Daily Briefing

Weekend reads: Is natural wine actually better for you?


The next-generation video game that requires a prescription, how to plan—and survive—a trip with friends, and more.

Lex Ashcroft's reads

Is natural wine actually better for you? Natural wine has been creating a buzz recently, with makers claiming the production process leaves the drink largely unmodified, in turn making it healthier. But is natural wine actually less damaging to the body when compared to conventionally produced wine, or are companies just capitalizing on buzzword marketing? Writing for The New York Times, Jesse Hirsch chats with experts about the scientific evidence (or lack thereof) to back up these health claims that include: less severe hangovers, fewer pesticides and sulfites, and improved gut health.

How to plan—and survive—a trip with friends. Traveling with friends is an awesome way to make memories and safely see new places, but it can come at a cost. Personality clashes, differing expectations and trip goals, and miscommunication can all play a role in turning a vacation into a nightmare. Writing for the Washington Post, Helen Carefoot offers advice on how to set up a trip with friends and return with your relationship intact: set and agree on expectations early on, designate a group organizer, keep the itinerary flexible, and address any money issues quickly.

Allie Rudin's reads

This next-generation video game requires a prescription. Approved by FDA for treatment of ADHD in children between 8 and 12 years, the video game EndeavorRx offers to open up a new kind of nonpharmaceutical therapy. Although video games have been used in treatment of disorders like PTSD and agoraphobia for years, this is the game designed exclusively for prescription. The company behind EndeavorRx is currently developing a game for adults with depression and recently partnered with popular kids' gaming platform Roblox. Writing for Vox's "Recode", Rebecca Heilweil explores the promise (and perils) of what some are claiming to be the future of medicine.

The complex secrets of hibernating bear bodies, and the lessons they may hold for human health. As winter approaches, bears that are now about 40% body fat will enter their dens and begin hibernation—yet will be strong and healthy come spring. Scientists have been searching for answers to this near-miracle of evolution that allows bears to adapt their biology to these months of starvation and inactivity. Gretchen Reynolds explains for the Washington Post's "Your Move" how recent molecular research sheds light on the gene activity that allows bears to switch insulin sensitivity on and off or preserve muscle tissue. These discoveries could even allow us to "reverse-engineer" solutions to human ailments like diabetes and muscle atrophy.

 


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