Today in Research: How to Get Up; Misconceptions About Antibiotics

By The Atlantic Wire

Discovered: swimming robots, dandelion light material, antibiotics aren't a cure-all, the better ways to wake up, and three's a trend for declining birth rates.

  • The way to wake up better in the morning: don't hit snooze or watch TV/Netflix before bed. That's helpful: the two things that people usually do right before going to sleep and right before really waking up are the exact things that the New York Times says that research-based sleep experts say that you shouldn't do. Why not? The newspaper cites a sleep medicine expert saying that your glowing screen takes a more direct route in your brain: "While most sensory information is 'processed' by the thalamus before being sent on its way ... light goes directly to the circadian system." And the snooze? "Hit yourself with light" in the morning instead, which seems very unpleasant. [The New York Times]
  • Even though you feel awful, antibiotics may not be the answer. Even though dragging yourself to the doctor's office and demanding a prescription for anything feels like the right thing to do, it isn't, for most coughs and colds at least. The BBC relays that this misconception has tripped up more than a few Brits, too, where nearly a "quarter of people wrongly believe antibiotics work on most coughs and colds." Unfortunately, antibiotics makers are also having a problem developing new drugs to fight against the things they're effective at: bacterial infections. [BBC News]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/11/today-in-research-how-to-get-up-misconceptions-about-antibiotics/248486/