Dog Brains Reveal How Much Human Language They Actually Understand

We love to tell dogs what to do, but we rarely consider whether they understand what we’re saying. Pet owners assume their dogs comprehend commands like sitstay, or heel — even play dead and make me Instagram famous, for that matter — but without the ability to read their minds, no one can know for sure. An ingenious new study in Frontiers in Neuroscience, however, finds a way to determine which of our commands they actually understand.

When You Eat Breakfast and Dinner Could Affect Your Levels of Body Fat

Waiting ninety minutes for a brunch table is annoying, but a report in the Journal of Nutritional Science indicates that doing so has the potential to be a promising weight loss technique. Moving back breakfast and dinner time, they show, can have profound effects on the way your body processes meals, akin to the effects of intermittent fasting. Research like this, the authors say, sheds light on new ways of effective dieting. It turns out that what you eat is deeply intertwined with when you eat it.

This Is the “Most Economically Important” Fern on Earth

Much like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, the fern Azolla filiculoides proves that the small can certainly pack a punch. This minuscule water fern, which has leaves the size of a single gnat, was the focus of a 2018 study published in Nature Plants. Scientists say the bright green plant is complete with unique capabilities — and has the potential to help us mitigate the effects of climate change.

Science Proves a Harsh Truth About Very Good Dogs

You know how your heart melts whenever a pup raises its eyebrows? That’s no accident. While research on non-human animals has long suggested that facial expressions are involuntary, it turns out dogs may be different, and like humans, able to control their facial expressions to get what they want. Are you really surprised?

Chemists Explain Crucial Difference Between Cold Brew and Hot Coffee

Most snobby coffee connoisseurs already know: Not all coffee is created equal. But a team of chemists in Philadelphia suggests that from a chemical perspective, there’s one type of brew that may deliver one of the drink’s more crucial health benefits more effectively.

The Mediterranean Diet Only Works for Rich People, Study Says

If you eat mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, carbs, and non-meat proteins, plus a moderate amount of seafood and dairy products, you’re following the so-called “Mediterranean diet” based on the food traditionally eaten by people in the Mediterranean region, and you have a reduced risk of heart disease. But there’s a major catch, according to a 2017 report on the ongoing “Moli-sani Study” published in the International Journal of Epidemiology: The health benefits were more often experienced by wealthy eaters, because high-quality food in the diet doesn’t come cheaply.