April blogs digest: a DNA quiz, the microbiome, freebirthing, is dancing good for the brain? And more

Not had a chance to read all our posts from April? Here’s a roundup of what you’ve missed…

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How much do you know about DNA?

National DNA Day is celebrated on 25 April, to recognize the anniversary of the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. The goal of this special day is to offer students, teachers, and the public an opportunity to learn about the latest advances in genomic research, and how those advances might impact all of our lives. Take our quiz to see how much you know!

Microbiome and the modern environment

Journal of Physiological Anthropology published a series looking at the effects of the modern environment on the microbiome, asking how might modern pressures influence human-associated microbiota? In this guest blog authors of research in the series, Alan Logan and Susan Prescott explained more about the connection between the two.

Keep dancing! It could be good for the brain

Picking up choreography can seem like a brain teaser. Interpreting which arm, which leg, which direction even, can lead to legs and arms everywhere except for the very position they should be in. This can be frustrating, but keep dancing, as research suggests that learning new steps could prevent dementia.

From freebirthing in the UK to sexual orientation and mental health

child-337540_960_720Giving birth and ‘going it alone’: choosing to freebirth in the UK: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth recently published a research article investigating the reasons behind why women choose to ‘go it alone’ when giving birth in the UK. Co-author Claire Feeley explained more about their findings in this guest blog.

OpenTrials: what, why and how? Ben Goldacre and Jonathan Gray recently published an article in Trials introducing a new project called OpenTrials. But what is this and how will it be used? In this guest blog, Ben Goldacre explained more.

diabetes pacificThe diabetes ecosystem and small island developing states: Early photos and drawings of Pacific peoples show a lean, active, and healthy population that thrived in a challenging and isolated environment. How then did the Pacific Islands become one of the most intransigent diabetes hot zones on the planet?

MalariadayquizQuiz: Can you answer these questions about malaria? April 25 is a day when World Malaria Day takes place, highlighting the impact that malaria has had and continues to have around the world. How much do you know about malaria? Take this quiz to find out.

MS ISRCTNMultiple sclerosis clinical trials – fighting for a cure: To support the Multiple Sclerosis Trust’s Awareness Week 2016 the ISRCTN registry is exploring what’s new in the world of multiple sclerosis related clinical trials, and took a look at some of the innovative studies in the registry.

toxoplasmaToxoplasma, a common parasite that makes you angry: Over a third of humans worldwide are thought to be harbouring the resting stages of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the cells of their brains and other tissues. This usually goes unnoticed but has recently been associated in those with psychological or neurological diseases.

Permian scorpions2Meet Jogi and Birgit: scorpion lovers from the Permian period: BMC Evolutionary Biology has today published research discovering a fossilized scorpion couple from the Permian period. Expert in the field, Dave Marshall explained more about the discovery, including an audio interview with one of the authors.

Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skiesSexual orientation and mental health: Previous work has indicated increased risk of mental disorder symptoms, suicide and substance misuse in lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. Research published in BMC Psychiatry investigated this association in the UK and co-authors Joanna Semlyen and Gareth Hagger-Johnson explained more.

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Mauro @ SalsaPeople

Interesting, I was not aware that dancing with dementia. An interesting find, I must say. We all love dancing and Salsa has been our real passion. Also, it takes lot of steps to master and lot moves to match. I guess we all should never stop dancing.

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