Wednesday April 25, 2018

People who use Internet a lot may experience increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure when they go offline: Scientists

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Depiction of Internet. Wikimedia Commons
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London, June 1, 2017: Just as a drug addict may face withdrawal symptoms, people who use the internet a lot may experience significant physiological changes such as increased heart rate and blood pressure when they go offline, scientists have found.

“We have known for some time that people who are over-dependent on digital devices report feelings of anxiety when they are stopped from using them, but now we can see that these psychological effects are accompanied by actual physiological changes,” said study lead Phil Reed, Professor at Swansea University in Britain.

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The study involved 144 participants, aged 18 to 33 years, having their heart rate and blood pressure measured before and after a brief internet session. Their anxiety and self-reported internet-addiction were also assessed.

The results showed increases in physiological arousal on terminating the internet session for those with problematically-high internet usage.

There was an average three to four per cent increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and in some cases double that figure, immediately on termination of internet use, compared to before using it, for those with digital-behaviour problems, according to the study published in the journal, PLOS ONE.

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Although this increase is not enough to be life-threatening, such changes can be associated with feelings of anxiety, and with alterations to the hormonal system that can reduce immune responses.

The study also suggested that these physiological changes and accompanying increases in anxiety indicate a state like withdrawal seen for many ‘sedative’ drugs, such as alcohol, cannabis, and heroin, and this state may be responsible for some people’s need to re-engage with their digital devices to reduce these unpleasant feelings.

However, there were no such changes for participants who reported no internet-usage problems. (IANS)

 

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  • vedika kakar

    I can totally relate to this article on a personal level!

  • Esther S.

    There are no real choices now. You study via internet, work via internet, socialise via internet. We are clearly f*cked.

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STUDY: Lakes on Mars dried up 3.5bn years ago

A study reveals that lakes on Mars dried up 3.5bn years ago.

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An image of Mars.
Mars. Pixabay

The discovery of cracks on the surface of Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover in early 2017 are evidence of lakes that likely dried up 3.5 billion years ago, confirmed a study, revealing details about the red planet’s ancient climate.

In early 2017 scientists announced the discovery of possible desiccation cracks in Gale Crater, which was filled by lakes 3.5 billion years ago.

“We are now confident that these are mudcracks,” said lead author Nathaniel Stein, a geologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, US.

Since desiccation mudcracks form only where wet sediment is exposed to air, their position closer to the centre of the lake bed rather than the edge also suggests that lake levels rose and fell dramatically over time.

“The mudcracks show that the lakes in Gale Crater had gone through the same type of cycles that we see on Earth,” Stein added.

Representational image for planet Mars.
Representational image. Pixabay

Although scientists have known almost since the moment Curiosity landed in 2012 that Gale Crater once contained lakes, “the mudcracks are exciting because they add context to our understanding of this ancient lacustrine system”, Stein explained, in the paper published in the journal Geology.

“We are capturing a moment in time. This research is just a chapter in a story that Curiosity has been building since the beginning of its mission,” he said.

Also Read: SpaceX to build Mars rockets in Los Angeles

For the study, the team focused on a coffee table-sized slab of rock nicknamed “Old Soaker”.

Old Soaker is crisscrossed with polygons identical in appearance to desiccation features on Earth.

They found that the polygons — confined to a single layer of rock and with sediment filling the cracks between them — formed from exposure to air, rather than other mechanisms such as thermal or hydraulic fracturing, the researchers said.  IANS