Today in Research: Drinking Is Fun; a Mind-Altering Internet

Discovered: A red-wine research fraud, the world's smallest frog, what makes alcohol addictive, the Internet's mind-altering properties, a new Mars-like planet.

  • Red wine health fraud? We've been rooting for the health benefits of red wine for awhile now. But, turns out one of the scientists who told us downing vino would make us live longer falsified and fabricated data. An investigation that began back in 2008 found 145 counts of made up stuff. Oy. Luckily, this guy is just one of the many researchers who have found positive links between wine. So keep on drinking. In moderation. [Reuters]
  • Drinking is fun for this reason. A benefit not even the fraudulent findings of the sham red-wine researcher above can take away from us: "Alcohol induces reward in the human brain," straight from the mouth of the UCSF scientist who made this discovery. Meaning your body wants you to drink. It gives you chemical gold stars for drinking. The way it works: Like exercising, when we suck down our happy-hour libations, the brain releases endorphins -- the happy people chemical, as Elle Woods taught us.The "opiate-like" effects of the endorphins make the whole thing addictive and fun. [UCSF]
  • The Internet's mind-altering properties. Like drinking and doing drugs, the Internet is both addictive and messes with our brain. When looking at teens addicted to the Interwebs, MRI scans found their brains looked different, explaining why Internet freaks are such weirdos in person. Specifically, the images showed impairment of white matter connecting regions involved in emotional processing, attention, decision making, and cognitive control. Again, explaining the behavior of many an Internet dweller we've met in human. [The Independent]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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