Make light work of it Conventional gym wisdom states the way to bigger muscles is lifting heavy weights. But scientists at McMaster University in the Canadian province of Ontario, in a study published last week in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, say lighter weights but with more repetitions may be just as effective. The researchers ran experiments that manipulated various resistance exercise variables (such as intensity, volume, and muscle time under tension). They found that in young men, a workout of lower intensity and more repetitions of resistance exercise, performed until muscular failure, was equally effective in stimulating muscle proteins as the conventional method. 'These findings have important implications from a public health standpoint because skeletal muscle mass is a large contributor to daily energy expenditure and it assists in weight management,' says lead author Nicholas Burd. 'Additionally, skeletal muscle mass, because of its size, is the primary site of blood sugar disposal and thus will likely play a role in reducing the risk for development of type 2 diabetes.' Herbal powerhouse Oregano, the common pizza and pasta seasoning herb, has long been known to possess a variety of beneficial health effects, but preliminary data from a recent study by Long Island University researchers in New York has revealed its potential as an anti-cancer agent. Carvacrol, a constituent of oregano, has been shown to induce 'cell suicide' in prostate cancer cells. The researchers are now trying to determine the signalling pathways that the compound uses to cause this suicide. 'We know oregano has anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, but its effects on cancer cells really elevate the spice to the level of a super-spice like turmeric,' says Dr Supriya Bavadekar of the pharmacology department. Hit the spot So it seems it's not a myth: the G-spot really does exist, and a study published last week in The Journal of Sexual Medicine details the location and shape of this elusive structure. Dr Adam Ostrzenski of the Institute of Gynaecology in St Petersburg, Florida, found the G-spot, a 'well-delineated sac structure', after conducting a layer-by-layer front vaginal wall dissection on an 83-year-old cadaver. He's even listed the exact co-ordinates of the spot - 16.5mm from the upper part of the urethral opening, creating a 35 degree angle with the side border of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). 'This study confirmed the anatomic existence of the G-spot, which may lead to a better understanding and improvement of female sexual function,' Ostrzenski concludes. But before you get too excited, Ostrzenski admits the G-spot may not be the same in every woman. Suck it and see Giving pacifiers to newborns is believed to interfere with breastfeeding, but a recent study shows that limiting its use in nurseries may actually increase infants' consumption of formula during the first few days in hospital. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University analysed feeding data on 2,249 infants born in its hospital for about a year. Results showed that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding at the mother-baby unit decreased from 79 to 68 per cent after pacifiers were restricted, and the proportion of breastfed infants receiving supplemental formula increased from 18 to 28 per cent. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Medical centres that follow the WHO's '10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding' can be recognised as 'baby-friendly hospitals' - and one step states that artificial teats or pacifiers should not be given to breastfeeding babies. The researchers say they hope their findings will stimulate discussion and scientific inquiry about whether there is sufficient evidence to support this universal recommendation.