The Week In WHAT?!

Can Sweet Drinks Lead to Depression?

This first full week of 2013 has been 100 shades of cray.  You’ve been so busy brushing up on the new members of congress, which of your fave flicks are getting nominated for awards, tweets about #TCA13 and the Azealia Banks/Perez Hilton feud. We get it. It’s important to be well-versed. That’s why we’re back with another edition of “The Week In WHAT?!” Consider this the maraschino cherry atop your pop culture sundae.

Who Ordered the Large Diet Soda With a Side of Depression?
Say it ain’t so! A new study suggests that all those sweet drinks you love could be turning you sour. That is, if you’re over the age of 50. After monitoring over 260,000 AARP health and diet subjects, researchers found that people who drank more than four cups of diet soda per day had a 30% higher rate of developing depression compared to people who drank only unsweetened beverages. Comparatively, regular soda drinkers only had a 22% higher rate of depression. You’re probably thinking the caffeine played a role too, but… guess again! Coffee drinkers notably received a 10% reduction on their risk of developing depression. More research is necessary to confirm any of these findings, and with so many factors at play, skepticism is only natural. So continue sipping on that Big Gulp of Diet Coke at your desk… for now.

The Bread of Frankenstein
Researchers have finally discovered a fountain of youth! Unfortunately, it’s for bread. There’s an upside for humans, though. Are you frustrated by constantly throwing away moldy loaves? Not a fan of artificial preservatives? The aptly named MicroZap Inc. says its microwave technology can keep bread mold-free for up to 60 days. Consumers participating in a taste test found no perceptible differences between the freshly baked and nuked varietals. Sound too good to be true? Well, it might be. Once you expose any doughy delights to your home environment, airborne spores could still lead to a mold outbreak. Too bad. This almost sounded like the best thing since… eh, you get the point.

The Ballad of the Germaphobic Wasp
If you’re about to eat or have recently eaten, you may want to save this one for later. It turns out that parasitic emerald cockroach wasps could hold a major key to disease control and prevention. These wasps attack their prey by injecting a venom that sedates cockroaches into a zombie-like state. As this insectual episode of “The Walking Dead” plays out, the wasp then lays its larvae inside the roach. The larvae secrete antimicrobial compounds to protect themselves from the cockroach’s internal bacteria. Once born, the larval wasps use similar compounds to sterilize food from the inside out further preventing bacterial infections. Scientists could use the insects as a resource in the future development of products to help fight disease in humans. No word on how they’ll help you cope with the current state of nausea you’re experiencing. Hey, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Dolphins Are the New Elephants
This rare and breathtaking site happened twice in the same weekend… in the same area. Fortunately, it was all caught on camera. Enjoy!

And there you have this week in “WHAT?!” Can’t wait to see what’s in store for humanity next!