Discovered: where germs gather on the way to work, another win for coffee apologists, lessons from alcohol drinking mice, and the funny thing about neutrinos..
- What is the germiest thing you can encounter while commuting? Give a minute to think about this. It isn't crosswalk or vending machine buttons, door handles to the office, escalator rails or--surprising considering how visible the dirt is on these--ATM buttons. Which leaves: "Gas pump handles turned out to be the filthiest surface that Americans encounter on the way to work," according to a study commissioned by Kimberly-Clark Professional, which conveniently makes a whole bunch of hand sanitizer that you can now glob on your hands the next time you're at the gas station. We'd guess that this is the reason why steering wheels are also very germy. [Reuters]
- Coffee apologists can put another one in the win column. Coffee, like vitamins, has some health drawbacks--none of which will stop anyone from drinking it, ever. But today, we're informed another benefit to very regular consumption. In a study with a large sample size, both men and women who guzzled three daily cups of the drink are said to have decreased risk of a skin cancer type called basal cell carcinoma, The Los Angeles Times relayed. "People who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk," the paper noted, to the glee of office-workers everywhere. It's yet another way that science offer justifies your caffeine addiction. At least, in drinkable form. [The Los Angeles Times]
- (Supposedly) faster than light neutrinos become a pop culture meme. While that enormous finding from Italian researchers who said that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light is double-checked, The New York Times finds that these newly famous neutrinos are having their moment in the pop culture limelight, and online jokes are proliferating. A sample neutrino time-travel joke that The Times singled out: "'We don't serve faster-than-light neutrinos here,' said the bartender. A neutrino walks into a bar." See, the joke is funny because neutrinos that go faster than light can apparently time travel backwards. [The New York Times]
- The downside of not getting enough outside playtime. Other reasons aside, encouraging playing outdoors is one way to help prevent near-sightedness in kids. "An analysis of eight previous studies by University of Cambridge researchers found that for each additional hour spent outside per week, the risk of myopia reduced by 2%," BBC News reported. And in a side note, they clinically explain why backyard playing beats the LED glow: "Exposure to natural light and time spent looking at distant objects could be key factors." [BBC News]
- What we can learn from alcohol-drinking, strawberry eating mice. As always, we note some experiments on the rodents because of what they may indirectly imply for humanity. So, today, we're informed in a release from a new study by European researchers that "eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane" in the mice, and also may be good for treating ulcers. The cordinator of the research group, Maurizio Battino, added that "this study was not conceived as a way of mitigating the effects of getting drunk," just that strawberries have good properties for the stomach. Or, a mouse's stomach to be precise. [Eurekalert, Plos One]