6 Things You Should Know Today (July 20, 2018)

Photo by Angela Lumsden

1. More bad news for the Great Barrier Reef.

Half of the coral in the reef has died off in the past two years due to bleaching events, and a new study finds that the remaining coral has lost its ability to recover from any future bleaching events. "The future of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened without further local management to reduce chronic disturbances and support recovery, and strong global action to limit the effect of climate change," the study author said. (Motherboard)

2. Adidas is taking a major stand against plastic waste.

The activewear brand is looking to use only recycled plastics in its products by 2024. In a world polluted with excess, we really don't need to be making new raw materials, so we're applauding this effort to use up what's already out there. (mindbodygreen)

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3. Sugar may boost short-term memory if you're older than 65.

A new study out of the University of Warwick showed that a sugary beverage helped boost short-term memory in older adults. Two groups of people, some over 65 and others ranging from 18 to 27, were asked to do an assortment of memory tasks in a lab setting. Within each group, half drank a beverage containing glucose, and the other half drank a beverage with artificial sweetener. The group of older adults who sipped glucose performed better on memory tasks, suggesting that sugar can provide a boost of motivation while performing the tasks, which may enhance short-term memory. Interestingly, it didn’t have an effect on the younger group. Turns out sugar might be good for something! (New Atlas)

4. A mom's microbiome can affect her baby's autism risk.

A new study, published in the Journal of Immunology, found that the makeup of a mother’s microbiome during pregnancy can determine the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders and autism in her baby. This could mean changing an expectant mother’s microbiome, the collection of trillions of bacteria living in the gut, through diet or probiotics could be used to prevent autism in the future. (Science Daily)

5. The next casualty of climate change? Your internet.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Oregon combined data on the internet’s underground fiber-optic cables with projections of rising sea levels. They learned that 4,000-plus miles of cables that carry the internet to the United States could be exposed to seawater by 2033. And—you guessed it—the physical internet is not waterproof. (Fast Company)

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6. Young adults are at risk for liver disease.

A new study published in the British Medical Journal showed that fatal liver disease has risen and that young people are especially vulnerable. According to the study, alcohol is largely to blame. In fact, since 1999 the number of young people (25 to 34 years old) dying from the alcohol-related liver disease has almost tripled. (NPR)

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