IT’S A MATCH
A whole new whorl
Fingerprints have been used in criminal investigations since the 1910s and we’ve all heard that no two sets of fingerprints are identical. Although really, there hasn’t been enough research done to actually back that statement up.
But why do we have them?
The biological reason for us having fingerprints has also long been under debate. Some scientists argued that the ridges must increase surface area contact — and thus, friction — to make our grip stronger, but this has already proven to be untrue.
The theory that fingertips improve touch perception holds stronger, but also requires further investigation.
Third time’s the charm?
A discovery made just last week has scientists thinking that they’ve finally found the answer to this long-debated question — moisture regulation.
Using advanced laser imaging technology, researchers discovered that the ridges of our fingerprints also help control moisture levels from our pores and whatever we’re trying to hold. This means that friction is maximised no matter the situation.
It might not seem like much of a discovery, but this information could have a really big impact further down the line — from product design to the field of prosthetics, and even virtual reality, having a better understanding how our sense of touch works could make a world of difference.
5 Singaporean stories to catch up on
1️⃣ The next phase: Get ready, guys! Phase 3 is set to start on 28 December 2020.
2️⃣ Our turn! Singapore will get its first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month.
3️⃣ Keeping up with the times: Patients with chronic illnesses have warmed up to telemonitoring services..
4️⃣ We have a winner! TraceTogether has won the 2020 Government Eye on Innovation award in the Asia-Pacific region.
5️⃣ Travelling on business? Singapore will soon implement new segregated travel lane arrangements so that business travellers won’t need to be quarantined.
And 5 facts to spice up your life:
1️⃣ Helping others to help yourself: Studies show that altruism can have a positive effect on physical health.
2️⃣ Mutant COVID? A new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across South England.
3️⃣ Pink for boys and blue for girls: A new study shows how gender stereotypes are negatively affecting children’s mental health.
4️⃣ Eating for ED: Research shows that dietary habits can affect your risk of erectile dysfunction.
5️⃣ I woke up like this: Data from a popular sleep-tracking app shows how COVID-19 has changed our sleeping habits.
Do you get SAD during the holidays?
You’re not alone! Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression where your mood and behaviour change drastically as the seasons change. Usually, symptoms of SAD begin in late autumn or early winter, and go away during the spring and summer. A smaller percentage of people experience SAD in reverse, having symptoms in the summer months instead of during winter.
How to be less SAD
Since SAD is typically caused by changes in the amount of daylight people get, treatment for SAD usually involves some form of light therapy — that’s when people use special light boxes designed to mimic sunlight to make up for the lack of natural sunlight during the winter season. Like other forms of depression, it can also be treated with medication and psychotherapy.
In Singapore, our only seasons are summer and sale
Those of us living here in Singapore won’t be personally affected by SAD due to our tropical climate — so I guess that’s one reason to like our perpetually hot weather. But if you’ve got friends or family living in more temperate countries, consider checking in with them to see how they’re doing. Experts say that symptoms of SAD might be even worse this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Struggling with your own mental wellbeing? Check out these tips on how to take care of your mental health!
Weird & Wonderful
- Gyms are a potential source of clean energy.
- Actors with Alzheimer’s must have very confusing memories.
- People who are red/green colorblind probably find it hard to tell the Super Mario Brothers apart.
- Using a defibrillator is the human version of turning it off and then back on again
- Part of getting old is wearing your skin loose-fitted.
Eating your fill at the Fountain of Youth
Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Icaria (Greece) — These are some of the so-called Blue Zones of the world, where lots of people tend to live longer than average lifespans. One of their biggest secrets is being careful about what they eat.
The most apparent difference between a regular diet and a Blue Zone diet is that the Blue Zone diet is almost entirely plant-based. In Loma Linda, a Blue Zone in California, a study showed that those who lived longest were either vegans or pesco-vegetarians that only ate a small amount of fish.
From black beans, to lentils, to good ol’ Asian soybeans, beans are another large part of the Blue Zone diet. High in proteins and fibre, beans contain a multitude of minerals and are great for your immune system.
People in the Blue Zones also try their best to stay away from added sugar. Sweet treats are saved for special occasions, and they mostly drink water or unsweetened coffee and tea.
Lastly, the Blue Zone diet calls for us to stick with whole foods — meaning single ingredient, mostly unprocessed items. Whole foods are packed with nutrients and are also a great way to minimise your daily sugar intake if you’re not into analysing the nutrition labels on processed foods.
In addition to adjusting your dietary habits, you can also increase your lifespan by exercising regularly and cutting out bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking.
Thinking about changing up your diet? We bust 10 myths about seeing a dietician in Singapore here!