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 that scientists are constantly attempting to figure out. Here are the most interesting things they’ve discovered in the last seven days:
- If You’re Not Enjoying Your Microwave Dinner for One, Watch Yourself Eat It: It’s long been established that we enjoy food more when we eat it in company. But it seems the human brain is so pathetically needy that even just eating in front of a mirror is enough to convince yourself you like your meal more than you do. A study at Nagoya University found that even a photo of other people is enough to do the job, so perhaps idly swiping through Tinder while eating isn’t the worst idea after all.
- Marriage is Good for Your Health (If You’re Already in Bad Health): A 14-year study at Aston Medical School looked at men and women aged 50–80 with either high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure, and found they were 16 percent more likely to still be alive at the end of the study if they were married. Having a partner to help you manage your condition, they propose, is a key factor in your long-term survival. Whether this is worth having a partner nag you about what you eat 24/7 for a decade and a half is still up for debate.
- Excessive Exercise Screws up Your Guts: Do you strain a lot while working out? You could be damaging the cells in the walls of your intestines, which can lead to leaky gut syndrome and its attendant cramps, gas and bloating, or possibly even “chronic health complications.”
- Believing in God Can Save You From Diabetes: A study at Florida State University claims that, “accepting that someone created and now rules the universe” is a beneficial part of keeping Type 2 Diabetes under control . Unsurprisingly, this study has been accused by many — including the editor of The Diabetes Times — as being misleading and not based on established research.
- Even a Few Drinks Now and Then is Bad For Your Brain: Scientists have spun the giant Wheel of Fortune spinner labelled “Alcohol is BLANK for you” once again, and this time, it’s landed on “Not So Good, Actually.” According to a study conducted by researchers at both the University of Oxford and University College London, even moderate drinking (14–21 units per week, or around 12 bottles of beer) can cause a decline in brain health. Speaking of things no one can make their minds up about…
- It’s Fine to Eat White Bread After All: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- You Probably Couldn’t Outsmart a Raven: According to these scientists who spent two months trying to con ravens out of their food and quickly found the ravens were so done with your nonsense, scientists.