Category Archives: Health

Opt-in or opt-out? Would you want samples from your body stored in a biobank?

MoJo Musings

Let’s say you had a tumour surgically removed from your bowel. Would you agree to have residual tissue stored in a biobank for use in future research? What if you and your partner produced embryos for In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)? Would you want those embryos used for other purposes?

Biobanks are a growth industry. Estimates put the number of stored specimens worldwide from 1 to 2 billion and growing. Samples can include blood, saliva, a variety of tissues or extracted DNA.

In a nutshell, these “banks” of human samples can be used for a number of purposes, but the growth areas are in human tissue banking, stem cell banking, the IVF market and clinical trials.

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Can online brain training improve mental processing in the over 50s?

News Story

Training delivered online can boost the mental processing of the over 50s, a Swinburne University study has found.

Professor Con Stough’s team at Swinburne University of Technology asked 34 Australians aged between 53 and 75 to complete 21 days of training using a popular online program.

They found a 10 per cent improvement in mental processing speeds for two of the tasks tested.

Stough said this improvement was a good start but further studies were needed.

He said “crystallised intelligence”, or stored knowledge, does not begin to decline until after 60, whereas “fluid intelligence”, or speed of learning, decreases after the age of 21.

Stough said the online training would help fluid intelligence.

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