3 Things We Learned About Our Bodies This Month: January 2017

Depending on your genes, lurking on Facebook may be worse for your health than obesity.


Looking at Your Friends on Facebook Makes You Miserable

If you sometimes feel like everyone on your Facebook page is having a better time than you, you’re not alone. A study at the University of Copenhagen warns that regularly scrolling through your feed can “negatively affect your emotional wellbeing and satisfaction with life.” This is a result of most of us taking what we see on Facebook at face value, forgetting that folk generally only share their best, happiest and most successful moments on social media. The study also found, however, that those who interacted with their friends on the platform rather than lurking (that is, enviously looking at updates without commenting or interacting in any way) had a much more positive experience. The lesson here? It’s called social media, so be, y’know, social.

Your “Baby Fluid” Can Help Make Bones Stronger

No, not that baby fluid. We’re talking about amniotic fluid, the goop that surrounds a developing baby in the womb. A team of researchers at the Institute of Child Health in Britain injected amniotic stem cells into the cells of diseased mice, and found that it strengthened their bones so much, fractures were reduced by 80%. These findings have huge applications for multiple types of people, from the very elderly to those with brittle bone disease. And, presumably, extremely clumsy mice.

It’s Actually Possible to be Fat Without Being Unhealthy

Yes, you read that right: Not all obesity is life threatening. The bad news? You have no control over this, as it’s all a matter of genetics. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen (again!) identified three genes that determine where fat gets stored in the human body. While most “big boned” people end up with fat overflowing into their bloodstream—with eventual lethal consequences—15-20% of overweight people store the fat harmlessly under their skin. Now that’s a reason to be jolly.