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Friday, August 17, 2012

Science News!

I know I don't do enough of these any more, but if you miss them, go listen to Radiolab. All of them. Really. I <3 Jad and Robert. Don't have time for all of them? Start here. It's my favorite recent episode.

Put down that microwave popcorn! It may smell tempting, but that smell is poison!!! For years, it's been causing lung cancer in folks who work in factories making the stuff. Now, the news gets worse. It's also being linked to Alzheimer's disease. Your buttery flavoring is not worth it! Here's a kooky solution - air pop, and go crazy and add some real butter! I recommend the Magical Butter of Uh-Oh: Kerrygold. (Try it once and you'll know why we call it that.)

Researchers are now able to look inside a living mouse brain to see how it works. What they've learned is that cerebrospinal fluid carries away the waste generated by brain cells, but seriously, how frikkin cool is it that they can literally what how the brain is functioning? That's awesome!

Research is being done on breast milk to find out what makes it so very awesome. The thing is, it is indeed so very awesome. (Athena has had exactly one case of the sniffles in her first six months, and it was the cold that I got. A virus has to bust through my immune system before she can get it, even though she spends all day rolling around on floors and shoving everything in her mouth. Luckily, her mama has one hell of an immune system, so yeah, baby's first sniffles were when she was six months old, even though she was born during cold and flu season.) One researcher is looking into the oligosaccharides in breast milk - indigestable sugars that are actually consumed by the bacteria that make our gut healthy. They're abundant in breast milk, and it's suspected that they help establish a good microbiome and help avoid necrotizing enterocolitis, a common issue in premature babies.

Athena recently had her six-month immunizations. This upset her sleep schedule a bit, but we're getting back on track now. The day after her shots, her usual nap lasted for five hours. Good thing I'd read this article the day before, because that super long nap (and only sleeping 8 hours that night) meant that I felt confident that her vaccines were going to serve her well. (Now Mommy just needs to catch up on her sleep, because if Athena only sleeps for 8 hours a night, I only get 5-6 hours after taking time to pump and shower.)

And finally, I'm just glad my husband likes a round bottom like the somewhat stressed guy he is, because pumping six times a day doesn't leave much time for exercise. Turns out, research says guys think chubby girls are cuter when they're under stress. 


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