Discovered: Soda is deadly; you're bad at sports gambling; nice people do better in school; teamwork can be traced back to chimpanzees.
Soda is deadly. Soda — and other sugary, non-alcoholic beverages — is linked to the approximately 180,000 deaths per year, according to a team of doctors at Harvard University. It's no secret that soda is bad for you, of course, but this is one of the first studies to track the number of deaths associated with drinking it. "Sugar-sweetened beverages are consumed throughout the world, and contribute to excess body weight, which increases the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers," said the doctors, whose research indicated that the equatorial countries suffer the most from diabetes associated with soda intake, while Japan suffers the least. [American Heart Association]
You're bad at sports gambling. Unlike poker, craps, and slots — among other kinds of gambling — wagering on the outcome of athletic games seems a least partially based on skill. After all, you can keep track of tons of statistics, which, in theory, portend future performance. But a professor at Tel Aviv University says that sports gamblers are no better equipped to beat the odds, and indeed may suffer in the long run from thinking they can come out on top. The professor and his research partner "determined that neither betting experience nor knowledge of the arcane details of the game is connected to successful betting outcomes. Indeed ... the two most successful gamblers in their study had no prior experience in gambling or knowledge of the sport in question." [Psychopathology]