If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, apparently my generation has gotten to the point of testing the waters of parenthood. Also evident is that I should have been a pediatrician, because it seems your poor little ones always have to go to the doctor .
Parents of all ages are surely aware of how often infants get sick. To put it lightly, their immune systems are weak. Dr. Yasmina Laouar’s lab at the University of Michigan School of Medicine is working to figure out why. They describe molecular signals that prevent maturation of certain immune cells in infants in a paper published recently in Nature Immunology.Continue reading →
For the man who is not ready for a child in his life, there are several wonderful options available for family planning. These include condoms, herbal remedies, vasectomies, prolonged heating of the testicles, and, of course, the infamous withdrawal method.
Obviously, most of these are either a tad final or woefully ineffective. Except for the condom, which protects against a range of STD’s as well, men really don’t have a highly effective, reversible means for contraception. Women, of course, have “The Pill,” and scientists have long been working to develop something similar for men. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston reported their findings today in Cellthat may very well bring us one step closer. Continue reading →
Growing up, when you brought home an A on a test, did your parents ever argue over who’s side of the family “the smarts” came from? I can recall complete reconstructions of the family tree based on what subjects my sister and I were excelling in.
In reality, the grades probably had more to do with good study habits and a certain pride in my work, but new research indicates that there may be more of a genetic component than previously realized. In addition to diet, as we learned in my last post, recent work from Dr. Paul Thompson’s team reveals that genetic variations can have measurable impacts on learning and intelligence. I came across his work thanks to a great piece written by Moheb Costandi at ScienceNOW.
If I learned anything in college, it was how to study. A long night before a final involved a steady dose of Xbox breaks, deep conversations with roommates, and probably a couple of gallons of Dr. Pepper. And I guess a few notes as well, maybe a book or two. Yeah, let’s go with that. Perhaps not the most efficient techniques, but they worked for me.
Somehow, with those study habits, I made it through without too many scratches, but I couldn’t tell you how. And now, research from Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla’s lab at UCLA suggests that my diet may have been just as important as anything else. This study, published in the Journal of Physiology, describes how a steady diet high in fructose can impair normal learning and memory in rats.