June 26, 2009

DT Friday Freakout

Here are some overwrought headlines from the worlds of science and health and such to ruin your parenting weekend:

  • Smacking your kid will give him cancer. In Canada. "Childhood physical abuse is associated with elevated rates of cancer in adulthood, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers." [eurekalert]

  • "Good males are bad fathers" WHAT? "Males of high genetic quality are not very successful when it comes to fertilizing eggs. A new study on seed beetles by--" Oh. [eurekalert]

  • It's not just for breakfast anymore! "In summary, said Dr. F. Kuypers, our results indicate for the first time that human term placenta is a high capacity source of live and functional hematopoietic stem cells." [eurekalert; abstract: ebmonline.org]

  • Disney movies perpetuate heteroprincessnormativity: An analysis of "all G-rated movies released, or rereleased, between 1990 and 2005 that grossed more than $100 million in the United States" finds they "depict a rich and pervasive heterosexual landscape. Lovers are "surrounded by music, flowers, candles, magic, fire, balloons, fancy dresses, dim lights, dancing and elaborate dinners," while "Fireflies, butterflies, sunsets, wind and the beauty and power of nature often provide the setting for--and a link to the naturalness of--hetero-romantic love." First off, duh. Second, doesn't this relegate Timon and Pumbaa's relationship to second-class status? and Third, I assumed Gaston used antlers in all of his decorating ironically. [eurekalert; abstract, bonus points for the word heterosexiness: sagepub; fyi: the 25 top-grossing rated-G films]

  • Apatosaurus: I lost 20 tons! And kept it off until I went extinct! Please let any pre-literate paleontologists in your house know that the long-established model for calculating dinosaur's body mass may be off by a factor of two. [abstract: journ of zoo @ wiley; press release also seems half-size]

  • Gpx5: Don't leave balls without it: A study of mice found that embryos fertilized with sperm which had the protein Gpx5 had lower incidence of miscarriage and other health complications. Unless they sell Gpx5 at GNC, though, the only thing you can do about it is impregnate younger. [press release]

  • Wait, does "Dad's early connection with child 'write script' for later school involvement" or is "fathers' later school involvement...found to be negatively related to student achievement"? The fluffy, feel-good, "get dads involved," "institutions need improvement" press release for this U of I-UC study doesn't quite map onto the findings. Does this "unique" study that looks at early and later involvement by both moms and dads, actually show something? Let's cut to the chase, Illini. [press release; abstract via apa]

1 Comment

And What qualifies high genetic quality I wonder? Because I always thought being a good father was part of being a good man!

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