Since its discovery over six decades ago, YOLO concentrations have been found to be steadily increasing. Although short-term effects of YOLO have been characterized in the last fifteen years, an in-depth longitudinal study revealing long-term effects has not been available until now. Our results show concerning effects on humans and wildlife, and future projections indicate that YOLO levels could exceed those of FIDLAR by the mid-twenty-first century.
The You Only Live Once (YOLO) phenomenon was first discovered in a small village in Polynesia in 19511. Soon after, it was detected along the coasts of Southeast Asia, possibly transported on shipping vessels. Within two years, YOLO had spread across the globe and was becoming a fact of everyday life. Even JD Watson and FHC Crick noted in the enigmatic conclusion to their landmark paper on the double-helical structure of DNA in April 1953, "It has not escaped our notice that YOLO has officially become a thing."2
As YOLO developed into a worldwide event, as well as an excuse to get really drunk, the specific nature of YOLO, namely whether it was a particle or a wave, was hotly debated in scientific communities. Finally, in 1970 researchers determined through spectrometric assays that YOLO was neither a particle nor a wave, but was actually an unstable structure composed of spilling beer on someone else's phone and yelling over loud music to hide your desperate inner sadness3.
In the late 1990s environmental scientists began seriously investigating the effects of YOLO on various organisms, both as a potential therapeutic drug and just as something to do on Friday. Clinical trials were ended prematurely because patients stopped going to work. One study described awkward sexual advances between members of the experimental and control cohorts, so the mice had to be moved into separate cages4.
Despite this important scientific progress, it was still unclear if YOLO led to long-term effects, especially after accumulating in the environment. In this study, groups of three model organisms (yeast, fruit fly, and human) were monitored over the course of ten years. Researchers collected behavioral data, blood samples, and stool samples (just for fun).
Methods and Results
The W303-1B lab strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was cultured on YPD solid media with 50 mM YOLO5. After 48 hours of cultivation, yeast were subjected to 24-hour cycles of YOLO exposure followed by a period of recovery and tweeting. Table 1 shows the hashtags most commonly associated with #YOLO aggregated from these periods. After 17 days of this cycle, the YOLO treatment appeared to disrupt the yeast's metabolic regulation, leading to uncontrolled ethanol production, and they literally drowned themselves in alcohol.
Wild type Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly strains were kept in a sterile environment and were fed on a diet of Cinnamon Toast Crunch laced with purified YOLO crystals6. Although the study lasted ten years, all of the flies died within the first few days. Go figure. #YOLO #timeflies
Human subjects were divided into an experimental cohort, who were given the FDA-recommended dosage of YOLO, and a control cohort, who were put in a room with lights and loud noises to simulate the YOLO experience. Preliminary data shows that subjects were unable to discern whether they were experiencing actual YOLO or were just faking it. Indeed, neural network-based image analysis was unable to discern experimental selfies from control selfies.
Unfortunately, we were unable to prevent the test conditions from becoming contaminated with camera phones, and the selfie counts rose beyond levels that could be accurately quantified. Figure 1 shows the schematic for a typical image captured in this experiment, and although subjects described themselves and their friends as 'anything but typical', the photographs were strikingly uniform. They were just really, truly dull. #YOLO
The decision not to perform YOLO assays on prokaryotic organisms, and in particular the Proteobacteria, has a simple explanation: prokaryotes are lazy pieces of shit and wouldn't react to YOLO if their lives depended on it. Some researchers have suggested that Call of Duty (CoD) is in fact part of the YOLO chemical group, which would indeed strongly implicate the Proteobacteria in this phenomenon, because they play CoD like nobody's business7. However, numerous studies have shown CoD to actually be a biochemical analogue, and thus an antagonistic competitor, of YOLO8.
These yeast and fruit fly experiments show a clear YOLO intolerance in nonhuman organisms. In fact, it has been suggested by evolutionary biologists and anthropologists that YOLO tolerance allowed early humans to cope with their large brain size and the stress resulting from repetitive stone tool production9. This 'Proto-YOLO' theory suggests that YOLO is what makes humans unique in the animal kingdom, giving us the unique ability to not only realize our own mortality, but to conclude that additional life does not follow death. It is still unclear why this realization paradoxically leads to reckless behavior.
Until the crystal structure of YOLO is determined, its molecular function will likely remain a mystery. Still, speculations can lead to further study to elucidate its mechanism. One possibility is that it binds to histones, causing chromatin rearrangement, which would lead to some pun about genes/jeans and being turned on/off. Another possibility is that it deactivates a phosphatase in the MAPK/ERK pathway, and I think you know where we're going with that.
These results show an alarming effect that YOLO could have on a potentially vast range of organisms if environmental levels are allowed to increase further. In order to avoid consequences similar to those of the FIDLAR disaster in the 19th century, YOLO sequestration efforts will have to be ramped up, perhaps even beyond World Health Organization recommendations.
The authors would like to thank Jennifer, Kimmi, Carlos, and Vikram for taking us out on the town and showing us the true meaning of YOLO, which we subsequently published here to get NIH funding. SW and AS woke up the next day with huge hangovers, XN does not regret the tattoo her boyfriend discovered on the back of her neck two days later, and PJ had a great time and requests that Carlos contact the corresponding author for additional "data collection". JJF definitely did not enjoy himself and was only there because he has NSF Grant PT-B01893834.
The authors have no interests that even come close to competing with YOLO. YOLO 4 lyfe.
SW is on the Advisory Board for GenEasy Biolabs.
1. Jellyroll Darwin III. On the Origin of YOLO. JAMA 84(12): 1034-1038.
2. James D. Watson and Francis HC Crick. Molecular structure of nucleic acids. Nature 171.4356 (1953): 737-738.
3. Puff Marmson. Most recent battle between Particle and Wave factions ends in disappointing tie. The New York Times December 12, 1970: 5-7.
4. Zort Zillypoo and Reba Quiche. Worst experiment ever. Journal of Failed Experiments by Failed Scientists 14(3):359-362.
5. Juan Yuan. The optimal YOLO concentration for your new pet yeast. Science for Kiddos 31(4):23-26.
6. Jingus NAFTA. CTC-YOLO: your daily dose of vitamin Y in every bite! Journal of the USA Cereal Propaganda Advisory Board 8(3):939-962.
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8. Nurg Blit, Escrow Khan, and Swirple Domingo. Synthetic genetic arrays reveal negative interactions between CoD and YOLO. BMC Bioinformatics January 1996:340-353.
9. CaliGurl96 and Bob Bumberly. YOLO: the missing link. PLoS Genetics 42(5):697-715.