Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Roundup: Obese babies, cancer vaccine, human hair fonts, and the grandeur of a dead tree

It's Friday! Links to information for you to share with family, friends, children, and total strangers:
  • Babies on obesity path? Well, it's questionable. Study says that babies who hit two growth markers before age 2 have increased risk of obesity. But only 12% of the 45,000 infants in the study who did hit the mark were obese by age 5. Two of my children have always been off the charts for growth. They are both quite slender. Researchers writing in an accompanying editorial expressed concern that using the "red flags" identified in the study may cause more harm than good.
  • Amber-encased mite A teeny mite captured along with its spider host when amber flooded them both 50 million years ago. Video below:


  • Logical fallacies: Do you like to argue? Are you invested in being right? Check yourself against these logical fallacies before you wreck yourself, online or in real life. 
  • There is grandeur, really: Want your children to see, investigate, and experience the world? Take them outside. Often. Go with them. Explore the tiniest and most intricate mysteries of nature together. A dead tree is a place to start. A beautiful post from Emily Finke.

  • Hairy typeface: Wanna gross out your kids? Or anyone, really? Show them this font made out of LEG HAIR (above). Artist Mayuko Kanazawa created the font as part of an art class assignment. Her work has already been featured in a Japanese ad campaign
  • Dogs evolved as our best friends: From NPR, how that large hairy carnivore living in your house came to be there.
  • Vax for breast/ovarian cancer? A small study, a vaccine that triggers an attack on tumor cells. Some women's cancers stopped progressing, and one woman's cancer vanished completely. These are patients for whom other therapies had already failed.
  • New BCPs tied to blood clots, again: The common culprit among these hormonal birth control methods is drospirenone. Hormonal birth control has always been known for increasing blood clot risks, but these versions seem to increase it even more. 
  • Three more elements added to periodic table: For chemistry and categorization junkies like my 10 year old, this is big, big news. You can visit the new elements--darmstadtium, roentgenium, and copernicium--at this interactive periodic table of elements.
  • Laughing kills pain: From Scicurious--Like a good long run, laughter may release the "natural high" chemicals known as endorphins. So, laugh loud and often.
[Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons]

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