Today in Research: Sitting All Day Will Kill You; Eating Placentas

Discovered: Sitting all day will kill you, should we be eating placenta?, a coral-reef herpes outbreak, and chemo-resistant breast cancer.

  • For the umpteenth time, sitting will kill you.  Another depressing confirmation that our desk jobs suck. For what feels like the millionth time, we get a study explaining just how bad sitting all day is for our health. (As someone who sits all day, every day: UGH.) "Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity," wrote the study's authors, finding that sitting accounted for 6.9 percent of the deaths of the 222,497 participants. (Again, as someone who sits all day, every day: UGH.) Even though we've heard this before -- the New York Times once asked "Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?" (answer: yes) -- we have yet to change our sitting habits. Why? Because we can't. Depressing all around. [The Washington Post]
  • Should we be eating placenta? One study has suggested this gross-sounding premise is something humans might want to consider. "Why don't humans engage in placentophagia as a biological imperative as so many other mammals apparently do?" asked researcher Mark Kristal.  "We clearly do not do this as a matter of course today and apparently never have. Perhaps for humans, there is a greater adaptive advantage to not eating the placenta," he continued. (January Jones probably agrees.) The advantage, we think, is that eating it sounds like an unpleasant activity after hours of excruciating child-birth. But, hey, we're not the scientists. [University at Buffalo]

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