Discovered: The right age to get fat, a possible sugary cure for Alzheimer's, coffee will not kill us, and there's a decent chance the sun will explode.
- The right age to get fat. Oh man, we cannot wait to turn 85. Not just because we're excited to play shuffleboard and migrate to Boca, or whatever old people of the future will do, but because that's also the age when having extra fat protects rather than kills us, according to a new scientific study. Before that age, obesity shaves six to seven years off of one's life. But after, according to research out of Tel Aviv University, obese 85-year-olds had a lower mortality risk than both underweight and normal weight peers. So, take note, friends: For our 85th birthdays we would like some gift cards to McDonalds. [Tel Aviv University]
- A possible sugary cure for Alzheimer's. This would work out really well with our plans to get fat late in life if it works like it sounds. Researchers have discovered that stabilizing the brain's sugar levels could help prevent the development of Alzheimer's. "Increasing O-GlcNAc slows neurodegeneration and stabilizes tau against aggregation," explains David Vocadlo. In less science-y speak, basically, Volcado and company created a chemical that makes sure all the sugar levels stay a-okay in the brain. Sadly, this doesn't involve eating anything sugary. [Simon Fraser University]
- OK, so coffee won't kill us. Science is always trying to get us to kick that coffee habit, with its findings on the horrible things caffeine is doing to our bodies. But, today we get the truth: "Our results suggest that coffee consumption is not harmful for healthy adults in respect of risk of major chronic diseases," said Anna Floegel. What's that, there's more? "Higher coffee consumption has been consistently associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in many prospective studies across the world," added Rob van Dam. We're just going to twist these results and say coffee is good for us. We'd venture to say necessary to maintain our health, definitely on the same level as vegetables. [Reuters]
- There's a decent chance the sun could explode soon. That's a 12 percent chance within the next 10 years, to be exact. That's not exactly enough to keep us up every night, but definitely enough to keep us up most days. Said explosion, also known as a solar megastorm, wouldn't destroy the planet, but at the very worst, would cause some catastrophic (and expensive!) damage. "A longer-term outage would likely include, for example, disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration," explains the report. Translation: Things won't go Melancholia on us, but it doesn't sound like much fun, either. [Wired]