ALZHEIMER’S VACCINE: A vaccine against Alzheimer’s has come a step closer to reality after scientists succeeded in preventing the build-up of toxic brain proteins linked to the disease. Experiments on mice showed that the DNA vaccine, injected into skin, could potentially delay the onset of Alzheimer’s with no serious side-effects. The findings, published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research And Therapy, could pave the way for clinical trials with human patients, said the scientists. COLD COMFORT: People living in cold climates with less sunlight are more likely to drink heavily. The US research establishes a link between average temperature and hours of sunlight and alcohol consumption. Examining data from 193 countries, the group found evidence that climate contributed to a higher incidence of binge drinking and liver disease. Senior author Ramon Bataller, associate director of the Pittsburgh Liver Research Centre, said: “This is the first study that systematically demonstrates that worldwide and in America, in colder areas and areas with less sun, you have more drinking and more alcoholic cirrhosis.” Alcohol is a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels and increasing the flow of warm blood to the skin. Drinking also is linked to depression, which tends to be more prevalent when sunlight is scarce. The study is published online in Hepatology. CARBS COUNT: Consuming less protein and more carbohydrates could be the key to healthy brain ageing, a new study suggests. Scientists at the University of Sydney in Australia came to the conclusion after conducting diet experiments on mice. The animals were allowed to eat as much as they liked, as long as the food was low in protein and high in carbohydrates. As a result, their performance in learning and memory tests saw modest improvements. Both young and old mice of both sexes experienced the benefits.