Today in Research: Why Gas Pump Handles Should Be Avoided; More

Discovered: where germs gather on the way to work, another win for coffee apologists, lessons from alcohol-drinking mice, and the funny thing about neutrinos.

  • What is the germiest thing you can come into contact with while commuting? Give  it a minute to think about this. It isn't crosswalk or vending machine buttons, door handles to the office, escalator rails or -- surprising considering how visible the dirt is on these -- ATM buttons. Which leaves: "Gas pump handles turned out to be the filthiest surface that Americans encounter on the way to work," according to a study commissioned by Kimberly-Clark Professional, which conveniently makes a whole bunch of hand sanitizer that you can now glob on your hands the next time you're at the gas station. We'd guess that this is the reason why steering wheels are also very germy. [Reuters]
  • Coffee apologists can put another one in the win column. Coffee, like vitamins, has some health drawbacks -- none of which will stop anyone from drinking it, ever. But today, we're informed of another benefit to very regular consumption. In a study with a large sample size, both men and women who guzzled three daily cups of the drink are said to have decreased risk of a skin cancer type called basal cell carcinoma, The Los Angeles Times relayed. "People who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk," the paper noted, to the glee of office-workers everywhere. It's yet another way that science justifies your caffeine addiction. At least, in drinkable form. [The Los Angeles Times]

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