Today in Research: Why You Should Be Eating More Berries

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Discovered: Insects with personalities, one good thing about the BP oil spill, how to solve a problem, and the case for berries.

  • The case for berries. Do berries really need a case? They are unreasonably expensive ... so here's a reason to splurge. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and any other delicious berry fruit you can think of is good for the brain and could even prevent memory loss. It has something to do with those magical antioxidants, but also, berries change the way brain neurons communicate -- in a good way. Who wants some berries? [Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry]
  • How to solve a problem. Science, which spends all day, every day, looking for answers, gives us a method it has dubbed "generic parts technique." Researcher Tony McCaffrey explains how it works: "For each object in your problem, you break it into parts and ask two questions," he says. "1. Can it be broken down further? and 2. -- this is the one that's been overlooked -- Does my description of the part imply a use?" He explains, "That tends to hinder people's ability to think of alternative uses for this part." This method, he says, forces people to think of non-obvious solutions to problems. Bet that's easier said than done. [University of Massachusetts]

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