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Viagra Makes You a Better Employee

And four other things we learned about our bodies this week

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… 

Men Who Take Viagra Go to Work More

Ever skipped work because you couldn’t get a boner? A recent study from Pfizer suggests that erectile dysfunction might be causing some men to call in sick. With a sample of more than 50,000 men, 50 percent of whom had erectile dysfunction, researchers found that men with ED were more likely to report absenteeism.

It’s possible that ED is merely one symptom of a larger problem causing people to miss work, such as depression. However, Pfizer may potentially begin advertising Viagra as a “work improvement” drug, the idea being that Viagra can help you improve your sex life which, in turn, will lift your job performance, too.

Please, though, don’t take Viagra at work.

It’s Not Your Fault That You Don’t Have the Sleep Schedule of a Goddamn Dairy Farmer

In a perfect world, we’d be able to fall asleep just as the sun set and wake up again as it rose. We’d then go outside, milk our cows and select some eggs from the chicken coop for our morning breakfast. But it’s 2019, I get home from work at 6 p.m., and I need to swipe on my phone for three hours in order to fall asleep, so an 8 p.m. bedtime just isn’t happening. It’s also not in our DNA. In fact, a study published this week in the journal SLEEP found that that only 1 in 300 people have the kind of advanced sleep phase that sets their bodies’ circadian rhythm/body clock earlier than most. 

In other words, don’t blame yourself for all that swiping and the late nights/groggy mornings it encourages. Blame biology. 

Actually, Recreational Marijuana Is Preventing Opioid Deaths 

There have been mixed reports as to whether recreational marijuana lessens opioid use, but researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have found that legal dispensaries have indeed reduced the number of opioid-related deaths. Specifically, they discovered that legalization and access to recreational marijuana reduced opioid deaths by 20 to 35 percent, with the greatest decrease in deaths from synthetic opioids. And in areas with legal dispensaries, fentanyl overdoses were reduced by 33 percent. That seems like as good a reason as any for national legalization. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Congress.

Your Smartphone Really Can Control Your Brain

While it certainly feels like my smartphone is in control of my brain (and my whole life, really), it isn’t actually hooked up to my neural circuits. It could be, though! Scientists in Korea and the U.S. have developed a device that involves a tiny brain implant that can be controlled with a smartphone. The main function of these implants would be to dispense drugs and light to specific neurons, allowing for chronic, targeted treatment of ailments like drug addiction and Alzheimer’s. Previously, this could only be done with bulky machinery and tubes attached to one’s head, making long-term use rather unlikely. The brain implant system has been studied on mice, who handled it just fine and could continue to do mouse things. Which, of course, means we’re next! 

Women on Tinder Want Men with Master’s Degrees

The best way to get more matches on Tinder? Get a Master’s degree. In a study published in the Economics of Education Review, researchers found that the more highly educated you are, the better you’ll do on Tinder. 

The effect is most pronounced for men with Master’s degrees. The researchers utilized fake profiles of men and women, with the listed education level the only varying factor. They found that women were almost twice as likely to swipe right on a man with a Master’s degree than a Bachelor’s degree by itself. Men, however, were only 8.2 percent more likely to swipe right for a woman with a Master’s degree v. a Bachelor’s. In general, though, people expressed a stronger preference for more highly educated people, regardless of their own education level. 

So, fellas, go to grad school. It’ll put you in $100,000 of debt, but the ladies will love you for it.