The human body: An inspiring biological work of art? Or a meaty sack of germs and fluids? Either way, there’s still a lot we don’t know about what goes on in there — and scientists are constantly attempting to find out more. Here are the most interesting things they’ve discovered about our bodies in the last seven days:
You Need to Ejaculate at Least 21 Times a Month
According to a Harvard study, ejaculating at least 21 times a month is the best defense against prostate cancer, significantly reducing its likelihood even compared to men who ejaculate four to seven times a month. Although there’s no unanimous agreement on why this is, it’s likely that regularly draining the prostate — now there’s an unsexy euphemism! — gets rid of those pesky carcinogens in your sperm (yes, your sperm is carcinogenic, sorry). Those without a partner willing to help them climax that often need not worry: The study also found that there was no difference in men who orgasmed with a partner and those who went solo.
Reefer Madness Is a Real Thing After All
A new study from the University of Montreal’s department of psychiatry claims that regularly smoking weed as an adolescent — that is, smoking nearly every day — increases your likelihood of “recurrent, psychotic-like experiences” by 159 percent. These episodes were defined as, “experiences of perceptual aberration, ideas with unusual content and feelings of persecution,” which for some people, pretty much describes the experience of smoking weed in the first place.
Women’s Brains Work Just Fine at All Times of the Month
Inspired by patients who claimed their menstrual cycles were causing their brains to work more slowly than usual, psychotherapist and reproductive specialist Professor Brigitte Leeners decided to investigate. Her team found no evidence of this: The monthly deluge of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, they claim, have “no impact on your working memory, cognitive bias or ability to pay attention to two things at once.” Leeners does stress, however, that this is just a first step, and that it requires a further, uh, period of study.
Just Wearing Clothes Is Polluting the Ocean
In today’s edition of, “Everything Is Going to Kill Us”: Research from the University of Leeds in Britain has found that every time you put garments made from plastics — which includes all polyester and acrylics — into the washing machine, they shed thousands of plastic fibers, each about the width of a human hair, which go down the drain and, eventually, into the ocean. A single load, in fact, is enough to produce 140,000 fibers from polyester-cotton blends; around 500,000 from regular polyester; and more than 700,000 from acrylics. You win this round, nudists.
Needles to Say, the New Jab-Free Vaccination Is an Improvement
For those terrified of getting their flu shots, take heart knowing that a replacement is being worked on. Essentially a modified Band-Aid, the underside of the experimental device contains 100 tiny micro needles that painlessly enter the skin when the patch is applied. These do the same job as a standard vaccination, but without the pain or, even more importantly, the effort, since this is something people would ideally be able to buy at the pharmacy and administer themselves (although it might be a few years before we see them in the wild). Can we have a working hangover patch now, please?