What’s New With Science: Farts Are Here To Save Your Life

As one of the internet’s leading resources on scientific matters, it is my occasional duty to update you on what the scientific community is up to. And by “what the scientific community is up to,” I mean haphazardly written articles that through either ignorance or malice misinterpret the findings of studies to create the most sensationalist headline possible.




According to a new study from Yale University and the University of California at San Diego, good friends are often genetically similar, and can share as much as 1% of the same gene variants. In genetic terms, that’s a lot. As close as, say, fourth cousins.

This of course raises the question of “so, like can I have sex with my friend without having a weird genetically-deficient baby?” No, that’s not the question this raises? Okay, I’ll move on. Just keep in mind you and your bestie are watching Clueless for the fifteenth time and saying all the lines together that it was genetically predestined and free will is an illusion.


For the new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Kesselheim and his colleagues analyzed data on more than 11,000 people who were prescribed common medications including beta blockers, statins and ACE inhibitors after a heart attack.

Over the following year, almost a third had a change in pill color or shape. Those patients were between 30 and 70 percent more likely to stop taking their medication than patients whose pills stayed the same.

First of all, nobody has ever said the word “annals” without immediately following with “of history” so I’m skeptical of this thing off the bat. Second of all, “between 30 and 70%” is quite the window there. Third of all, while I’m kinda with the skeptical people who are good with their heart exploding, isn’t being wary of this sort of change normal? I’m just saying! Maybe the pharmacist filled out the prescription wrong. This guy got blinded! In any case, what should we do in this sort of situation, doctor guy?

Patients should ask the pharmacist why their pills look different, and when they learn it was an expected change, they should keep taking them and expect the same results, he said.

Also, maybe the doctor could just explain this why was happening in the first place. Just kidding. Doctors are the worst. I get that what they do is important (sometimes) and that they kinda resent you for coming in with your boring ailments when someone with a far sexier condition (maybe kuru!) could come through the door at any moment, but they don’t have to be so smug about it. They’re like a bunch of Bonos.


As a side note, hookah always makes me think of the song above, my second-favorite mid-80s song about domestic violence. (In case you were wondering, this). The mid-80s were to domestic violence message songs what the late-90s / early-2000s were to suicide message songs. But I digress. What does the study say?

Over half of young adults believe smoking tobacco out of water pipes is not harmful to their health, despite warnings from federal health officials to the contrary, according to a UCLA study.


The study asked lounge patrons between 18 and 30 years old if smoking hookah – which is a Near East tobacco pipe designed with a long tube that passes through water to cool the smoke as it is drawn through – is harmful to their health.

Nearly 60 percent of patrons said they did not believe it was harmful, while about half of those respondents cited the smoke getting filtered through water as a main factor in their response. Another 35 percent said they thought the fruit used to flavor the tobacco reduced effects from the tobacco’s harmful chemicals, according to the study.

This is like when I conducted my study of people aged 20-34 who had been convicted of murder and found that over seventy percent of them said that taking another human being’s life was sometimes justified. The anti-Millennial trend piece practically writes itself. (What I’m saying is, we might have some sampling issues here.) Still, what this study reveals isn’t anything about young people or hookah awareness. What it shows is that people will delude themselves into believing whatever choice they wanted to make in the first place.



Scientists in the UK claim that hydrogen sulfide, the stinky compound that smells like rotten eggs which contributes to the flatulence stench, could have amazing health benefits.

Hydrogen sulfide can be toxic, but tiny amounts have been shown to help protect the mitochondria, which are known as the “powerhouses” of cells.

Study author Dr. Matt Whiteman of the University of Exeter explained that diseased cells draw in enzymes to create small quantities of the compound, which helps keep the mitochondria going and the cell alive.

I mean, if people aren’t willing to change pill colors to stave off a heart attack, I can’t imagine they’ll be much more receptive to fart therapy.

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