Discovered: lube works, caffeine alters estrogen levels, rap meets medicine and conspiracy theorists don't care about the truth.
- Lube eases pain for women during vaginal exams. This seems like something science should have already figured out by now: Three in 10 women reported feeling no pain during gynecological examinations when their doctors put gel on the speculum, compared to 1 in 10 when the doctor used water, the traditional lubricant. "I cannot insert anything inside a vagina without lubricant. I know my patients appreciate it," Dr. Oz Harmanli told Reuters. "It just makes sense to use it," he said. [Reuters]
- Caffeine messes with lady hormones. As big coffee consumers, we don't want to believe this bit of research and would rather replace it with everything these studies have told us about all the benefits of caffeine. But that wouldn't be fair to you people who care about health. Looking at women ages 18-44, researchers found the drug changed estrogen levels, lowering them for white women and raising them in Asian and black women. The good news: "for women of reproductive age, drinking coffee will not alter their hormonal function in a clinically significant way," study author Dr. Enrique Schisterman said. Phew. Brb, coffee break. [The New York Times]
- Rap meets medicine. In an epic union of two of the world's greatest fields, science is using rap beats to power machines. It's this nifty little machine that harnesses rap's heavy bass to power pulsations. That little diagram to the right explains how it works. "The acoustic energy from the music can pass through body tissue, causing the cantilever to vibrate," explained Babak Ziaie. Instead of just using tones, they found hip-hop worked better. "Rap is the best because it contains a lot of low frequency sound, notably the bass," he continues. We agree, rap is the best. [Purdue]
- Conspiracy theorists like conspiracies; theories, not so much. Those birther and 9/11 truther types are more into the conspiracy part than the actual theories, found researchers at the University of Kent. Looking at the death of Osama Bin Laden, participants who believed in conspiracies were more likely to believe in contradictory conspiracies, than those who didn't believe in them at all."For conspiracy theorists, those in power are seen as deceptive-even malevolent-and so any official explanation is at a disadvantage, and any alternative explanation is more credible from the start," said the authors. "Believing Osama is still alive," they write, "is no obstacle to believing that he has been dead for years." [Social Psychological and Personality Science]