7 scientists we are thankful for this Thanksgiving

You may not recognize the names, but these seven scientists have improved the lives of people the world over.

Photo from CSIRO
  • We admire people who make a big show of their altruism, but some of the most praiseworthy accomplishments occur outside popular attention.
  • This Thanksgiving, we give thanks to seven scientists who made the world a safer, healthier place to live.
  • While there is still a lot of progress to make, the combination of science and humanism continues to improve the world and our lot in it at an unprecedented scale.
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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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How the appendix may kick-start Parkinson’s

Is the appendix a useless organ, an immune system benefactor, a Parkinson's disease instigator, or all of the above?

(Photo from Flickr)
  • As far back as Darwin, scientists have thought the appendix was a vestigial organ, but opinions have changed in recent years.
  • A new study found that the appendix houses Lewy bodies, abnormal protein deposits that contribute to Parkinson's disease.
  • Researchers suggest an appendectomy may lower one's risk of Parkinson's, while other research suggests the appendix has important roles to play in our immune system.
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Juul to stop selling most e-cigarettes in stores, leave social media

Facing mounting pressure from the public and government agencies, the e-cigarette maker announced major changes to its business model on Tuesday.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
  • Juul makes flavored e-cigarettes and currently dominates the vaping industry, with 70% of the market share.
  • The FDA is planning to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in gas stations and convenient stores this week.
  • Some have called teenage vaping an epidemic. Data from 2018 show that about 20% of high school students had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.
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Too much sleep results in cognitive decline, researchers find

We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.

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  • Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
  • Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
  • Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
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