At Home: Nightmare
For the millions of children afraid of the dark, nighttime and sleep can be a painful ritual. For the millions of adults who suffer from insomnia, nighttime and sleep can be a painful ritual. Coincidence? Maybe not, according to Canadian researchers.
As the CBC reports, researchers at the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto say that ?fear of the dark may be behind the sleepless nights that some insomniacs experience.?
Dr. Colleen Carney, who headed the study, frequently sees insomniac patients in her lab. She noticed that many of them ?sleep with a light on or with a TV or computer on in the bedroom . . . and . . . [talk] about the dark in phobic terms.? After performing objective tests, Carney realized that the light may not be causing the insomnia, but it might be indicative of the cause instead.
According to the study’s results, ?around half of the poor sleepers? in the trial were afraid of the dark.
?[Basically] it means . . . they are already going to be coming in with tension,? Carney told reporters.
These findings could mean that insomnia might be eased by cognitive behavioural therapy and other treatments that can assist with ?[phobias] like fear of the dark.?
Around the World: Electrifying
Electrical grids. Complex reactions. Conductive minerals. Sound like a chemistry lab? Maybe?but if you thought it belonged to a complex life form like human beings, you’d be wrong.
As National Geographic‘s Daily News site reports, new research has found that the not-so-simple bacteria ?can use minerals in soil as electrical grids, which helps the microbes generate chemicals they need to survive.?
It is widely known that ?different species of microorganisms can work together by trading electrons? in order to better digest food sources?much like what happens in the human body. However, scientists previously believed that this could only occur if the bacteria were touching each other or using transfer molecules for a piggyback effect.
The researchers at the Toyko University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences now suggest that ?microbes can use conductive minerals as ?wires? for boosting their electrical transfers.?
Their findings may be a boon to alternative energy sources like ?microbial fuel cells, which use microorganisms to generate electricity from chemical sludge.?