At Home: Compounded Stress
School, work, family, and that driver who cut you off in traffic: all are sources of stress in varying degrees. But does it ever seem as though stress snowballs?some days, nothing fazes you, but on other days, the slightest annoyances really get to you? According to researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute, It’s all in your head?literally.
As the CBC reports, certain stressful events can leave an ?impression on your brain,? making you more sensitive the next time a potentially stressful situation arises. The imprint ?can last anywhere from three to 10 days.?
While the imprint is still present, you’ll have less tolerance for new stressful events?which may add more imprints, compounding the problem. In fact, scientists believe that permanent damage may be caused: those who have a lower tolerance for stress are people whose ?systems have been ?primed,? or left with a stress imprint,? more often.
Chronic stress results in a myriad of health problems, including ?depression, memory loss and fatigue.?
Getting stressed out about all this? don’t; researchers hope that in the future, there will be drugs that ?target . . . the initial stress marker and remove . . . it? to help stop the cycle.
Around the World: Doctor Cockroach
Everything in nature seems to have a purpose?except maybe cockroaches. Those intimidating, scuttling pests thrive on dirt, decay, and humidity, and have even been known to survive nuclear explosions. But don’t get out the bug spray too quickly. A new study suggests that cockroaches, although often associated with disease, could possibly save us from it.
As the National Geographic Daily News reports, cockroach brains contain ?natural antibiotics? that can kill the resilient MRSA bacteria and certain E. coli strains. Scientists have been searching for a cure for these and other disease-causing bacteria which are ?resistant to traditional antibiotics.?
As the University of Nottingham’s Simon Lee, co-author of the study, told reporters, the antibiotic molecules found in cockroach brain tissue are a ?very clever defense mechanism.? These built-in antibiotics are what allow the insects to withstand dirty conditions.
Still squeamish? Cockroaches aren’t the only insects with life-saving possibilities: certain locusts ?may also have the same bacteria-killing molecules.? In fact, the study suggests that ?the insect world . . . may be teeming with new antibiotics.?