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 we learned about our bodies in the last seven days…
Facebook Can Predict Your Death
Since Facebook knows every detail of your life, whether you want it to or not, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the site is capable of predicting whether you’ll develop a serious illness. In fact, a study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has found that people who typically make posts that include the words “God” and “pray” are 15 times more likely to later have type 2 diabetes than those who rarely use the platform.
The study doesn’t conclude exactly why this connection exists, but previous studies have found a link with regular church attendance and obesity, which can lead to diabetes. The study also found a link between expletives and drug abuse, as well as connections between “drink” and alcohol abuse (um, duh). All in all, though, the real takeaway here is that you should delete your Facebook.
You Should Wait Till You’re at Least 30 to Have Kids
Good news for anyone being pressured to have kids in their 20s: While women are far more fertile during that decade of life, recent studies suggest that women who wait until their 30s to have kids, live longer — and perhaps better (ditto for their kids). Not only do college-educated women who wait until their 30s to pop a sprog make $80,000 more over their lifetime than college-educated women who had their child before 25, but women who had their last child after age 33 were twice as likely to live past 95. The children of older moms are also generally smarter and taller.
Basically then, tell your mom that if she wants super tall, super smart and super well-adjusted grandchildren, to stop bugging you about them until you’ve hit your mid-30s (bare minimum).
Work Sucks, Unless It’s Only One Day A Week
The maximum recommended dose of work per week is only eight hours. Working any less than that is no good either apparently. To wit, researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Salford studied 71,000 working-age people in the U.K. over a nine-year period and found that men who worked just eight hours a week reported the best mental health, sleep and overall life satisfaction. That number is similar for women in terms of mental health and sleep, though they experienced the highest sense of life satisfaction when working around 20 hours a week. (They did not at any point explain how they found nearly 100,000 people who only work eight hours a week, but must be nice.)
To drastically reduce the work week from 40 hours to just eight, the authors suggested “five-day weekends, working for just a couple of hours each day, increasing annual vacation allowances from weeks to months or having two months off work for every month spent working.”
If they need any test subjects in the U.S., I’m happy to volunteer.
Dogs Have Been Playing Us for Thousands of Years
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth studied the anatomy of dogs’ and wolves’ faces and concluded that dogs have evolved specifically to communicate with humans. In particular, they had humans look at dogs and wolves for two minutes at a time. During those two minutes, they found that the dogs raised their eyebrows more frequently and intensely than the wolves. More interesting still, when the dogs did this, the humans had an increased desire to care for them.
In other words, dogs realized that in order for us to want to take care of them, they needed to be cute. And so, they evolved to have an inner-eyebrow muscle that lets them look up at us with big needy eyes and turns us into their baby-talking minions.
Those cute, adorable fucking bastards.
Men Need To Eat More Yogurt
For some weird reason, yogurt has consistently been branded as a “feminine” food, with ads always featuring a middle-aged woman in linen pants. But fellas, yogurt is good for you, too. In fact, it’s better for you than it is for women. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine studied the diets of 32,600 men and 55,700 women over a 26-year period and discovered that men who reported eating yogurt twice a week were 20 percent less likely to develop abnormal growths, or adenomas, on the lining of their colon or rectum than men who didn’t eat yogurt. (Adenomas are pre-cancerous, and if untreated, can become malignant.)
It’s only a matter of time then before yogurt is rebranded as dude food of meat-like proportions.