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Jessica Simm



8th February 2019



Other Stories – 8th February

Another busy week has passed – in case you missed them here are some of the stories that caught our eye including robots watching Emmerdale, ATM loopholes and evidence of Iron Age beer-making.

Photo: James Speakman/ Mercury Press

Robot learns about dementia by watching Emmerdale. Robbie the robot has been designed by a team at Edge Hill University to help diagnose the early stages of dementia. Part of the robot’s homework has been watching Emmerdale, where a storyline has been addressing the condition for 13 episodes. When he’s fully up to speed in 10 years, it is hoped Robbie will be able to spot earlier indicators such as facial expressions and body language. BBC News

Researchers identify gut bacteria potentially linked to depression. One of the most exciting areas of science is the growing understanding of how gut bacteria affect our overall health. A team in Belgium recently discovered that when they looked at people suffering with depression they all had low levels of Coprococcus and Dialister bacteria. If the findings can be verified, it opens the door to a range of new probiotic treatments. The Guardian

How do you say goodbye? Traditionally, funerals in Britain have been solemn occasions, but recent YouGov Omnibus research revealed that four in ten of us would prefer to treat them as a more joyful celebration. 35% of respondents aged 18-24 years old favoured a celebration of life, and 46% of those aged 55+ preferred the more joyful approach too. YouGov

Oldest evidence of British beer making discovered. A team working to widen the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon have uncovered evidence that our Iron Age ancestors were making beer as far back as 400BC. They weren’t necessarily using it as you might expect though… it is thought that the beer-making process was used primarily to purify water to drink. Sky News

ATM loophole makes Chinese man a millionaire. A bank programmer in China decided to exploit a flaw in his employer’s code to withdraw money for free from cash machines. The 43-year-old has been taking money undetected since November 2016, making over a thousand withdrawals totalling 7 million Yuan (around $1 million). He was finally caught in January 2018 when the bank became aware of the fault and is now facing a prison sentence. The Verge  

The hunt for the owner of a USB stick found in seal poo. Scientists in New Zealand found the data stick in a sample of frozen seal poo they collected for analysis. The memory stick is full of holiday snaps and videos so the team is trying to locate the owner in order to return them. We would make a joke about a “data dump” but the scientists got there first. Sky News

Single men are smellier than those in a relationship. A new study by Macquarie University suggest single men have stronger body odour than their settled counterparts. This smell is linked to increased testosterone production, which tends to make men seem more attractive to women. Daily Mail

Would you pay someone to make your day-to-day decisions for you? That’s what one woman in Bristol has decided to do after having a “rubbish” 2018. She is offering £2,000 for someone to take control of her life for a month. She’ll be outsourcing her major decisions for a while, including who to match with on dating apps and how to spend her savings. Mirror

 

Quote of the week

“Of tea, on the other hand, [Britons] are extremely critical, and everyone has his favourite brand and his pet theory as to how it should be made”.

The British Council recently issued an apology to George Orwell for rejecting an essay he had written on food back in 1946. The essay, entitled ‘British Cookery’ was intended to promote our culture overseas, but was never published due to sensitivities about rationing at the time.

The Guardian

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