The human body: An inspiring biological work of art? Or a meaty sack of germs and fluids? Either way, there’s still a lot we don’t know about what goes on in there — and scientists are constantly attempting to find out more. Here are the most interesting things published about our bodies in the last seven days:
Drinking Too Much as a Teen Screws Up Your Brain for Life
Apparently, drinking heavily as a teenager — a time when your brain is very much still developing — can cause long-lasting damage, including a reduction in areas of the brain associated with memory, attention, language, awareness and consciousness; a reduced ability to learn new words; an impact on socio-emotional processing; and a higher likelihood of alcohol abuse later in life. Most disturbingly for some of us, the same study defines “heavy drinking” as just “four or more standard drinks within a two-hour drinking session for females, five or more drinks for males.” Ruh-roh.
If You’re Right-Handed and Your Partner is Left-Handed, You’re Going to Butt Heads When Making Out
A paper published in Scientific Reports claims that most people are hardwired to lean to the right when going in for a kiss, and that this is true the world over. The most common exceptions are those who are left-handed, who make up between 7 and 10 percent of the world’s population. But since a 2014 study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research claimed that left-handers tend to earn 10 to 12 percent less money over the course of their lives than right-handers, lefties probably have bigger things to worry about.
Being Horny All the Time Is a Turnoff to Others
Well, if you’re a mosquitofish, anyway. A recent study found that, despite the usual assumption that the more sexually active a male animal is, the better (for his chances of breeding, at least), female mosquitofish find overly sex-obsessed males off-putting. This, researchers claim, is because the constant frenzied mating activity of the male leaves females with almost no time to feed, and also runs a risk of injuring their genitals. Keep it in your dang pants, fishboy!
We’re Not Getting Enough Sleep, and It’s Making Us Dangerously Unhappy
Not surprisingly, a paper published in Cognitive Therapy and Research found that sleep-deprived people “lose their ability to be positive-minded people.” This, in turn, can lead to full-blown depression if left unaddressed. But what the heck, because…
We’re Not Going to Live That Much Longer Anyway
Despite a century of human life expectancy rising in a nice straight line, the most recent report has this rise “grinding to a halt” — in the U.K., at least. Several theories have been proposed as to why, ranging from the austerity measures taken by the British government in recent years that have had a massive negative impact on the elderly to the simple idea that humans are only designed to live so long, and we’ve reached the limit. Anyway, the takeaway here is we’re all going to die, and probably sooner than we thought.
Have a great frickin’ weekend.