Here’s your daily dose of the latest discoveries from journals, research institutions, and news outlets from around the world.
Welcome to your daily roundup of important health news
Every day, an estimated 6,800 new peer-reviewed academic articles are published. That’s a whole lot of science to wade through—but don’t fret. We’ll do the legwork for you, each and every morning. Here’s your daily dose of the latest discoveries from journals, research institutions, and news outlets from around the world.
Understand Your Selfies
Snapping photos of yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you’re completely self-absorbed. In fact, most people who take selfies aren’t narcissists, researchers from Brigham Young University discovered. Instead, they fall into one of three groups: communicators, who take the photos to engage their friends or family in conversation, autobiographers, who use them to record and preserve significant moments in their lives, and self-publicists—actually the smallest group—who snap selfies to present themselves in a positive light.
Playing instruments doesn’t just make you more attractive to women—it might also boost your reaction time, too, a new study in the journal Brain and Cognition found. Older adults with long-term musical training reacted faster to sound, tactile, and sound and tactile stimuli than non-musicians did. The researchers believe musical training makes people better at utilizing messages from all their various senses.
Test Your Gut Bacteria to Save Your Heart
A new blood test might help doctors predict the risk of death and other major heart problems in patients who come to the emergency room with chest pains. Elevated levels of a molecule in the blood called trimethylamine N-oxide, which is produced when your gut metabolizes red meat, dairy, and eggs, predicted major heart events both 30 days after entering the hospital and up to 7 years later, according to the Swiss study.
Get Off the Couch
Sedentary adults with no genetic risk factors for developing dementia may be just as likely to develop the disease as non-sedentary people with DNA markers for it, a new study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found. Given that most people aren’t at genetic risk of the disease, staying active might help prevent dementia, the researchers write.
Watch Your Red Meat
Filling your diet with steak and burgers might raise your risk of a painful bowel disease: Consuming lots of red meat can raise your risk of diverticulitis, a digestive condition that causes abdominal pain, nausea, and constipation, a study in the journal Gut found. The more red meat per week people ate—especially the unprocessed kind—the greater their risk. But subbing poultry or fish for one serving of red meat a day cut the risk by 20 percent.