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…
Short Men Are More Prone to Wanting to Fuck You Up Than Tall Guys
This isn’t actually a new study, but it’s been making the rounds so much this week that I’m gonna include it. Research published by the Centers for Disease Control in 2015 shows that short men really are, generally speaking, angrier and more violent than their taller counterparts. This, the researchers suggest, is because being short can increase feelings of vulnerability and paranoia. Short men in particular, though, tend to feel they’re regarded as less masculine, and as a result, according to the study, these men are nearly three times more likely to have committed violent assaults. So here’s a quick PSA to all short dudes: You can be kings, too!
Sleep Is the Ultimate Painkiller
Step aside, opioids: New research shows that sleep is one of the best natural ways to cope with pain. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, came upon these findings by applying uncomfortable levels of heat to the legs of young adults while scanning their brains with an MRI machine. They found that several neural mechanisms, which prepare the body for pain and release dopamine to relieve said pain, are disrupted when the participants were operating on insufficient sleep. “The optimistic takeaway here is that sleep is a natural analgesic that can help manage and lower pain,” said senior study author Matthew Walker in a press release. In other words, sleeping away that hangover is the best bet after all.
Vegetarians Are Cool with Eating Bugs, but Vegans Say Hell No
News flash: Bugs may soon be one of the only viable remaining food sources, as our population grows and our current food sources dwindle. While many vegetarians are apparently open to the idea, a new study found that vegans — always more strident — believe insect eating to be irresponsible and morally wrong. “Vegans see insects as living beings, just like any other animals,” said researcher Anna-Liisa Elorinne in a press release. If I’m being honest, I’m with the vegans on this one, although less for ethical reasons and more because the thought of eating bugs totally grosses me out. But hey, for the planet maybe I’ll… eh, never mind, I’ll just die instead.
Playing Video Games with Your Coworkers Improves Productivity
Hey, boss! New research found that work teams experience a 20 percent increase in productivity after playing video games together for only 45 minutes, so like, can we get Smash Bros. in our office? The researchers also add that the positive impact of gaming together was seen even when the workers weren’t avid gamers. “To see that big of a jump — especially for the amount of time they played — was a little shocking,” said study co-author Greg Anderson in a press release. “Companies are spending thousands and thousands of dollars on team-building activities, and I’m thinking, go buy an Xbox.” Game on, broskis.
Big Dogs Are Smarter Than Small Dogs
I knew it! A recent study found that bigger dogs, with larger brains, have better short-term memory and self-control than smaller pups. The supposed reason? Their brains are simply bigger. “The jury is out on why, necessarily, brain size might relate to cognition,” said lead study author Daniel Horschler in a press release. “We think of it as probably a proxy for something else going on, whether it’s the number of neurons that matters or differences in connectivity between neurons.” The study did find, however, that big dogs aren’t necessarily smarter in every sense — they tested, more or less, the same in social intelligence and physical reasoning when compared to small dogs. But either way, please excuse me while I go give my big, smart boi a treat.