Research and technology news of the day:

  • A daily pinot could offset the effects of bingeing on cheese. According to researchers at the Harvard Medical School, a natural substance found in red wine, known as resveratrol, reduces the bad effects of a high-calorie diet in mice and significantly extends their lifespan. It’s perhaps a partial explanation for the French paradox: people in France tend to enjoy a high-fat diet yet suffer less heart disease than Americans. – New York Times
  • Inertia costs the average adult $600 each year. That is money lost because although consumers know when they are getting overcharged and are aware of a better deal out there, they never get around to doing anything about it. Inertia’s annual bill, according to calculations by Roy Morgan Research, is $5.7 billion. – Sydney Morning Herald

  • Not as promiscuous as you’d think. The first global survey of s-xual behaviour, published in The Lancet, which included data from 59 countries, reveals that there is no universal trend towards earlier s-xual intercourse, despite reports of increases in underage s-x and teenage pregnancy. Most people had only one recent s-xual partner even with shifts towards later marriage and cohabiting relationships in most parts of the world. – The London Times

  • Could a gene mutation help ward off cancer? Researchers say a mutation in cancer-resistant mice enables their white blood cells to overwhelm the natural defence of malignant cells and kill them. In these mice, several types of white blood cells sense, find, surround and kill cancer cells. – Forbes

  • Enter the robot. At a total cost of £250,000, the Aizu Central Hospital in Japan has just bought two porter droids and one receptionist robot which started work last weekend, answering spoken enquiries, carrying luggage and guiding visitors and patients to their destinations. – The Guardian

Peter Fray

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