lot and we’re seeing child with sleep patterns that are disturbed and it’s going to affect their attitude, their cognitive skills, concentrations skills, their moodiness during the day.”
Despite the damning findings, Vernon said the answer to solving the problem was not to simply ban teenagers from using their devices but to find ways of promoting better sleep habits to adolescents.