They could be what's missing from your probiotic regimen. New research shows that dogs increase the diversity of bacteria for people of all ages, improving our microbiomes. Bonus: In the first few months of life, exposure to dogs may help children avoid allergies and asthma. Thanks, Fido! (NYT)
7 Things You Need To Know Today (June 7)
1. Here's one more winning reason to get a dog.
2. Some people are so nice, it's diagnosable.
Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that makes people super-friendly and bubbly—but it also has more negative repercussions, including cardiovascular problems and depression as they age. The disorder affects about 30,000 people in the United States. (Wall Street Journal)
3. When it comes to motivation within a company, salary transparency is a very good idea.
If you've gotten in the habit of being super-secretive about your salary, you might want to reconsider that attitude. A recent study found that when company salaries are transparent, employees work together more effectively. More specifically, they're better at asking for help from the right people when they know how much those people make. Talking about money may be uncomfortable, but research shows it's probably worth it. (Science Of Us)
4. Plants are even more amazing than we thought.
The decision over when to germinate, or put out shoots, is an important one for a plant's survival. So important, it turns out, that it's governed by a small group of cells within the plant embryo that operate in similar ways to the human brain. (Science Daily)
5. Coffee won't hurt your athletic performance.
In fact, it might help it! Historically, nutritionists and athletic trainers have suggested fasting from coffee and caffeine before a big workout, competition, or race, but a new study shows that cyclers who took a caffeine pill (the equivalent of four cups of coffee) cycled 3.3 percent faster than they did with no pill.
6. Forgetting to take your pills? There's an app for that.
Well, several, really. Medisafe, Round Health, and MyTherapy Pill Reminder and Medication Tracker record when you last took a pill and remind you to take your next one so you never have to worry. (NYT)
7. Experience major psychological distress after being cheated on? It could have a negative impact on your mental health.
A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships showed that partners who experienced more psychological distress after being cheated on were "more likely to develop disordered eating, overexercise, and use alcohol or drugs." The author of the study, M. Rosie Strout, told PsyPost that "Being cheated on seems to not only have mental health consequences but also increases risky behaviors." (Sage Journals)