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Why the baby-faced live longer; the health benefits of champagne; how Nellie the Elephant helps save lives

Our daily digest of news headlines from Monday 14 December 2009.

By Steve Nowottny

Our daily digest of news headlines from Monday 14 December 2009.

Probably the biggest health story this morning brings yet more bad news for Gordon Brown and good news for David Cameron – but we're talking life expectancy research, not politics.

The Daily Mail's headline sums it up: ‘Are you a baby face? Then you'll live to a ripe old age.' The Independent and the BBC also cover a study of 387 pairs of twins by Danish scientists, published in the BMJ, which found that people with youthful-looking faces are more likely to live longer.

Researchers at Yale University have developed a revolutionary microchip detector which can carry out blood tests to detect biomarkers for prostate and breast cancer in minutes, the Sun and Press Association report.

If you're planning to paint the office red with an all-out Christmas party this week, there's some, erm, heartening news. The Daily Mail is one of several papers to claim that champagne is now officially ‘good for the heart and brain'.

Researchers at Reading University have found that champagne is packed with polyphenols, which boost the levels of gas nitric oxide in the blood and help widen blood vessels. Reassuringly, given the recession, we're told: ‘Researchers believe the health benefits aren't limited to the expensive stuff but are also found in cheaper alternatives such as cava and prosecco.'

And finally, the Daily Telegraph's front page brings us research published online in the British Medical Journal which claims to have cracked the secret of the most effective musical accompaniment to cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Coventry and Hertfordshire and the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (a team effort, this one) found that nursery rhyme classic Nellie the Elephant topped the charts, ahead of rival contender That's the Way (I Like It) by KC and the Sunshine Band.

But researchers warned that Nellie the Elephant could distract medical students into failing to apply enough pressure, and have suggested further research is needed into the potential life-saving benefits of Another One Bites the Dust by Queen and Billy Ray Cyrus' Achy Breaky Heart.

Daily Digest

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