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February 15, 2019

Weekend reads: Are you a 'night owl'? Here's how your brain works.

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    People threw boiling water into the air during the polar vortex. Here's what happened next. During the thick of the polar vortex, many people attempted a challenge in which they would throw boiling water in the air and watch it turn into steam because of the frigid temperatures—dubbed the "boiling water challenge." However, the "challenge" didn't work the way many thought it would—because the water was still hot enough to injure participants. Eight people were treated at Loyola Medicine's Burn Center as a result of the challenge. The patients ranged in age from three to 53. Arthur Sanford, a burn surgeon at the hospital, said, "We strongly warn people to not perform the boiling water challenge. There is no safe way to do it."

    The next problem for millennials: Hearing loss? Listening to music on headphones may be putting millennials at risk of hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Currently, 466 million people worldwide suffer from debilitating hearing loss, but that number is expected to double to 900 million by 2050, WHO said. Shelly Chadha from WHO's prevention of deafness and hearing loss program, said, "Over 1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss simply by doing what they really enjoy doing a lot—which is regularly listening to music through their headphones over their devices." To combat this, Chadha said WHO proposes "certain features like automatic volume reduction"

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    The scientific reason why 'night owls' struggle to work 9 to 5."Night owls" have lower "brain connectivity" than "morning larks, "according to a study. Researchers scanned the brains of people who went to bed late and of people who woke up early and found that the night owls' brain regions were less in-sync than those of morning larks. The lower brain connectivity was linked to slower reaction times, fatigue, and poorer attention, according to researchers. The findings indicate that the mismatch between the night owls' "biological time and social time" might be why they struggle to follow the typical 9-to-5 work schedule, according to Elise Facer-Childs, the lead author of the study.

    Good news, Grandma. A study published in Current Biology examining the biological and evolutionary role of grandmothers found that children in preindustrial Finland who lived near their grandmothers had better odds of survival. Data from a group of people who lived in Finland between 1731 and 1895 revealed that having a grandmother age 50 to 75 increased a kid's chance of surviving between ages 2 and 5 by 30%. However, the researchers found that the benefits decreased once a grandmother turned 75. According to the researchers, the grandmothers provided extra help and more experience around the house.

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