F2F Class Notes 27th February (Celeste)

Marriage makes you less stressed

A new study says marriage is good for our health. Researchers said being married lowers levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. Researchers tested for cortisol in 572 adults on three different days. They found that the married people had less cortisol than people who were single, separated, divorced or widowed. The researchers said: “Married people tend to be healthier…but the mechanisms through which this occurs remain unclear.”

Cortisol has different bodily functions. It regulates blood sugar, immune responses and inflammation. It increases the risk of heart disease and the chances of surviving cancer. High levels of cortisol are linked to conditions like anxiety and depression. A doctor said the research provided, “important insights into the way…our intimate social relationships can…influence our health”. A researcher was excited to see how relationships influence health and disease.


divorced ( -t)

bodily ( bod – il – lee )

anxiety ( angzI – ity )


widowed (widow – d ) adj. – when your spouse has died

eg. I am widowed.

widow – woman who has lost her spouse

widower – man who has lost his spouse

bliss n. – supreme happiness

Astronauts’ brains change shape during spaceflight

Researchers from the University of Michigan in the USA have found that the brain of astronauts changes shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into how the brain changes on the journey into space. Researchers looked at pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. The photos were taken by high-tech medical machines called MRIs. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks as Space Shuttle crew members, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases and decreases in the size of different parts of the brain. The researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in size were.

The research produced some interesting findings. The researchers explained that, “gravity is not available to pull fluids down in the body”. This means there is a shift in the position of the brain inside the skull. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger in size. The findings could help doctors in the future to treat problems that affect the brain’s function. One possibility is to treat people who develop problems caused by long-term bed rest. Another possibility is to treat those who have a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. The researchers also say we will understand more about how neurons in the brain make connections. In addition, the findings will help future space travelers on their journey to Mars.


sb said that sth happened (so) sth happened

eg. The researchers said that the longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the differences in size were.

eg. The students said that the longer they spend on their homework, the better they do on their tests.

eg. My mother said that the more sports you do, the less stress you have.

I am on my period. / I have my period.

I was on my period. / I had my period.