Today's Research: A Lot of Prescriptions Linked to Bad Dreams

Also in today's research round-up: a few worries about climate change

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Today in research: the long list of prescriptions linked to bad dreams, a few climate change alarms, marketing medical tourism, and questioning a makeup industry sponsored study. Plus, researchers debuted a promising video showcasing an underwater 'invisibility cloak'.

  • Have a good night's sleep. The amount of prescriptions linked to bad dreams, from a feature in The Wall Street Journal today, seems like an awful lot: "certain antidepressants, antibiotics, beta blockers, blood-pressure medications, statins for lowering cholesterol and drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases." The reason for the fitful sleep, experts tell the paper, is that rapid-eye-movement sleep stage gets disrupted: "some medications delay or decrease REM, and some create a 'REM rebound; effect when people stop taking them, making the REM stage unusually long or intense." [The Wall Street Journal]
  • Two things to know about climate change research right now. The first is that a large group of scientists, officials and assorted experts have released a new report that finds global warming is becoming so serious that governments need to experiment with drastic ways to combat the problem, according to The New York Times. If that bit of news fell on deaf ears, maybe this will wake you up: a new study finds "Climate Change Could Melt Chocolate Production." And might it even drive up chocolate bar prices? [The New York Times, Scientific American]
  • The world is wooing American (and Chinese) patients. A Reuters report on the thriving medical tourism industry (Americans typically save 40-50 percent off on abroad services we're told), also gives an overview about how players like South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and India are marketing themselves to the Chinese. "The rise of an affluent class in China, and an infatuation with so-called Hallyu, or Korean Wave, culture from pop music to drama have spurred a sharp growth in South Korean medical tourism, mainly in the field of cosmetic surgery." [Reuters]
  • What will Facebook say about kids today? "College students who post pictures and references to drunkenness are more likely to have a 'clinically significant' drinking problem than students who don't post such references," according to a study relayed by CBS News. Well, yes, sure. But, that doesn't mean the link is present for most college aged people who post a picture with a plastic red cup present. If you are looking for red flags however, the study informs that "phrases like 'being drunk' and 'getting wasted'" are good indicators to look for. [CBS News]
  • A study saying women are seen as more 'competent' when wearing makeup is sponsored by makeup industry.  It's too bad that the ABC News article reporting on the research merely mentioned that Proctor & Gamble was a sponsor of the study, but didn't explain that the company might have a conflict of interest in a finding that says women are "more attractive, competent, likable and trustworthy" when wearing makeup. Jezebel's Anna North, however, points out that P&G recently introduced new "Bio-Chromatics" beauty products. Which makes the finding seem suspect. The Gawker Media blog adds: "it's also worth asking if, given P&G's support, the researchers felt conscious or unconscious pressure to return a pro-makeup result." [ABC News, Jezebel]
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