Exercise has one overlooked evolutionary benefit for humans

Humans are rare in the animal world because they live much longer after their best reproductive years have come and gone, thanks to exercise, Nick Keppler writes in today’s main story:

[E]Voluntary biologists and biomedical researchers from Harvard University present two theories as to why physical activity can nourish this longevity. The work suggests that humans can benefit from this evolutionary advantage by staying active throughout life and exercising regularly.

I know it’s officially the holiday season, but this kind of suggestion – there’s an evolutionary benefit to training throughout life – may come at just the right time. There are also plenty of benefits to exercising in cold weather. Continue reading to learn more about this story in this December 1st issue of Conversely daily.

I am Nick Lucchesi, an editor here at Vise versa. I am pleased to present four stories about our editorial staff.

This is a customized version of Conversely daily newsletter for Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

Heritage Images / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

[By Nick Keppler]

Parents dropping their children of with grandmother while working the late guard by: Old age comes with a hidden benefit to our species, which is very much to our evolutionary advantage. Our elderly both nurture and teach the young how to survive. Now a team of evolutionary biologists has a theory to explain humans’ remarkable lifespan.

Humans typically hang around for a few decades after we finish reproducing. We are not the only creature that does this – killer whales do too – yet very few other animals live beyond their reproductive best age, as we do, a difference that has confused scientists.

Read the full story.


[By Bryan Lawver]

Hydrogels are fascinating materials that can stretch without breaking and absorbing large amounts of liquid.

These unique properties mean that hydrogels are used in various products, including wound dressings, diapers and more. But hydrogels have their limitations.

Read the full story.

From the archives:

Cern. European Organization for Nuclear Research. Geneva, Switzerland.UCG / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

[By Sarah Wells]

Millions of barely noticeable “ghost” particles called neutrinos fly through our bodies every second. With almost zero mass and no charge, these particles do not even source us.

However, they contain secrets that could unlock the origin of matter itself from the first moments of the universe.

These particles are difficult to detect, but may soon change. For the first time, researchers have shown that particle collisions, such as those at CERN, can be used to detect these ghosts in droves. Especially for the tau neutrino, this could bring their total recorded number from only a handful to thousands.

Read the full story.

More from CERN:

Andrew Merry / Moment / Getty Images

[By Passant Rabie]

NASA’s Curiosity rover has become quite familiar with the Mars terrain over time and has taken hundreds of pictures of the red planet since it landed on Mars in 2012. But every now and then, the rover captures Mars at just the right angles.

Curiosity recently captured a rare panoramic view of Mars’ Mount Sharp. The mission team then turned into a picturesque postcard from March by combining different images and even adding colors.

The result is a captivating view of Mars that will make you want to pack your suitcases and take the 232 million-kilometer trip to the neighboring planet.

Read the full story.

More discoveries of the Mars rover Curiosity:

Actor Riz Ahmed has a birthday today. He’s 39.Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic / Getty Images

  • About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Do you have an idea for a story? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send these thoughts and more to newsletter@inverse.com.
  • Remarkable birthdays: Bette Midler (76), Candace Bushnell (63), Chanel Iman (31), Zoe Kravitz (33), Riz Ahmed (39; pictured above). (Source: AP.)
  • Today’s song: “Live Forever” by Oasis

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