"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Topsy-turvy, and vodka. 

Some days everything just seems backwards, and in health science, relying on news headlines would have you radically altering your habits every other day based on new research results. A UK study suggests that wearing a bicycle helmet makes drivers less cautious of the biker - they pass helmeted ones at a slimmer distance than they pass unhelmeted ones. They also seem to give female riders more room. The data don't seem to speak directly to an increased likelihood of a collision, but that implication is clear. Still, I wouldn't go recommending bikers abandon helmets as a safety device!

You probably also thought that lifting weights was good for you. It may be, mostly, but new evidence suggests that it may increase intraocular pressure, leading to increased risk of glaucoma. This probably only really applies to serious muscleheads - you know, the kind who make all kinds of noise at the gym and lift way too much weight and have no necks - but still, blindness costs us all.

If working out was good, you probably thought that viruses - especially retroviruses - were bad. Not so! Evidence suggests that 'viral stowaways,' or old retroviruses long integrated into host DNA, can play critical roles not only in forming immunity to infectious forms, but also in assisting development. Cool!

Also interesting:
Paternal pheromones may supress development in daughters, meaning that girls who grow up without their dads seem to go through puberty earlier. This could help explain the recent trend of girls hitting puberty younger and younger. And hey, while your at it, school is making kids depressed. Duh.

Brown kelp may hold a promising new anti-obesity treatment. Another magic pill, yay!

Finally, the EU is trying to decide what constitutes vodka, and which is best. Brussels just loves regulation...

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