Thursday, November 29, 2007
I definitely recommend checking them out!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
* No, I have no shame, and could not resist.
And oh, how many beliefs we hold based on flawed evidence, incomplete study, or simply folk knowledge. It turns out that some seem true, and other prove false:
Your mother always told you that pizza and twinkies would give you pizza face. A small clinical trial from Australia found that a lower-glycemic index diet with more protein significantly reduced acne in participants - another good reason to adopt such a healthier diet.
Your mom knows stuff, but the societal moms may not: prevailing wisdom has been that "bad kids" do worse in school, but two studies suggest that this is not necessarily (or even usually) the case. Even kids with ADHD (which is grossly overdiagnosed, so I question the findings) seem to just develop slower, and are at the same level as their peers by grade 5.
Then societal mom also want kids to never, EVER, have sex, at least until they are long past adulthood. Because it means that they're just delinquents, right? Wrong. A terribly clever UVa analysis found that teens and preteens who had had consensual sex were in fact less likely to end up being labeled 'delinquent.'
Speaking of sexual myths, a multi-national survey found that as many as 40% of people believe that AIDS isn't fatal anymore, and many of them even think that there's a cure. Memo to world: AIDS IS STILL INCURABLE AND LETHAL!!!
And finally, there's the persistent myth that the US has great quality healthcare and outcomes. Among other things, we continue to have a ridiculously high infant mortality rate, especially considering our neonatal care expenditures.
Now playing: Dengue Fever - Saran Wrap
Friday, November 09, 2007
Used to be, we thought that this was a pretty clever tick humans had learned, but as usual, further research suggests that we're not so unique in our cleverness. Yale researchers have found, for the first time, that monkeys seem to do the same thing (PDF here): then they have to choose between red and blue M+Ms, they subsequently value the rejected color significantly less than others (like green).
Even if we're not the only ones good at justifying our (often arbitrary) decisions, that's no reason to do less of it. So, here are some good reasons to justify things you're going to do anyways:
Data from the Framingham study suggest that drinking coffee and eating fish oil may help protect against Alzheimer's. There's probably a whole lot more going on here than it appears, and these things need to be properly tested, but I'll still say it's time for another coffee break, and sushi for lunch!
Also, there is yet more evidence that abstinence-only sex-ed is not useful, so go ahead and talk about sex with a teenager today! Actually, no. Just make sure your kids go to a school with a worthwhile curriculum.
Now playing: Gary Flanagan - Metro Boulot Dodo