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…
Don’t Eat Slugs, Obviously
For some reason, dudes keep eating slugs as a dare, and bad things keep happening. Most recently, a man in East Hawaii who ate a slug on a dare contracted rat lungworm, a parasite that affects the brain and spinal cord and can lead to a form of meningitis. It is, for some reason, most commonly contracted by consuming slugs. Before that, in November 2018, an Australian man died of rat lungworm eight years after eating a slug on a dare when he was 19 years old. Eating the slug hospitalized him for three years, after which, he was paralyzed. Before his death, he spent 420 days in a coma.
So in conclusion, maybe just don’t eat slugs???
Your Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather Made You Get A Dog
You like dogs, huh? What an interesting, unique guy you are! Well, newsflash buddy, absolutely nothing about your personality is in your control: It’s all in your genes, even dog ownership. Dogs have been domesticated for at least 15,000 years, and a team of Swedish and British scientists have found that the reason why you specifically might own a dog is that you inherited a gene for it.
The researchers studied pairs of twins (because identical twins share their entire genome, while non-identical twins share half, studying twins this way allows researchers to isolate specific traits). They concluded that identical twins were much more likely to both own dogs than non-identical ones, suggesting that there could be a shared gene involved. So no, you didn’t decide to have a dog — your distant ancestors already made that decision for you.
A Scale That’s Being Watched Stays the Same
A study set to be published next month in Obesity has found that the key to keeping a steady weight is to weigh yourself daily. Researchers at the University of Georgia had participants track their weight over the holiday period, where people are most likely to gain weight. The control group, who didn’t regularly weigh themselves, gained an average of 4.9 pounds over a two-month period, while those who had been weighing themselves maintained the same weight.
Basically, when we’re more aware of our weight, we’ll act according to what we want our weight to be. When we’re not checking the scales, we might be more likely to overeat. Enjoy having no fun this holiday weekend.
You May Have One Single Egg Per Day, And No More
Good news, reasonable egg consumers! The University of Eastern Finland has published a study that confirms that you may eat one single egg per day without consequence. The university enlisted 1,950 male participants between the ages of 45 and 60 with no known cardiovascular disease and assessed their diet for 21 years. During that period, 200 of them were diagnosed with a stroke. However, the researchers didn’t find any correlation between those who had strokes and moderate cholesterol consumption. The average participant ate around one egg per day, so, heart-concerned egg-lovers, go hog wild (in moderation).
Apes Have Helicopter Moms, Too
Maybe your mom is way too involved in your love life, but at least she doesn’t stand around and watch you have sex (as far as you know). Bonobo mothers, on the other hand, help their sons pick out fertile mates and even observe them going at it. Daughters don’t get the same privilege, but the method seems to be effective in producing ape grandchildren: Males who had maternal support were three times more likely to produce offspring. Bonobos will even go as far as to cock block other male monkeys from mating, lest they make it harder for their sons to find a mate. Those moms reaaaally want to be grandmoms. (Similarly, chimpanzee moms help their sons in male-on-male fights.)
As these primate societies are matriarchal, women get their pick of mates. The men, therefore, have to fight to bang. Just as it should be.