Simply Scientifico

Researchers have found that social isolation can have disastrous effects, and can affect learning and even memory.

Published: 17th February 2023 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th February 2023 09:45 AM   |  A+A-


For reprentational purpose

Express News Service

How isolation affects memory

Researchers have found that social isolation can have disastrous effects, and can affect learning and even memory. Which is why having a healthy social circle of family and friends could be healthier than you thought.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have reported that social isolation can make the most abundant brain cells, called astrocytes, hyperactive. This can lead to the suppression of brain circuit functions and memory formation. They also found that reversing astrocyte hyperactivity removed the effects linked to social deprivation. The study showed this manipulation was enough to restore learning and memory deficits triggered by isolation.

The ancestors were right! Ginger trigger immunity

If your ancestors over centuries have been insisting that ginger boosts your immunity, now science has proven.

A new study from Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich found that even small amounts of a pungent ginger constituent put white blood cells on heightened immunity alert.

Researchers discovered that the process was triggered by a receptor, called TRPV1, which in turn sets the process going in the face of painful heat stimuli and spicy food. Ginger’s pungent compounds — in particular, a compound called [6]-gingerol — were found to exert the taste effects on the TRPV1 receptor situated on the nerve cells’ surface which respond to the pungent compounds and key up the WBCs to be on heightened immunity alert. The study also showed that even a 15 micrograms concentration of [6]-gingerol per litre was enough set the WBCs to go on immunity alert to stave off ‘invaders’.

Low-cost method for 'Green' hydrogen from saltwater 

Researchers from RMIT University in Australia have developed a simple and low-cost method to derive ‘green’ hydrogen from salt water without the process of desalination involved. ‘Green’ hydrogen is derived through low-carbon emissions and is in much demand now as a clean fuel, seen as a solution to major energy challenges.

The RMIT researchers from the varsity’s Materials for Clean Energy and Environment (MC2E) research group devised a special catalyst in an electrolyser to work specifically with seawater. Currently, the electrolysers used in the process involve costly catalysts which can consume nine litres of water to deliver just one kilogram of hydrogen.

Besides, there is the concern of having chlorine as toxic output, although not carbon dioxide. If the process had to be continued without solving the chlorine output problem, they would end up with 240 million tonnes of chlorine — four times the world’s requirement of chlorine, the researchers said. However, the researchers’ new simple technique — for which a provisional patent has been applied — yields neither carbon dioxide nor chlorine.


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