News, Culture & Society

HEALTH NOTES: A computer mouse is the biggest hotspot for bacteria at the office

For those looking for more excuses not to go back to the office, researchers have discovered the workplace hotspots for bacteria and other ‘contaminants’.

A team from the cleaning brand supplier Chicopee swabbed office ‘touch points’ for bacteria, yeast and mould, known collectively as colony-forming units. 

The computer mouse was the worst offender, with 11 times more colony-forming units than a toilet seat.

Outside of the desk, the kitchen was found to harbour the most germs, with a kettle and fridge coming out badly. 

Fear of catching Covid may have you reaching for hand-sanitiser, but sanitiser bottles were also found to harbour high levels of mould spores. 

The company did not reveal which offices they targeted. 

A team from the cleaning brand supplier Chicopee swabbed office ‘touch points’ for bacteria, yeast and mould, known collectively as colony-forming units. The computer mouse was the worst offender, with 11 times more colony-forming units than a toilet seat (file photo) 

Eat sugar with no weight gain 

Some people may carry a gene that means no matter how much sugar they eat, they never put on weight.

Scientists from the University of Copenhagen have discovered that DNA variations change how sugar is absorbed. 

In some, it heads to the intestine and is then excreted, rather than being absorbed into the blood. 

Unfortunately, this mutation is thought to be limited to just two to three per cent of Greenlanders, who are likely to have evolved the gene due to their low-sugar, high-meat and fish diet.

Professor Anders Albrechtsen said: ‘Adult Greenlanders with the variation have lower BMI, weight, fat percentage and cholesterol levels.’

It is hoped the scientists’ findings will lead to a drug that balances sugar absorption, preventing obesity and heart disease.

New drug hope for breast cancer sufferers 

Women with genetic breast cancer are set to be offered a new drug that can slow disease progression and boost survival.

UK regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has approved Novartis’s Piqray (alpelisib) for patients whose breast cancer has the PIK3CA gene mutation.

The drug, which is combined with the drug fulvestrant, offers hope to those who find standard hormone therapy fails to halt the growth of their cancer.

It will be offered to those with locally advanced disease, meaning that the cancer is growing but still within the breast and lymph nodes nearby, and metastatic cancer, where tumour cells have spread throughout the body.

Unlike hormone therapy, alpelisib binds specific receptors in PIK2CA tumour cells, blocking chemical signals that allow them to grow.

No evidence of so-called ‘hangover cures’ actually working, research suggests

Many swear by a fry-up – or perhaps hair of the dog – after a night of heavy drinking.

However, there is no evidence that any hangover ‘cure’ works. Scientists from King’s College London analysed 21 studies that looked into the effectiveness of various hangover remedies, such as clove extract, red ginseng and Korean pear juice.

While some showed promise, the scientists concluded evidence of their effectiveness was low, with no two studies analysing the same ‘cure’.

Lead author Dr Emmert Roberts said: ‘For now, the surest way of preventing hangover symptoms is to abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation.’

Many appear to be heeding this advice, with one in three drinkers opting for no or low-alcohol options, according to research from the Portman Group. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk