Listening to tear-jerking ballads may beat depression, according to a new study. Melodic music with a tempo below 80 beats per minute was found to ease depressive symptoms by up to 80 per cent.
Hundreds of chart-topping ballads fit this therapeutic criteria, from the 2008 hit Chasing Pavements by Adele, left, to 1970s classic Ain’t No Sunshine.
During the University of Toronto study, ten patients with depression listened to slow-tempo music for 30 minutes a day.
Five weeks later, they were quizzed on their mental state. Researchers suggest that music regulates overactive electrical activity in the brain.
A paper-thin, flexible metal sticker placed on the chest can spot the signs of lethal heart attacks and strokes before they occur.
The prototype device – dubbed an ‘electronic tattoo’ – houses an intricate network of in-built sensors to track signs of abnormal electrical activity of the heart.
The sticker has been found to be more accurate than traditional ECG heart monitors. These record only a few minutes of cardiac activity, but the sticker remains in place for up to a week, allowing constant monitoring. This means it can detect problems that might not be picked up during a conventional test.
The ‘tattoo’ is made from a remarkable material called graphene – one of the thinnest materials ever made and 100 times tougher than steel. The device needs no batteries, because graphene generates its own power in response to body heat.
Readings are wirelessly beamed to a phone app. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin claim their device may be useful for 18 million people worldwide.
A two-minute saliva test could fast-track diagnosis of one of the most common hormone deficiencies.
Cortisol deficiency affects some 20,000 Britons. It occurs when the body stops producing the hormone cortisol, which is vital for stress regulation and fighting infections.
Sufferers often experience depression, dizziness, chronic exhaustion and muscle cramping.
Currently, checks involve several blood tests at a specialist clinic. But the saliva swab, soon to available to NHS patients, is performed by GP at the surgery.
Scientists from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust believe the swab could cut invasive blood tests by a third.