You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But…do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? If not, please extricate yourself from the rock you’ve been living under. Everyone knows Rudolph.
From humble beginnings in Robert May’s children’s book in 1939, Rudolph and his glowing red schnoz have spawned an empire. Rounding out his rich mythos are the all too familiar Christmas song and the stop motion TV tale of an elf with dental aspirations, a portly prospector and our lovable, outcast young buck.
Of course, as with most myths and legends, there is some grain of truth hiding somewhere. This Christmas, science tackled the origin of Rudolph and his shiny nose. A research team, led by Can Ince of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, published a study just last week in the British Medical Journal explaining this Christmas mystery.
Halloween is here again boys and girls. As I get older, it’s essentially turned into an opportunity to dress in some ironic costume to try to show everyone how hilarious I am. I miss the younger days, though, where it was as simple as dressing like Mickey Mouse (true story) and dragging a pillowcase around the neighborhood. I miss the candy. Yes, I know I could buy it myself now, but it’s not the same. Scavenging all that sugar is a big deal to a kid. To prove it, I present exhibit A below.
Hilarious as it is, the prank really shows the depths of our candy obsessions. Perhaps we gain a modicum of control as we get older, but there are significant things going on in our brains that make us crave those sweets. Researchers at the University of Michigan recently published an article in Current Biologythat gives some insight into how the brain responds to these treats. Continue reading →
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 →