November 22, 2017

Long weekend reads: Be forewarned, the turkeys are fighting back

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The life-extending, heart health-boosting benefits of dog ownership. Dog owners between the ages of 40 and 80 tend to live longer than their dog-less peers of similar ages, according to a new study in Scientific Reports. For the study, researchers assessed data on the health of about 3.4 million people in Sweden over the course of 12 years, determining their pet ownership status using the country's national pet register. Tove Fall, one of the authors of the study from Uppasala University, said, "In the general population (both single and nonsingle), dogowners were at 20% lower risk of all-cause death and for 23% lower for cardiovascular death during the 12-years of follow-up." While the researchers cautioned that the study did not demonstrate a causal relationship, they hypothesized that the dogs may boost heart health by providing companionship and motivating their humans to be more active.

    Rudy the Robot is here to help provide care for seniors. After six years of development, INF Robotics has put Rudy the Robot on the market. According to the Washington Business Journal’s Sara Gilgore, Rudy, which is roughly the size of a fifth-grade child, is designed to help care for seniors at home. Rudy helps doctors schedule virtual appointments, allows family members to take control and talk via videoconference, plays games and music, and reminds seniors about appointments. Rudy is available for lease at $99 per day for short-term stays of between three and 90 days or at individual pricing arrangements for longer-term care.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    Your Thanksgiving health questions, answered. Per tradition, The Atlantic's James Hamblin has rounded up answers to health-related Thanksgiving questions. If you've ever wondered why you're "apparently unable to digest entire kernels or corn," whether "forcing a smile for an extended period of time [can] cause a brain aneurism," and "how much alcohol is too much" when interacting "with opinionated family members," Hamlin has the answers.

    NYT: 'Human-turkey conflicts are on the rise'. You're probably not expecting to encounter a turkey anywhere besides your dinner table this Thanksgiving, but the odds of coming across a wild turkey are higher than you might think. Kirk Johnson reports for the New York Times that "human-turkey conflicts are on the rise." According to Johnson, free-range wild turkeys are ranging into suburbs in growing numbers in the Northeast, on the West Coast, and plenty of places in between. How did this happen? According to Johnson, in the early 1950s, turkeys were reintroduced in places where "their habitat had shrunk" and brought to new regions where they'd never lived before.

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