THINGS WE LEARNT THIS MONTH

Focus-Science and Technology - - DISCOVERIES -

CLI­MATE CHANGE COULD LEAD TO A GLOBAL BEER SHORT­AGE

Se­vere weather in­clud­ing droughts and heat­waves may lead to sub­stan­tial de­creases in bar­ley yields, a study at the Uni­ver­sity of East An­glia has found. The most ex­treme sce­nar­ios could see beer prices in the UK dou­bling as a re­sult of the short­ages, the re­searchers say. Bet­ter make mine a half.

WEAR­ING WOOL CAN HELP YOU SLEEP

When it comes to nod­ding off to sleep, wear­ing wool could be just as ef­fec­tive as count­ing sheep, a team in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia has found. Study par­tic­i­pants wear­ing wool rather than cot­ton or polyester fell asleep up to 15 min­utes ear­lier, they say. The ben­e­fit is thought to be due to the tex­tile’s heat-reg­u­lat­ing ef­fects.

ELE­PHANTS CAN DO MATHS

Re­searchers at Ja­pan’s Ueno Zoo trained a 14-year-old Asian ele­phant named Authai to use a touch­screen com­puter dis­play­ing dif­fer­ent quan­ti­ties of fruit and choose the one with the largest num­ber. Authai was able to choose the cor­rect an­swer al­most 70 per cent of the time.

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