Discovered: Discovered: What 2,000 years of climate change looks like, just being fat isn't actually unhealthy, a molecule that could make teeth cavity proof, and get ready for R-rated movies just for smoking.
- This is the last 2,000 years of climate change, in graph form. Looking at tree rings, science has put together this long range graph of the earth's temperature. The data, in fact, show that for the last 2,000 years we have been in a cooling trend. "We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low," explains researcher Dr. Jan Esper. Specifically, the trend shows a cooling of -0.3°C per millennium due to gradual changes of the position of the sun and its distance to the Earth. "This figure we calculated may not seem particularly significant," says Esper, "however, it is also not negligible when compared to global warming, which up to now has been less than 1°C," she adds.
- Just being overweight isn't unhealthy. Following up a similar study, science has again found that being overweight, alone, does not increase risk of death. "There is currently a widespread belief that any degree of overweight or obesity increases the risk of death, however our findings suggest this may not be the case," explains researcher Anthony Jerant. "In the six-year timeframe of our evaluation, we found that only severe obesity was associated with an increased risk of death, due to co-occurring diabetes and hypertension," he continues. So, wait, how fat is that, then? The study found that people with a body mass index of 35 were 1.26 times more likely to die during follow-up than people in the normal weight group. Otherwise, if these people didn't have diabetes or hypertension, then the obese over overweight people with BMIs between 25 and 35 had the same risk of death as normal weight people. [UC Davis]
- A molecule that prevents cavities. Imagine never having to get a filling ever again? It's coming. They're calling it Keep 32, for our 32 teeth and say they are working on putting it normal fun-to-use mouth products. "The molecule not only could be incorporated in gum, but in products like toothpaste ... and others that have to be in the mouth at least 60 seconds," researcher José Córdova explains. Thank you, science. [University of Santiago, via Gizmodo]
- Get ready for R-ratings for movies with smoking. This seems harsh, but research has found that putting an R-rating on movies with smoking decreases teens picking up the habit. Looking at 6,522 U.S. adolescents, science found that movie smoking exposure was three times higher in PG-13 movies, than in rated R movies, but that the viewers relation to smoking was the same. When all was held equal, the research found that teen smoking could be reduced by 18 percent if smoking in PG-13 movies was eliminated. "The equivalent effect of PG-13-rated and R-rated MSE suggests it is the movie smoking that prompts adolescents to smoke, not other characteristics of R-rated movies or adolescents drawn to them," explains the research report. [Pediatrics]