Weird Science:

Lithium:

Not just long-lived, but likely to be less erratic: This being a technology site, we’d expect that most readers think “batteries” when you hear “lithium.” But the substance also has notable biological effects. It’s an effective therapy for biopolar disorder, and it has a rather dramatic effect on the early development of embryos. Now, it also appears that small quantities of lithium may increase longevity. Some of the work simply exposes a lab animal to lithium and shows that it lives longer. But the researchers also look at the levels in drinking water in some Japanese communities with a total of 1.2 million residents, and find that there’s an inverse relationship between lithium and mortality: the higher the levels, the lower the deaths. NB: we still do not recommend eating batteries.

Stretching before a run:

It’s best to be consistent: When it comes to stretching before a run. In some research presented at a recent meeting, researchers tracked the incidence of injuries in runners, and found that being overweight or having a past history of injury were the biggest factors that determined whether a run ended in pain. Stretching didn’t seem to have any affect on its own, but it was bad news if you switched things up: runners that normally stretched were asked to skip doing so, and ended up with an elevated injury rate.

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