- Education and Science
Four Scientific Facts You Don't Want to Hear
Some facts we would rather not know
There are a lot of things out there we do not know or do not fully understand. Medicine, space, complicated mechanisms, and sometimes even our own bodies seem to be way too mysterious from time to time. This is the main reason why we turn to educating ourselves and finding justification in order to process how certain things work. The reason science exists is to improve our lives and help us with this issue. Because of excessive research, effort and progress, today we have medicine available that help us live longer, better and with all kinds of conveniences - the other day I read that a guy had a sort of smartphone surgically inserted into his hand!
Sometimes though, this all seems a bit too much. I begin to wonder if the quest for novelty will spawn more and more ignorance until we suffocate ourselves with our daily little illusions, not even caring to understand. Of course, my little mental predicament led me to entertain myself with a lot of (to much) reading, so I present to you some facts I have found interesting and a bit disappointing to learn, and I hope you will enjoy reading them. Let's try to understand what we have before setting foot on that space shuttle, shall we?
After nightfall, turn off your computer, cell phone, TVs and other devices
And here is why you should!
This one is a little obvious, but I did find out some more disturbing things that can happen if we overdo it. I am myself guilty of this - spending a lot, and I mean A LOT of time on the computer after nightfall.
Chronic exposure to artificial lights during the night is directly linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, obesity and depression - which means that our TVs, cell phones, computers and other devices that emanate this light should be off during the night. Not exactly news right? Yet we all seem to do this.
Exposure to artificial lights before sleeping disturbs the natural biorhythm of our bodies, which leads to suppression of the hormone melatonine, which is the hormone that helps us fall asleep, claim the scientists from the American Medical Association. In fact, While looking into possible consequences of losing sleep in combination with being in front of a screen all the time, I read that there are some theories that this hormone is only active at a certain stage during the night. They speculate it's around midnight. So, if we are on the computer, we miss that. Again and again.
Do you often stay up long on your computers or watching TV?
...it is possible
Some people may not know about this one. People who use the solarium experience certain changes to their brains that are clearly visible and common with many drug addictions. According to a study published in May 2012 in Journal of Addiction Biology magazine, our brain can in fact recognize the difference between the natural UV light and the solarium. It's an interesting study, and I recommend looking it up.
So what about tanning sprays? Research suggests that this seemingly safe alternative to solariums is also risky, as these sprays contain chemicals that cause genetic mutations of our body cells. There are not so many studies done on this topic, so we can only speculate about additional harmful effects of these sprays, and there probably are many more. There are some interesting articles that state that tanning sprays are a one way ticket to skin cancer. One thing is for sure, though, they CAN cause skin discoloration.
Do you go to solariums?
Vitamin Supplements - Placebo Effect in a Bottle
I genuinely do believe that most supplements are in fact a bottle of placebo. A recent study done on 200 000 people has shown that vitamin supplements do nothing to improve or prolong our lives, and what is worse - they actively increase our death risk. Why do people keep buying them? Okay, it's one thing when a doctor prescribes a supplement, but we are talking about entirely different products.
This conclusion from 2010 was so incredible that it prompted researchers to do even more studies. Guess what happened? Surprise! Each study had the same result - vitamins create the 'illusion of invincibility', as stated by the authors of the study in a magazine called Psychological Science. To better explain - people who choose vitamin supplements over fruit and veggies are the same as people who choose to eat a burger over a healthy salad. Of course, with a diet coke.
But here's the thing. Most of that stuff doesn't even get absorbed in our digestive systems. The percentage that we get is negligible. Makes you wonder, really. Why do people buy things before researching?
Do you take or did you take any vitamin supplements in the past?
Sharing bed with your pet is a terrible idea
Sleeping with pets is a good way to catch plague, meningitis, worms, or some other bacterial infections, as is claimed in the study done in February 2011 in Emerging Infectious Diseases magazine.
The study shares an example of a man whose dog licked his wound while he was sleeping, which caused the man to get meningitis, and a case of a nine year old boy whose cat caught plague and gave it to its owners while they were sharing a bed. The author of the research, who is a veterinary professor at the University of California, says that a regular visit to the vet can greatly reduce the risk of your pet catching any disease that may inflict the owner as well.
Regardless of this, there are various things to be considered if you let your pet near your bedroom. Some of them are related to shedding, some to simple hygiene, some to unpleasant odors, etc. The list goes on, really. There is also something unnatural about taking away the animals space. Besides, you do not want to spoil your pet rotten.
Do you, or did you ever share a bed with your pet?
In the end
These are just some of the facts that make some of our habits questionable. Most of these we might have already subconsciously known or denied to ourselves, but hearing what you don't want to hear is always a bit disappointing. There are many more things that can make us analyse our habits and hobbies, but we can't really monitor all ofour steps. Where would the enjoyment go?