Discovered: Eating McDonald's will make you very sad, preventing cancer is easy, the Earth's clock is all wrong, and picky women help a species survival.
- Eating McDonald's is sad. Or, rather, it will make you sad. But being sad is sad, isn't it? A study of 9,000 fast food eaters found that those who ate the junk on the regular were 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who abstained for healthier options. "Even eating small quantities is linked to a significantly higher chance of developing depression," explains researcher Almudena Sanchez-Villegas. These fast-food eaters also had less fun sounding lives in general, the research finding them to be more likely to be single, less active, smoke, and work more than 45 hours a week. [The Telegraph]
- Preventing cancer is easy. Alright hypochondriacs, get ready for this: Over fifty percent of cancers are preventable. Of the estimated 1,638,910 new cancer cases that will be diagnosed this year in the United States, more than half could have never happen. How? "Only, After working in public health for 25 years, I've learned that if we want to change health, we need to change policy," says researcher Sarah J. Gehlert. A lot of cancer development has to do with our poor lifestyle choices. (Like, eating McDonald's.) Unlike DNA or luck, that's easy-ish to change. "Stricter tobacco policy is a good example. But we can't make policy change on our own. We can tell the story, but it requires a critical mass of people to talk more forcefully about the need for change," she continues. [Wash U]
- The Earth's clock is all wrong. Some events in history happened more recently than science had originally thought by up to 700,000 years! Woops. The uranium dating process just wasn't that accurate. But, science now has a new better method. "This new determination will not only improve the accuracy of each U-Pb age but ultimately our understanding of events in Earth history," explains researcher Blair Schoene. We imagine, it's like upgrading to clocks from sundials. [British Geological Survey]
- Picky women are good for society. It takes a little connect-the-dots to get there, but picky women benefit the biodiversity of a society. Women who are choosy about mates can live alongside species they don't care for. "By being picky, females almost always suffer a cost, because they spend energy either to find a preferred mate or to avoid an undesirable one," says Sarah Otto. "These costs turn out to be crucial for reinforcing species boundaries," adds researcher Rupert Mazzucco. "Because they prevent females with a particular preference from invading areas dominated by males they find unattractive," he continues. [University of British Columbia]
Image via Shutterstock by Tomasz Bidermann