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…
For Boys, Robots > Girls
At least, in the world of virtual-reality education: A new study from the University of Copenhagen found that boys learn best when their virtual teacher is a drone, whereas girls learn best when their teacher is a young, female researcher-type named Marie. The researchers explain these bizarre findings by suggesting that girls concentrate more when they can actually identify with their teacher, while boys focus better when instructed by something that “exhibits superhero characteristics that boys tend to identify with, such as the ability to fly around.” Look, as a dude, I was gonna be offended, but when they put it that way…
Stoned Driving Is on the Rise
In the last six months, more than 50 percent of medical cannabis users got behind the wheel after getting toasty, according to a University of Michigan survey, and one in five admitted to driving while “very high.” While we previously wrote that driving under the influence of cannabis is significantly less dangerous than drunk driving, getting behind the wheel after hitting the bong is still a bad idea that might very well land you a DUI. Make no mistake about it: Driving while under the influence of drugs — including legal-use marijuana — is illegal in all states. Period.
Men Remember Pain More Than Women
A new study conducted by researchers from McGill University and the University of Toronto Mississauga found that men remember painful experiences more clearly than women. As a result, compared to women, men become more stressed and sensitive to subsequent pains that reminds them of these vivid memories. While this is certainly horrible (and faintly embarrassing?) news for men in general, there is an upside: The researchers believe that these findings might eventually help develop treatments for chronic pain, which can be exacerbated when the victim has lucid memories of previous painful experiences.
Bottle-Fed Babies Are More Likely to Be Left-Handed
Here’s a weird one, new parents: A recent study from the University of Washington, which involved examining about 60,000 mothers and their babies, shows that bottle-fed infants are much more likely to become left-handed. The reasoning isn’t totally clear, but the researchers believe that breastfeeding, for whatever reason, encourages the brain to lean toward right-handedness. “We think breastfeeding optimizes the process the brain undergoes when solidifying handedness,” says lead researcher Philippe Hujoel in a press release. So on the one hand, it seems, breast milk is definitely right.
Floss Is Actually Toxic
Despite those strongly worded recommendations from your dentist, a new study found that certain brands of dental floss — specifically Oral-B Glide — saturate our bodies with toxic PFAS chemicals. The research specifically shows that middle-aged women who flossed with Oral-B Glide had higher levels of a type of PFAS called PFHxS, which has been linked to high cholesterol and altered thyroid function. The good news, though, is that you can always choose flosses without PFAS — which flosses those are, however, remains unclear. Until then, you may want to keep Glide products away from your mouth.