Great, Now Even Oral Sex Can Kill You

The good, the bad and the ugly things we learned about our bodies today by Jeff Gross If doing this column five days a week has taught me anything, it’s that over a long enough timeline, everything you eat, and everything you do, can kill you. Nothing is sacred! Case in point: Cunnilingus, a.k.a. going down on a lady, a.k.a. dining at the Y. Don’t let Petey Pablo in “Freek-A-leek,” or DJ Quik in “Can I Eat It?” scare you — giving head is the best. It’s one of the few things in the bedroom where a guy — or gal — can really take control of giving … Continue reading Great, Now Even Oral Sex Can Kill You

Hearing is Believing: Speech May be a Clue to Mental Decline

by Marilynn Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer Your speech may, um, help reveal if you’re uh … developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests. Researchers had people describe a picture they were shown in taped sessions two years apart. Those with early-stage mild cognitive impairment slid much faster on certain verbal skills than those who didn’t develop thinking problems. “What we’ve discovered here is there are aspects of language that are affected earlier than we thought,” before or at … Continue reading Hearing is Believing: Speech May be a Clue to Mental Decline

Scientists Somehow Just Discovered a New System of Vessels in Our Brains

Daniel Reich / National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke It is unclear what they do—but they likely play a central role in aging and disease byJAMES HAMBLIN You are now among the first people to see the brain’s lymphatic system. The vessels in the photo above transport fluid that is likely crucial to metabolic and inflammatory processes. Until now, no one knew for sure that they existed. Doctors practicing today have been taught that there are no lymphatic vessels inside the skull. Those deep-purple vessels were seen for the first time in images published this week by researchers at the U.S. … Continue reading Scientists Somehow Just Discovered a New System of Vessels in Our Brains

The Universe Began With a Big Melt, Not a Big Bang

image edited by F. Kaskais The cosmological constant and the creation of the universe. BY THANU PADMANABHAN There are two tantalizing mysteries about our universe, one dealing with its final fate and the other with its beginning, that have intrigued cosmologists for decades. The community has always believed these to be independent problems—but what if they are not? The first problem has to do with the existence of something called “dark energy,” which is today accelerating the expansion of the universe and will determine its final fate. Theorists tell us that the effects of dark energy can be explained by … Continue reading The Universe Began With a Big Melt, Not a Big Bang

It Turns Out That Our Moon Once Had an Atmosphere

Image Credit: NASA MSFC IN BRIEF New research on samples from the Apollo missions shows that our Moon had an atmosphere 3 to 4 billion years ago. The research suggests that there may already be a source of ice on the Moon that astronauts and colonists can use. TO THE MOON New research shows that our Moon once had an atmosphere 3 to 4 billion years ago. It formed when volcanic eruptions rocked the ancient satellite, propelling gases above its surface too rapidly for them to seep into space. The surface of the Moon is peppered with impact basins filled with … Continue reading It Turns Out That Our Moon Once Had an Atmosphere

Here’s Why You Fall Asleep When You’re Bored

The process that triggers sleep during periods of boredom also offers a pathway for developing less addictive, more therapeutic sleep aids.  BY JOHN DYER Students maybe should be forgiven for falling asleep during boring classes, according to new research. In a study published in the journal Nature Communications that could lead to new treatments for insomnia, scientists in Japan and China found that a tiny area at the forefront of the brain called the nucleus accumbens can induce sleep when the brain lacks stimulation. “The more excited you are, the more dopamine your brain produces,” study co-author Michael Lazarus, a sleep expert at the University of … Continue reading Here’s Why You Fall Asleep When You’re Bored

The Last Invention of Man

How AI might take over the world. BY MAX TEGMARK, ILLUSTRATIONS BY SOPHY HOLLINGT The Omega Team was the soul of the company. Whereas the rest of the enterprise brought in the money to keep things going, by various commercial applications of narrow AI, the Omega Team pushed ahead in their quest for what had always been the CEO’s dream: building general artificial intelligence. Most other employees viewed “the Omegas,” as they affectionately called them, as a bunch of pie-in-the-sky dreamers, perpetually decades away from their goal. They happily indulged them, however, because they liked the prestige that the cutting-edge … Continue reading The Last Invention of Man