The Checkup: Flushing the Toilet Can Make You Sick

Put the dang lid down, already.

• Dear everyone: Remember when your mom told you to put the lid down on the toilet? She probably said to do so after flushing—you know, before leaving the bathroom (it’s common decency, people!)—but it looks like you should really be lowering those lids before you flush. Why? Because, according to new research, the spray that results from flushing a toilet sends all kinds of bacteria flying into the air. Researchers who tested the air in patient bathrooms in hospitals found a diarrhea-causing bacteria immediately after flushing. But wait, there’s more: They also found traces of the bacteria (in smaller quantities) an hour later, and again 30 minutes after that. Ew. Ew, ew, ew. Read more here and, please, put the lid down!

• Ahh, the good ol’ placebo effect—you know, that temporary feel-good boost you might get when you think a pill’s working but, well, it’s not. Several new studies suggest that boost is more than just a fleeting feeling. In fact, patients on placebos have lost weight, shown improvements in vision and changes in brain chemicals—showing on the importance of the mind-body connection. In other words, if you believe it, you can actually improve your body. Neat, right? The Wall Street Journal has more.

• As much as 50 percent of breast cancer survivors are depressed, but a new study found that they can reap huge gains from a mind-body technique that combines yoga, meditation and physical awareness. Breast cancer survivors who employed the technique saw improvements in mood, as well as lowered blood pressure, and heart and respiratory rates. Read more here.