Researchers have studied the brain activity of young binge-drinking college students in Spain, and found distinctive changes in brain activity, which may indicate delayed brain development and be an early sign of brain damage. The results suggest that bingeing has tangible effects on the young brain, comparable with some of those seen in chronic alcoholics.
It has traditionally been thought that in mammals only mothers are able to influence the sex of their offspring. But a new study in wild mice has shown that fathers can, in fact, influence sex ratios.
Sixteen years after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers sent a ‘cloud’ of toxic debris across Lower Manhattan, children living nearby who likely breathed in the ash and fumes are showing early signs of risk for future heart disease.
Researchers found that inattentiveness in childhood was linked to worse academic performance up to 10 years later in children with and without ADHD, even when they accounted for the children’s intellectual ability. The results highlight the long-term effects that childhood inattention can have on academic performance, and suggest that parents and teachers should address inattentiveness in childhood.
Young children are more likely to attribute mental states to characters that belong to the same group as them relative to characters that belong to an outside group, according to new findings. The study shows that 5- and 6-year-olds were more likely to describe interactions between two characters in terms of what they were thinking and feeling when the characters had the same gender or geographic origin as them.
When designing and characterizing new drugs, a key aspect is making sure the drug actually goes where it is intended to. But current tests for drug uptake monitor the process under unrealistic conditions and do not provide information on the amounts of drugs that cross into a cell. Now, one group reports that fluorescent detector proteins can overcome these challenges.
Women’s cognitive functioning past middle age may be affected by the degree of gender equality in the country they live in, according to new findings.
Women and girls with autism may face greater challenges with real world planning, organization and other daily living skills, according to a new study.
High doses of vitamin D taken one hour after sunburn significantly reduce skin redness, swelling, and inflammation, according to double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. The trial results were recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
In the study, 20 participants were randomized to receive a placebo pill or 50,000, 100,000, or 200,000 IU of vitamin D one hour after a small UV lamp “sunburn” on their inner arm. Researchers followed up with the participants 24, 48, 72 hours and 1 week after the experiment and collected skin biopsies for further testing. Participants who consumed the highest doses of vitamin D had long-lasting benefits — including less skin inflammation 48 hours after the burn. Participants with the highest blood levels of vitamin D also had less skin redness and a jump in gene activity related to skin barrier repair.
“We found benefits from vitamin D were dose-dependent,” said Kurt Lu, MD, senior author on the study and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. “We hypothesize that vitamin D helps promote protective barriers in the skin by rapidly reducing inflammation. What we did not expect was that at a certain dose, vitamin D not only was capable of suppressing inflammation, it was also activating skin repair genes.”
The trial is the first to describe acute anti-inflammatory benefits from taking vitamin D. According to the authors, despite widespread attention given to vitamin D deficiency, “there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that intervention with vitamin D is capable of resolving acute inflammation.” By measuring gene activity in the biopsies, the researchers also uncovered a potential mechanism behind how vitamin D aids skin repair. The results suggest vitamin D increases skin levels of an anti-inflammatory enzyme, arginase-1. The enzyme enhances tissue repair after damage and helps activate other anti-inflammatory proteins.
The study may have people flocking to vitamin supplement aisles, but Lu stresses that the trial tested very high doses of vitamin D that far exceed daily allowances. The Food and Drug Administration’s recommended adult daily allowance for vitamin D is 400 IU. Said Lu, “I would not recommend at this moment that people start taking vitamin D after sunburn based on this study alone. But, the results are promising and worthy of further study.” Lu and colleagues are planning additional studies that could inform treatment plans for burn patients.
Materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
All week long ELLE.com is looking at the issues surrounding pumping.
Some lucky—but far too few—new, working mothers have employers that go the extra mile when it comes to lactation rooms. These pumping palaces give a whole new meaning to the term “fantasy suite.” But the majority of women (and a few transgender men!) who pump at work do so in far less glamorous conditions. I asked my own Facebook community and working parents on a number of online support groups to share photos of their less-than-perfect lactation rooms. Many of these lactation spaces meet the letter of the law (which varies from state to state)—a private room with a locking door is pretty much all that’s required—but they’re cramped, often dirty, and not very conducive to letdown of milk. Some of these pictures represent actual violations of the law: non-private, non-locking spaces, sometimes in bathrooms. It’s a testament to the will and ingenuity of working parents—and to battery packs, nursing covers, shower curtains, and other hacks—that we make these spaces work.
Here are just a few examples of the rooms working mothers have to pump in—from the spare and unglamorous to downright illegal. We invite you to tweet us your own @ELLEmagazine using the hashtag #fromwhereipump.
Jessica Shortall is an advocate for working parents and the author of Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work. Follow her @jessicashortall.