Don't Think Too Hard About This
We've all heard the admonitions about how keeping mentally active boosts overall health and longevity. A new study suggests that busy brains might mean shorter lifespans, and excessive brain activity could be a risk factor for dementia.
Researchers documented the phenomenon across multiple species -- from humans to mice to roundworms (!) -- and said it appears people who live longer may have a regulatory gene that more effectively quiets unnecessary nerve activity.
They concede their findings appear counterintuitive and the full story in humans is likely to be much more complicated. So don't stop just yet taking those foreign language lessons, doing Sudoku and reading this column.
Body of Knowledge
Adults have approximately 20,000 pores on their faces.
Get Me That, Stat!
Of the 195 countries around the world, 119 were found to have an insufficient supply of blood units for health care and emergency use in 2017, according to a new study published in The Lancet Haematology.
Higher income countries were largely able to meet demand, but poor countries were not. South Sudan, for example, had a need 75 times greater than the country's supply.
It's estimated that 10 to 20 donors can supply enough blood to help 1,000 people.
Stories for the Waiting Room