Forget yoga, choir singing is good for the heart and relaxation
It seems group singing is great for your heart in the same way yoga can be. Researchers have discovered that the heart rates of people who sing in a choir or other group choral event become synchronised.
They also found that your heart rate tends to fluctuate with your breathing, an effect called respiratory sinus arrhythmia, something practised in meditation that's known to be soothing and relaxing. A variable heart rate is also thought to be good for you, as a fairly static heartbeat has been linked with high blood pressure. While the potential medical benefits need to be fully investigated, who knew singing in a choir was the British form of meditation or yoga? [FACN]
NASA's next rover will bring back chunks of the Red Planet
The year might only be 2013, and NASA's current rover, Curiosity, may still be roaming the Red Planet, but NASA's planning ahead. Come 2020, an as-yet unnamed rover will be sent to Mars with a mission to collect samples and return to base.
While on the planet the rover will experiment as usual, testing the soil and environment, but it will also package up as many as 31 rock core and soil samples to later bring back to Earth for in-depth, human analysis. This will be the first attempt to launch back off another planet and come home that anyone's ever attempted, and NASA's got seven years to get it built and ready to go. [NASA]
Bursts of hard exercise could help prevent cancer
Everyone knows that exercise has multiple benefits above actually losing weight and getting fit. It sharpens the mind, raises our metabolism, and helps our hearts stay healthy. Now you can add cancer prevention to that list.
Researchers have discovered that acute intense exercise of 60 minutes produces increased levels of growth factors in our blood. Those increased levels of mitogenic factors have been shown to actually inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells, with human blood serum shown to delay tumour growth in test mice. Although it will be difficult to thoroughly test in humans, it demonstrates just how important exercise could be to your prolonged health. [PLoS One]