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chinadaily.com.cn 2018-12-10 16:25


>Drinks improve second tongue
Take a tipple and you could find yourself speaking a second tongue more naturally, according to a new research. The foreign language skills of participants in the study were found to be improved after a drink of alcohol, which suggests the way booze can put us at ease outweighs the negative effects on our brain – at least for the first drink, anyway. The study, involved 50 native German speakers recently studying Dutch at a Dutch university, who were either given a proper amount of alcohol or water based on body size. Their audio recordings of the five minutes chatting with a researcher were then presented to and assessed by two native Dutch speakers who weren't told whether alcohol had been consumed or not. Those people who had been given the alcoholic drink were given better ratings by the observers, especially for their pronunciation. "One possible mechanism could be the anxiety-reducing effect of alcohol," said one of the researchers, Jessica Werthmann from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. "But more research is needed to test this."
一项新研究显示,一杯酒下肚,你会发现自己的外语会说得更自然。研究发现,饮酒后,研究参与者的外语能力有所提高,这表明酒精令人身心放松的效果超过其对大脑产生的负面影响——至少喝完第一杯酒以后是这样的。50名近期在荷兰某大学学习荷兰语的母语为德语的德国人参与了这项研究,研究人员根据体型给他们适量的酒或水。随后,他们与一名研究人员闲聊五分钟的录音交由两位母语是荷兰语的荷兰人评估,这两人并未被告知说话的人是否饮酒。观察者给喝过酒的人,尤其是这些人的发音打分更高。研究人员之一、荷兰马斯特里赫特大学的杰西卡•威尔斯曼称: "一种可能的机制是酒精的焦虑减轻效应。但我们需要做更多研究来证实这一点。"



>Fingerprints login fails
Millions of older people, manual laborers and cancer sufferers could be unable to use their fingerprints to log in to online bank accounts. Banks are investing millions of pounds in fingerprint technology to replace passwords and PINs. But banks may have to rethink these plans after warnings the technology could be fatally flawed. Delegates representing major banks at a London cyber security conference were told many older people's fingerprints are too faded for the machines to recognize. Fingerprints can "rub off" for bricklayers, stonemasons and other manual laborers. Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, can cause fingerprints to disappear - sometimes permanently.



>Town offers newcomers cash
The mayor of a picturesque Italian town has come up with a novel solution in tackling its dwindling population figure - by paying people to move there. Nicola Gatta wants to return Candela, a small medieval town in Puglia, to its former glories when there were more than 8,000 residents in its Nineties heyday. Today, however, thanks to a troubled economy, there are just 2,700 people remaining in the town. Therefore, the mayor is offering up to 2,000 euros in an attempt to entice people to move to the area and boost population. In order to qualify for the cash incentive, new residents must move to Candela where they rent a house and have a job with a salary of at least 7,500 euros per year. According to the mayor, six families from northern Italy have already settled in and another five have applied to move.



>Lack of sleep is killing us
In an interview with the Guardian, Professor Matthew Walker, director of the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, said that sleep deprivation affects "every aspect of our biology". Through his work, he's determined that people who don't get enough sleep tend to be less healthy and have lower energy levels than those who get the recommended amount of shut eye per night. After analyzing the results of 20 separate studies, he's found a strong correlation between how much people sleep and how long they live. In summary: The less you sleep, the shorter your life will be. In one study, for instance, adults age 45 and older that slept less than 6 hours each night were 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime compared to participants who got 7 or 8 hours. In other studies, sleeping less has been associated with an increased risk of weight gain, developing Alzheimers, and relapses in addition disorders. Lack of sleep also lowered participants' immune systems.

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