5 Things You Need To Know Today (February 21, 2018)

Photo: Sean Locke

1. Say hello to before-school programs.

According to the research, a supervised exercise program structured around running and playing an hour before school could be beneficial for both children and their teachers. (NYT)

2. Your smartphone may protect you from food poisoning.

Scientists have invented an app with a $30 microscope attachment that can detect the proliferation of bacteria that cause food poisoning. It's still in early stages and likely won't be ready for the market for several years ("We can detect bacteria with the iPhone, but we don't know if they're pathogenic—if they're harmful bacteria or good bacteria," explains one of the inventors), but it's promising for the future of food consumption and avoiding unnecessary food waste. (NPR)

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3. Scientists are comparing chemical cleaning products to cigarette smoking.

A new study followed over 6,000 people for 20 years and found that using cleaning products frequently—either professionally or at home—can be linked to an increased rate of lung decline. According to experts, the small chemical particles inhaled from these cleaning products cause damage that is comparable to cigarette smoking. (mindbodygreen)

4. Dealing with more flight delays and cancellations than ever? Climate change might be to blame.

Last year, hundreds of flights were canceled because planes cannot take off in weather above a certain temperature because hot air is too thin to support a safe takeoff. Additionally, high-altitude icing and increased thunderstorms are causing more in-flight issues, while higher instances of flooding have complicated landings in flood-prone areas. Pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft designers, and other aviation experts are being charged to solve this incoming category of issues by designing fuel-efficient vehicles, overhauling takeoff and landing schedules, and raising the price of air travel. (The Guardian)

5. This one trait may majorly reduce the stress in teens.

Teens are a historically stressed-out age group, but recent research finds that cultivating self-compassion can work wonders for swamped, overscheduled teens. In fact, research has shown that there's a huge correlation between teens having compassion for themselves and lowered stress levels. Princeton University now has an entire course on it! (NYT)

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