Summary of “Drinking more coffee can lead to a longer life, new studies say”

One study surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries, making it the largest study to date on coffee and mortality, and found that drinking more coffee could significantly lower a person’s risk of mortality.
The new study shows that there is a stronger biological possibility for the relationship between coffee and longevity and found that mortality was inversely related to coffee consumption for heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.
“We looked at multiple countries across Europe, where the way the population drinks coffee and prepares coffee is quite different,” said Marc Gunter, reader in cancer epidemiology and prevention at Imperial College’s School of Public Health in the UK, who co-authored the European study.
In the European study, people who were drinking coffee tended to have lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles and better glucose control compared with those who weren’t.
The studies complement work that has been done on coffee and mortality, he said, and it has been reasonably documented that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.
With all observations from previous studies it’s difficult to exclude the possibility that coffee drinkers are just healthier to begin with, Gunter said.
People who avoid coffee, particularly in places like the US and Europe where drinking the beverage is very common, may do so because they have health problems.
“The takeaway message would be that drinking a couple cups of coffee a day doesn’t do you any harm, and actually, it might be doing you some good,” he said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Psychologists Shouldn’t Cite That Famous Hungry Judge Study”

As Glöckner notes, one surprising aspect of this study is the magnitude of the effect: “A drop of favorable decisions from 65% in the first trial to 5% in the last trial as observed in DLA is equivalent to an odds ratio of 35 or a standardized mean difference of d = 1.96.”.
This study might seem to be a convincing illustration of such an effect.
That’s the effect size in the hungry judges study.
If hunger had an effect on our mental resources of this magnitude, our society would fall into minor chaos every day at 11:45 a.m. Or at the very least, our society would have organized itself around this incredibly strong effect of mental depletion.
The first is the effect that a jury’s final verdict is likely to be the verdict a majority initially favored, which 13 studies show has an effect size of r = 0.63, or d = 1.62.
In their entire database, some effect sizes that come close to d = 2 are the findings that personality traits are stable over time, people who deviate from a group are rejected from that group, or that leaders have charisma.
There are simply no plausible psychological effects that are strong enough to cause the data pattern in the hungry judges study.
It is up to authors to interpret the effect size in their study, and to show the mechanism through which an effect that is impossibly large, becomes plausible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Messy, always late and swear like a sailor? It just means you’re super smart”

You see, my desk is always messy, I swear like a sailor and I tend to sleep late in the morning – normally because I’ve stayed up into the early hours, watching trash on TV. And while all these things may seem like bad habits, you don’t need to look that hard to find evidence that they’re the opposite.
I’ve carefully cherry-picked research studies to create a greatest hits of egocentric evidence designed to prove that all your bad habits are good habits.
Take, for example, a 2009 study by British researchers entitled “Why Night Owls are More Intelligent”, which posits: “More intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be nocturnal adults who go to bed late and wake up late on both weekdays and weekends.” Apparently, this is explained by evolution.
Staying up late is “Evolutionary novel” behaviour that means you’re more likely to win in life.
A 2013 study from the University of Minnesota found mess makes you more creative.
Rather, per psychologist Dr Linda Sapadin, persistent lateness can come from “An obsessive thinking problem”; you are not late because you don’t care, you are late because you care too much and overthink situations.
Last year a study in the journal Poetics found people who like so-bad-it’s-good movies are of above-average education.
The study, entitled “Enjoying Trash Films: Underlying Features, Viewing Stances, and Experiential Response Dimensions” noted: “The majority of trash film fans appear to be well-educated cultural ‘omnivores’, and they conceive of their preference for trash films in terms of an ironic viewing stance.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Heartburn drugs tied to increased risk of early death, study says”

This study did not examine over-the-counter proton-pump inhibitors or particular brands of prescription-strength drugs.
The drugs, known as PPIs, suppress excess acid in the stomach.
Previous research has linked proton-pump inhibitors to an increased risk of poor health, according to senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of the Washington University School of Medicine.
Al-Aly and his co-authors say the biological reason for a link between PPIs and increased risk of early death is not clear.
The growing body of scientific evidence “Showing a host of adverse events” associated with use of these drugs is “Compelling,” concluded Al-Aly and his co-authors.
The study “Did not look at OTC products, rather, it only involved prescription which are typically used at higher doses and for longer durations,” said Anita Brikman, senior vice president at Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade organization representing over-the-counter drug manufacturers.
This type of study, which retroactively looked at the medical records of older veterans, cannot prove that proton-pump inhibitors increase the risk of death, according to the Science Media Centre, a United Kingdom nonprofit that provides commentary on scientific studies.
“We did not demonstrate an increased risk of having a cognitive impairment with the use” of proton-pump inhibitors, Hajjar wrote.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Frog evolution linked to dinosaur asteroid strike”

The huge diversity of frogs we see today is mainly a consequence of the asteroid strike that killed off the dinosaurs, a study suggests.
A new analysis shows that frog populations exploded after the extinction event 66 million years ago.
The new study shows that three major lineages of modern frogs – which together comprise about 88% of living frog species – appeared almost simultaneously.
The scientists sampled a core set of 95 genes from the DNA of 156 frog species.
Using frog fossils to provide “Ground truth” for the genetic data, the researchers were able to add a timeline to their family tree.
The three biggest frog groups – the hyloidea, microhylidae and the natatanura – all trace their origins to an expansion that occurred after 66 million years ago.
Another author, David Blackburn, from the Florida Museum of Natural History, explained: “Frogs have been around for well over 200 million years, but this study shows it wasn’t until the extinction of the dinosaurs that we had this burst of frog diversity that resulted in the vast majority of frogs we see today.”
The researchers point out that none of the frog lineages that originate before the extinction and survive through the asteroid impact happen to be adapted to living in trees.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Want to Stay Young Longer? Science Says This Exercise Makes Your Body Act Like It’s 9 Years Younger”

Now, researchers from Brigham Young University say they’ve found that a certain type of physical exercise can slow the aging process within our cells.
That ultimately means better health, and physical conditioning that matches the natural age progression of a significantly younger person-as many as nine years younger.
So let’s dive right into the study and examine what the researchers claim-along with exactly how much exercise we’re talking about here to achieve the results.
Researchers at BYU, led by a professor of exercise science named Larry Tucker, studied 5,823 adults who had participated in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research project called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They’re like our biological clock and they’re extremely correlated with age; each time a cell replicates, we lose a tiny bit of the endcaps.
According to Tucker’s paper, which was published in the July 2017 edition of Preventive Medicine, that results in a “Biologic aging advantage of nine years.”
As for the BYU research project, the question of exactly how physical exercise preserves telomere length wasn’t part of the study; Tucker surmises it might be tied to either oxidative stress or inflammation.
“We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies.”

The orginal article.

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Dogs still retain many of their ancestral behaviors, but less is known about any latent “Dog-like” tendencies among modern wolves.
“What we learned from our study is that while dogs may be more attached to their human caretaker in the sense of dependence and using their owners as a secure base, wolves are also able to form lasting affiliative relationships with their caretakers, though without a sense of dependence.”
These wolves came from the Family Dog Project, an initiative founded in 1994 by József Topál and his colleagues to study the behavioral and cognitive aspects of the dog-human relationship.
In the first experiment, eight wolves were exposed to visitors when in the company of other wolves, but for the second experiment, nine wolf puppies had to go it alone.
There are limitations to studying wolves as precursors to dog behavior.
Dogs are not descended from wolves; both wolves and dogs split from a common ancestor around 15,000 years ago-an ancient animal whose behavior we’re not able to study.
“Dogs bond tightly with humans, and as it turns out, wolves are capable of that too.”
“My guess would be that there’s variation between individual dogs and individual wolves, but overall, that dogs show less fear of strangers than wolves do. The reduction of fear is thought to be a critical part of domestication.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far”

The authors stressed that even if their results hold up, their research leaves important questions unanswered, particularly about how the minimum wage has affected individual workers and businesses.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton called for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $12, and she faced pressure from activists to propose $15 instead. Recently the minimum-wage movement has faced backlash from conservatives, with legislatures in some states moving to block cities from increasing their local minimums.
Most – though by no means all – past research has found that modest increases to the minimum wage have little impact on employment, and that if employers do eliminate jobs or cut back hours, those losses are dwarfed by the income gains enjoyed by the majority of workers who keep their jobs.
Even some liberal economists have expressed concern, often privately, that employers might respond differently to a minimum wage of $12 or $15, which would affect a far broader swath of workers than the part-time fast-food and retail employees who typically dominate the ranks of minimum-wage earners.
The study is far from the last word on the impact of Seattle’s law, let alone the $15 minimum wage movement more generally.
Just last week another study used similar methods to reach seemingly the opposite conclusion: A report from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, found that Seattle’s minimum wage, “Raises pay without costing jobs,” as a press release on the study announced.
The University of Washington study suggests a possible flaw in that approach: That research, too, found essentially no job losses in the restaurant sector as a result of the city’s minimum wage hike.
An economist at the University of California, San Diego who has studied the minimum wage, said it isn’t surprising that Seattle’s minimum wage would have an unusually big impact because it is so much higher than most other minimums.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cats Domesticated Themselves, Ancient DNA Shows”

In a new comprehensive study of the spread of domesticated cats, DNA analysis suggests that cats lived for thousands of years alongside humans before they were domesticated.
Researchers surveyed the DNA of more than 200 cats spanning the last 9,000 years, including ancient Romanian cat remains, Egyptian cat mummies, and modern African wildcat specimens.
The earlier ancestors of today’s domestic cats spread from southwest Asia and into Europe as early as 4400 B.C. The cats likely started hanging around farming communities in the Fertile Crescent about 8,000 years ago, where they settled into a mutually beneficial relationship as humans’ rodent patrol.
The results suggest that prehistoric human populations probably began carrying their cats along ancient land and sea trade routes to control rodents.
The study sheds light on the late emergence of the blotched or striped coat markings, which began to appear in domesticated tabby cats in the Middle Ages.
Overall, cats became a domesticated companion of humans without changing much, says evolutionary geneticist and article coauthor Eva-Maria Geigl.
Domestic cats look similar to wildcats, but they aren’t solitary, tolerating both humans and other cats.
Though everyone might not agree on cats’ perfection, felines are among the most popular pets in the world today, with as many as 74 million cats living in U.S. homes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Do Men Harass Women? New Study Sheds Light On Motivations”

A May study from Promundo, an international research group, and U.N. Women sheds fresh light on men’s motivations for harassing women on the streets in four areas in the Middle East: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian territories.
“We know quite a lot about women and girls but about men and boys” when it comes to harassment, says Shereen El Feki, co-author of the report and the author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World.
The report found that of the 4,830 men surveyed, as many as 31 percent in Lebanon to 64 percent in Egypt admitted to having sexually harassed women and girls in public, from ogling to stalking to rape.
The U.S. isn’t immune – 65 percent of 2,000 women surveyed said they had experienced street harassment, according to a 2014 study conducted by the research firm GfK for Stop Street Harassment, an advocacy group.
In the Palestinian territories, Morocco and Egypt, young men with secondary-level education were more likely to sexually harass women than their older, less-educated peers.
Generally, men who have finished high school or college hold more enlightened attitudes toward women than those who have had no primary school or schooling at all, says Barker, who has studied men and gender equality in over 20 countries.
The harassment is also a way for young men to “Get their kicks,” says El Feki.
Holly Kearl, executive director for Stop Street Harassment and author of Stop Global Street Harassment: Growing Activism Around the World, says she is not surprised.

The orginal article.