Sudoku games could awaken survival genes

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman

If you've been feeling a little less than sure in your ability to make it here on Earth, you might want to consider picking up one of those overhyped sudoku puzzles.

That's because, according to a release from the video game publisher Mastiff, which quoted a study by the University of Edinburgh's Giles Hardingham, sudoku games can "awaken 'survival genes' that lay dormant in the human brain. These survival genes make the brain cells live longer and resist disease, strokes and the effects of drugs."

Luckily for us, or at least Game Boy Advance owners, Mastiff is about to release its new game, "Dr. Sudoku," for that handheld game player.

"When brain cells are highly stimulated, many unused genes are suddenly reactivated," Hardingham said in the Mastiff statement. "We have found that a group of these genes can make the active brain cells far healthier than lazy, inactive cells, and more likely to live a long life."

Of course, there's no mention in the release of any relationship between Dr. Hardingham and Mastiff. So there's no way for us to know whether the company commissioned his study or happened to come across a copy of a medical journal containing the study at some dentist office.

Either way, it's nice to know that the kinds of games that have millions of people worldwide sitting prone at their desks, racking their brains to find solutions to puzzles instead of getting healthy with exercise, could save lives.

Yay for science! And, er, press releases.