Urine Is Not Sterile; A Nice Gene?

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Discovered: Urine isn't sterile, is there a nice gene?, a better way to cool gadgets and there's one good thing about a black fly bite. 

  • Nope, urine is not sterile. Science debunks the myth! (Myth? We were unaware that this was a myth at all!) But that so-called "clean."warm, yellow liquid isn't so clean after all. "Doctors have been trained to believe that urine is germ-free," explains researcher Linda Brubaker. But, research found bacteria in the bladders, a.k.a urine makers, of women. "These findings challenge this notion, so this research may have positive implications for how we treat patients with urinary tract conditions in the future," continues Brubaker. Wait, so in a pinch, should we or shouldn't we drink our own urine? [Journal of Clinical Microbiology]
  • Is there such a thing as a nice gene? Kind of! Certain genes predispose us to niceness. DNA mixed with perceptions of the world as a kind place (naiveté?), create a "nice" person. "The study found that these genes combined with people's perceptions of the world as a more or less threatening place to predict generosity," explains researcher Michael Poulin says. "Specifically, study participants who found the world threatening were less likely to help others -- unless they had versions of the receptor genes that are generally associated with niceness," he says. The moral, say researchers, is to not judge nasty people -- they can't help it. "So if one of your neighbors seems really generous, caring, civic-minded kind of person, while another seems more selfish, tight-fisted and not as interested in pitching in, their DNA may help explain why one of them is nicer than the other," continues Poulin. [University at Buffalo]
  • A better way to cool hot gadgets. All you warmthgate complainers might find some relief in this bit of research. A copper-graphene composite, called a "heat-spreader" is a more efficient, less expensive way to handle heat given off by powerful gadgets. "Both the copper-graphene and indium-graphene have higher thermal conductivity, allowing the device to cool efficiently," explains researcher Dr. Jag Kasichainula. About 25 percent faster than pure copper, the material used for those too-warm tablets, etc. [North Carolina State University]
  • Black flies aren't all evil. The annoying and painful buzzers now have a higher purpose beyond sucking blood. When the bugs suck our blood, they leave a certain saliva that doctors think could be used medically. "As it turns out, there are also a lot of things in saliva that modulate the immune response like inflammatory responses and downstream immune responses," explains researcher Don Champagne. "We were able to show that the salivary protein targets Xa and is a good inhibitor of clotting. But, it is an even better inhibitor of some enzymes involved in very early immune response—elastase and cathepsin G," he continues. Maybe remember this anytime a black fly bites you. [PLoS One]

Image via Shutterstock by JCREATION. 

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