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Laziness in the genes

A MUTATION in a gene which has a critical role in the brain could explain why some people are more likely than others to be couch potatoes, according to research.

The "key discovery", which centres around the system that regulates physical activity levels, has been made by scientists in China and Scotland. The study raises the prospect that personalised pills could be developed in future to help those who are less inclined to exercise, experts said.

RAIN STOPS ROMANCE

A US sheriff cancelled Valentine's Day because of the bad weather, telling men they were off the hook for the romantic gifts their partners might have been expecting.

Sheriff Scott Berry in Oconee County, Georgia, took to Facebook to announce, in jest, his decision after an ice storm slammed into the state. Men, he wrote, "are exempt from having to run out and buy lottery scratchers and Hershey bars from the corner stores" until Tuesday.

BLIND BOXER'S RETURN

A PENSIONER has returned to boxing training more than 45 years after he was forced to give it up as his sight deteriorated.

James Peline (65) has lost both his sight and hearing due to Usher syndrome and is supported by charity Deafblind Scotland. His trainer communicates through a series of touches on his arms and shoulders that guide his movements. Mr Peline, from Cardonald, Glasgow, was a keen boxer as a teenager but had to stop when his sight got progressively worse. He returned to training six months ago as part of a charity initiative to keep him active and healthy.

CASTAWAY 'SEA PHOBIC'

DOCTORS say the fisherman who apparently drifted at sea for more than a year is vowing never to return to the ocean and even plans to avoid the beach.

Fredy Sermeno, head of psychiatry at El Salvador's San Rafael Hospital, said sailor Jose Salvador Alvarenga (37) did not have any serious mental problems, but "what has stayed with him is fear of the sea; he doesn't want to know anything about the sea. He wants to avoid, in any way possible, being in front of the sea".

'VAMPIRE FACELIFT' CASE

A WOMAN who advertised "vampire facelifts" and other cosmetic procedures she was not licensed to perform has been arrested after a suspicious death at a Southern California salon.

Licensed massage therapist Sandra Gonzalez (45) is in custody and is being investigated by murder detectives and state medical authorities.

Irish Independent