October 17, 2008

The Bee Gees can save your life—literally
If you were deeply sick of “Free Bird” in the seventies, the Bee Gees' blow-dried hair, platform shoes, and disco beat may have felt like a lifesaver. Now, researchers say the song “Stayin’ Alive” can literally save lives. Turns out the catchy 103-beats-per-minute tune is a close match to the 100-chest-compressions-per-minute method used to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). University of Illinois researchers trained doctors and medical students to do CPR in time to the song. Later, they were able to do the proper number of chest compressions by keeping the song in their head, Reuters reports.

Pastors say mental illness is spiritual ailment
Christian pastors may tell churchgoers who seek help for a mental illnesses—such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia—that they have a spiritual problem instead. Baylor University researchers surveyed 293 people who sought their pastor’s guidance after they or a family member were diagnosed with mental illness. In all, 32% were told it was a spiritual problem, and women were more likely than men to be told the problem was in the soul rather than the psyche, MSNBC reports.

Altruism makes you hot
Call it the Angelina Jolie effect. A new study suggests that going out of your way to help others makes you more sexually attractive to a mate. While women were more likely than men to consider nice folks—hospital volunteers and blood donors—as worthy partners, men were not completely immune to the inherent hotness of altruistic people, according to the report in ScienceDaily. No word yet on whether altruism is even sexier when combined with pillowy lips.

MP3 players may harm your hearing
Up to 10 million Europeans are at risk for hearing damage from MP3 players and European Union regulators are mulling a plan to lower the legal volume-limit of MP3 players to 100 decibels. (Apple's iPod, by way of reference, can produce sounds of 115 decibels or more.) Scientists have found that listening to music that exceeds 89 decibels via headphones for more an hour daily over five years could lead to hearing loss. iPod players were not long ago pulled off shelves in France to get a software upgrade that would keep the decibel level of the popular MP3 players below 100.

Your cell phone may be bad for your skin
Although scientists haven't been able to show that cell phones cause cancer, they could be bad for your skin. People—mostly women—are experiencing face and ear rashes due to exposure to the nickel components of cell phones. The condition has been dubbed "mobile phone dermatitis." Women are at greater risk because they are more likely to be sensitized to the metal from earlier exposure to nickel-containing jewelry. The answer to a nickel problem—at least with bling—is to switch to pricier stuff, which generally contains more gold and silver, and less nickel. Does this mean gold-plated phones are on the horizon?


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