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Is social media causing childhood depression?

Is social media causing childhood depression?

Technology
Rangan Chatterjee is a GP and says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in youngsters and their use of social media. One 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E."The first thought was to put him on anti-depressants but I chatted to him and it sounded like his use of social media was having a negative impact on his health."So Dr Chatterjee suggested a simple solution - the teenager should attempt to wean himself off social media, restricting himself to just an hour before he went to bed. Over the course of a few weeks, he should extend this to two hours at night and two in the morning."He reported a significant improvement in his wellbeing and, after six months, I had a letter from his mother saying he was happier at s...
UV light could foil the fungus causing white-nose syndrome in bats

UV light could foil the fungus causing white-nose syndrome in bats

Science
Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Scientists believe they've discovered the Achilles heel of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease devastating bat populations across North America. New research suggests the fungus can't survive significant doses ultraviolet light.To better understand the pathogen, researchers with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of New Hampshire compared the fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, to six of its non-pathogenic relatives.Their analysis showed the fungus failed to repair DNA damage caused by exposure to UV light. The discovery -- detailed this week in the journal Nature Communications -- could inspire new treatments for the deadly bat disease."This research has tremendous implications for bats and people," Tony Ferguson,...
Are plastic nanoparticles causing brain damage in fish?

Are plastic nanoparticles causing brain damage in fish?

Science
Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Fish may be suffering brain damage as a result of plastic pollution. New research shows plastic nanoparticles can end up inside the brains of fish."Our study is the first to show that nanosized plastic particles can accumulate in fish brains," Tommy Cedervall, a chemistry researcher at Lund University in Sweden, said in a news release.Cedervall and his colleagues tracked the path of tiny plastic particles through marine food chains. The nanoparticles can be consumed by plankton, and the plastic-stuffed plankton can be eaten by fish. If the plastic particles are small enough, they can sidestep the blood-brain barrier and accumulate inside a fish's brain.In tests, researchers found fish with plastic particles inside their brain tend to eat slower and spend less time explori...