A New Wrinkle in Aging Among the traditional rites at high-school reunions and similar events is the universal assessment of attendees who have hardly seemed to age and those who have, well, gotten "really old." Scientists are not immune to such observations. The Dunedin …Read more. Good-Natured A new study finds that people who take a 90-minute walk in a natural area — the woods or a park, for example — compared with similar strollers in high-traffic urban areas displayed decreased activity in a part of the brain associated …Read more. Refer Badness Even as more people find it possible to buy edible medical marijuana products for what ails them, a problem remains: dosages. A Johns Hopkins University survey found that various marketed marijuana-laced brownies, cookies, iced teas and sodas are …Read more. Look on the Bright Side Feeling down? Cheer up. Researchers at Penn State University say adults who are stressed but remain defiantly happy are healthier because their bodies appear to dampen levels of inflammatory stress hormones. Inflammation is a natural response, part …Read more.more articles
A Placenta at the Table
In a paper certain to rile up some debate (and maybe a few stomachs), neuroscientists at the University of Buffalo and Buffalo State College ponder the potential health benefits of human mothers consuming components of their afterbirth — maybe non-mothers and males, too.
They're not talking about the entire placenta, but possibly encapsulated portions of it. They note that elsewhere in nature, the practice of placentophagia is widespread and significant, increasing the effects of pregnancy-mediated analgesia, triggering caretaking behaviors, and suppressing postpartum pseudopregnancy.
According to Mark Kristal, a neuroscientist at the University of Buffalo who has studied placentophagia for more than 40 years, the biggest question isn't what would happen, but rather why humans don't already mimic other animals in this practice.
"Why don't humans engage in placentophagia as a biological imperative as so many other mammals apparently do?" asked Kristal. "We clearly do not do this as a matter of course today and apparently, never have. Perhaps for humans, there is a greater adaptive advantage to not eating the placenta."
Kristal and colleagues urge further investigation. Even if scientists never learn why humans don't practice placentophagia, they might be able to extrapolate medicinal or behavioral benefits.
The paper is published in the journal Ecology of Food and Nutrition.
BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
One in 12 men is colorblind. (Explains some guys' clothing choices.)
GET ME THAT.
The country with the highest percentage of daily smokers is Austria (36.3 percent); followed by Greece (35 percent); Hungary (33.8 percent); Luxembourg (33 percent); and Turkey (32.1 percent), according the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
A grilled Cheese-a-Roo sandwich from the Outback Steakhouse contains 394 calories, 227 from fat. It has 25.2 grams of total fat or 39 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet.
It also contains 66 milligrams of cholesterol (22 percent); 1,133 mg of sodium (47 percent); 29.3 grams of total carbohydrates (10 percent); 1.5 grams of dietary fiber (6 percent) and 12.9 grams of protein.
Perfed appy — When an infected appendix bursts (perforates) and spills into the gut.
PHOBIA OF THE WEEK
Cremnophobia — fear of precipices.
NEVER SAY DIET
The Major League Eating speed-eating record for chocolate candy bars is two pounds in six minutes, held by Eric Booker.
Patient: "Doctor, I swallowed a bone!"
Doctor: "Are you choking?"
Patient: "No, I really did."
"If fitness came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body."
— American actress and singer Cher (1946-)
"I haven't had champagne for a long time."
— Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904). His doctor gave him champagne after all attempts to ease his tuberculosis symptoms had failed.
To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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