Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Pulse Beat

Driving and Listening to the Radio

A recent study showed that listening to radio news can adversely affect driving. Researchers, led by Gillian Murphy from University College Cork and Ciara Greene, PhD, from University College Dublin (both Ireland), show how important it is to keep our attention firmly on the road. “Anything that draws our attention away from driving can be problematic, even if it’s auditory like listening to the radio or having a hands-free phone conversation.” That doesn’t mean that we should ban radios in cars, but that we should all be aware of the limits of our attention, says Guillian Murphy.
Paying attention to one sense (hearing) might decrease attention to another sense (seeing).


Respiratory Infection in Infants & Diabetics

Aretrospective observational study in Germany points at the possibility of early onset respiratory tract infection with viruses, especially respiratory syncytial virus, associated with a significant increase in the incidence of type-I diabetes in those kids. This is connected to the lack of development of the immune system. One of the preventive measures might be breast-feeding which makes the infant’s immune system robust.
The researchers found that children who experienced respiratory tract infections between birth and 2.9 months of age or between 3 and 5.9 months of age were more likely to be diagnosed with type-1 diabetes by the age of 8 years, compared with children who did not develop respiratory tract infections during those age ranges.

Statins Do Not Prevent Heart Muscle Damage

“Giving daily doses of statins for a few days before and after heart surgery does not prevent heart muscle damage or the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to an international clinical trial led by the University of Oxford and funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).” 
The trial, which is the largest of its kind, showed that short-term statin treatment did not benefit heart surgery patients and increased the risk of developing kidney damage. These results, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), rule out a clinical benefit of the rapid anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of statin therapy in heart surgery and are expected to change international guidelines on preventing AF and other in-hospital complications after heart surgery.
One by one, all the tall claims of statin manufacturers are being demolished. This is the latest in the list. Interestingly, the researchers go too far in claiming that this study does not invalidate the claim that statins help in preventing heart attacks, although now the US government’s USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) says that cholesterol is a friend and not an enemy—as was claimed in the past. That makes the risky statin therapy redundant. How they come to that conclusion is anybody’s guess.

Antibiotic Resistance

One of the leading causes of the serious threat of super bugs that do not respond to most new antibiotics comes from inappropriate use of antibiotics for simple upper respiratory infections. A recent study, published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), puts that figure at more than 50% of antibiotics prescribed without proper indications. 
“Half of antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory conditions may have been unnecessary, representing 34 million antibiotic prescriptions annually. Collectively, across all conditions, an estimated 30 per cent of outpatient, oral antibiotic prescriptions may have been inappropriate,” says Dr Katherine 
E Fleming-Dutra. some soul-searching seems to be going on to see how best we can curb this tendency and rules are framed to stop unwanted antibiotic prescriptions. 


Do you buy costly goods to avoid feeling of regret?
People tend to buy pricy goods in order to avoid the feeling of regret they might have if the same goods become unavailable in future, researchers have found.
Consider someone finds a jacket in a store but due to its price, he thinks whether he should wait and hope it goes on sale in the future. 
Then again, the jacket might go out of stock before that happens and he might never acquire it at all, regretting the decision. 
So the consumer pays more to avoid that feeling of regret.
According to the team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), not only do consumers tend to buy goods partly to avoid that feeling, but some retailers fail to notice this behavioural quirk and thus miss an opportunity to increase their revenues.
"The high-value customers will still buy the product," said Karen Zheng, co-author of the study published in the journal Management Science. 
"They want to [avoid] this feeling of regret, which would occur if they wait now and then cannot get it in the future," added Zheng, who is also an assistant professor of operations management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. 
According to the research results, for such items if retailers fail to recognise consumers' emotions, they could stock insufficient amounts of merchandise and may forgo up to 14% of consumer demand.
Indeed, some retailers could have profits 7% to 10% higher if they pursued different pricing strategies.
That is, generally higher prices with occasional sales mixed in will yield more revenue than consistently low prices, at least for fashionable goods.
In the paper, the scholars used existing empirical research from behavioural economics to build a new model of consumer decision making. 
The researchers wrote that "branded fashion items tend to induce strong stockout regret but weak high-price regret". 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Nifty, Sensex may rally a bit – Tuesday closing report
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were weak and might make an effort to stabilise. The major indices of the Indian stock markets could not make much headway on Tuesday and closed with small gains of upto 0.30% over Monday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:
The main indices traded in the green during the mid-afternoon session, as healthy buying was witnessed in automobile and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks. Initially, the key indices opened on a flat note, depressed by weak Asian markets, which were impacted by negative macro-economic data from Japan. The domestic markets soon receded on the back of risk-aversion on the renewed fears of a US rate hike in June. A hike is expected to lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India. This had led to an outflow of foreign funds from the domestic equity markets on Monday. Besides, investors were seen reluctant to chase prices higher due to the upcoming F&O (futures and options) expiry and a weak rupee. However, positive European indices restored investor confidence and supported prices.  The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears -- with 1,599 declines and 907 advances.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Monday announced the creation of a committee to examine applications of offshore funds having fund managers in India and looking to avail the beneficial tax regime in India. The three-member committee will examine the application of overseas fund managers and submit its recommendations to the CBDT about grant or refusal of approval, a finance ministry release said. This being a new development, the market and foreign institutional investors are yet to react to it.
India has received a very positive feedback from international investors in Singapore and can look forward to good investments coming from Singapore, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. "I do feel that the mood is very favourable for India. They (investors) can see the India story structurally improving. They can see the demand that India provide and to my mind India can look forward to good investments coming from Singapore," Goyal, who was on a one-day visit to Singapore at the head of industry chamber FICCI delegation, told reporters. 
Assocham on Monday urged the government to remove anti-dumping duty on flexible slabstock polyol because domestic production is not enough to cater to local demand. Flexible slabstock polyol, a polyether, forms polyurethane foams on reaction with catalysts and additives, which is then used in packaging, pillows, mattresses, transport seating, etc. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) claimed that trade barriers on flexible slabstock polyol were based on misrepresentation of facts by certain domestic manufacturers. "In India there is no dumping of flexible slabstock polyol. Besides, domestic production is not enough to cater to local demand. As such there should be no safeguard duty imposed on import of flexible slabstock polyol from Thailand," said Assocham in a statement issued. "Large parts of the demand for flexible slabstock polyol in India are being catered by imports of raw material due to non-availability of domestically manufactured polyol in sufficient quantity," the statement said, citing Secretary General D.S. Rawat. Reliance Industries shares closed at Rs940.05, up 1.08% on the BSE.
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:


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