10月14日英语新闻:喝酒的理由?新加坡研发益生菌啤酒 Probiotic beer boosts health

10月14日英语新闻:喝酒的理由?新加坡研发益生菌啤酒 Probiotic beer boosts health



Tea bags release microplastics

Every time you use a tea bag, you could be dosing yourself with billions of microplastic and nanoplastic particles. That's the conclusion of researchers at McGill University in Montreal. The research, published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology, centered on four different types of plastic mesh tea bags, of the kind recently preferred by some premium brands. 

Having been emptied of the tea itself, the bags were placed in water heated to 95 C. Researchers were surprised to find each bag released around 11.6 billion microplastics and a further 3.1 billion even smaller nanoplastics. 

These levels were, says the report, "thousands of times higher than plastic loads previously reported in other foods". Scientists note that more research is needed to determine whether the plastics' effect on humans is negligible, subtle - or chronic.

Impact of background music

From Mozart to Metallica, tons of people enjoy listening to various types of music while they paint, write, or draw. Many believe music helps boost creativity, but an international study conducted by English and Swedish researchers is challenging that notion. Psychologists from Lancaster University, the University of Gavle, and the University of Central Lancashire say their findings indicate music actually stymies creativity. 

To come to their conclusions, researchers had participants complete verbal insight problems designed to inspire creativity while sitting in a quiet room, and then again while music played in the background. They found that background music "significantly impaired" the participants' ability to complete tasks associated with verbal creativity. It's worth mentioning that even familiar music with well-known lyrics impaired participants' creativity, regardless of whether or not it elicited a positive reaction.

Ozone hole strangely shaped

The ozone hole that opens every year over the Antarctic is on course to be the smallest in three decades, scientists have said. The hole is currently well under half the area that usually opens up by mid-September, and may have already reached its maximum size, a little smaller in area than the Antarctic continent. 

Researchers say the hole is also a particularly unusual shape this year, being heavily skewed toward South America instead of centering on the South Pole. The rare shape - never before observed - indicates a significant distortion to the usual polar vortex, which maintains low temperatures in the stratosphere. 

Anna Jones, a scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, said: "Very occasionally in the Antarctic you will get disturbances. And I don't think anybody knows what's triggered it this year. This is a pretty new phenomenon. It could be a multiple collection of factors."

Probiotic beer boosts health


If you needed yet another reason to drink beer, science just gave it to you. Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) developed a new type of probiotic beer which could improve your immune system and neutralize pathogens and toxins. The idea came from Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, a fourth-year student from the Food Science and Technology Program at the NUS Faculty of Science. 

She realized that while the market abounds with dairy-based probiotics, there's another huge untapped market for probiotics: beer. Due to its nature, beer is a fertile ground for probiotics, and the craft beer phenomenon has been growing at a staggering rate in many parts of the world - so why not blend the two?