Tony Delroy’s Night Life on ABC Radio – links for March 21

Pocket diagnosis

A new app which turns any smartphone into a portable medical diagnostic device could help in the fight against diseases including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the developing world.

Eat more, die young: Why eating a diet very low in nutrients can extend lifespan

Dietary restriction, however, also leads to increased rates of cellular recycling and repair mechanisms in the body. The UNSW researchers’ new theory is that this effect evolved to help animals continue to reproduce when food is scarce; they require less food to survive because stored nutrients in the cells can be recycled and reused.

The precise reason for the health benefits of dark chocolate: Mystery solved

The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery –– until now. Researchers reported here today that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.

How lost sleep leads to lost neurons

A new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells.

Reducing anxiety with a smartphone app

The study suggests that “gamifying” a scientifically-supported intervention could offer measurable mental health and behavioral benefits for people with relatively high levels of anxiety.