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diet, longevity, caloric restriction

Eating less could lead to a longer life.

Ever since Clive McCay published his landmark 1935 study that showed mice with severely restricted diets lived 33% longer, many have wondered whether caloric restriction could extend the human life span, too.

It makes for an interesting philosophical question: Would you trade the joy of eating for a longer life?

There are a few reasons why some say this type of caloric restriction could work to extend human life spans. First, larger animals tend to live longer than smaller ones because they have slower metabolic rates. When we consume fewer calories, we have less to metabolize.

Second, it’s speculated that caloric restriction reduces free radical damage in the body, slowing the aging process.


A new study out of UT Southwestern on mice has found that caloric restriction increases longevity, which isn’t exactly front-page news. However, the intriguing part is that this study found that the time of day the mice were fed had a big effect on their life spans.

Researchers found that restricting the calories mice ate by 30 to 40% increased their longevity by 10%. But mice that were fed the restrictive diet only while active at night lived 35% longer than those that ate whatever they wanted whenever they chose.

If this type of diet were adapted for a human’s biological rhythms, we’d eat low-calorie diets during the daytime. So if you’re the type that prefers breakfast over dinner, a long life could be in the cards. But if you love a four-course dinner, it may be hard to make the adjustment.

Bottom line: If the diet is found to work the same way in humans as it does for mice, when we eat will become almost as important as what we eat. It could also lead to changing the times we wake up and go to sleep. Who wants to stop eating at 3 p.m. and then go to bed hungry at 11 p.m.?

“It’s pretty clear that the timing of eating is important to get the most bang for your buck with calorie restriction,” Dr. Joseph Takahashi, Ph.D, one of the lead researchers on the study, said in a news release.

“We have discovered a new facet to caloric restriction that dramatically extends life span in our lab animals,” said Dr. Takahashi, the Loyd B. Sands Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience. “If these findings hold true in people, we might want to rethink whether we really want that midnight snack.”

The study also makes the interesting case that low body weight isn’t necessarily tied to longevity.

“This shows that at low body weight, this popular yardstick of health (body weight) is not a predictor of life span,” said Dr. Carla Green, Distinguished Scholar in Neuroscience at UT Southwestern.

Obviously, this study was performed on mice and there’s a long way to go before we can be sure that this type of drastic dieting will expand human life or doesn’t come with any dangerous side effects. But it is compelling to imagine that by simply adjusting what and when we eat we could live up to 35% longer.

That would push the life span of the average American male from 75 to 103 and female from 81 to 109.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Joy

These clips of orchestras pranking their conductors is solid gold

Sometimes you come across something that makes you smile out of sheer uncontrollable delight.

World famous orchestras prank their conductors.

Sometimes you come across something that makes you smile out of sheer uncontrollable delight. Oftentimes when that feeling takes over, it’s about something small but sweet. These world famous orchestras pranking their conductors on their birthdays is the wholesome dose of serotonin you need right now.

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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