5 Things You Need To Know Today (June 12)

1. Ever wonder why people get gray hairs?

Doctors say gray hairs sprout when cells called melanocytes that live at the base of hair follicles are damaged as a result of genetics, environment, and disease. It's true: if your parents went gray early, you likely will too. And although stress is often cited as the root cause of going gray, it's a more of gut feeling--studies looking at the correlation between stress and grays are inconclusive. (NYT)

2. A transgender man is pregnant.

Trystan Reese of Portland, Oregon is expecting a son in July. "As the pregnancy's progressed, it's like more and more obvious that it's not just a guy with a beer belly," Chaplow said, adding that his community has been supportive, if online trolls have not. (CNN)

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3. Friends are the new family.

A new study shows that friendships become increasingly more important as we age—so much so that they surpass even our familial relationships. “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest," noted the study's author. (Science Daily)

4. Ever wondered why your doctor looks a whole lot like—well, you?

Research shows that we trust doctors more if we feel they can not only relate to our problems—i.e. a gastroenterologist who admits to having suffered stomach problems, or a lactation consultant who struggled with breast feeding—but also if we relate to them on a personal level. Women are consistently found to be more attracted to women doctors, and the same biases hold true along race lines as well. (Science of Us)

5. Brazil is considering measures that would contradict the Paris Climate Accord.

The country has long been seen as a leader in environmental issues, but has recently passed congressional measures—including reducing the size of government-protected land—that will make it difficult to reach its Paris Climate Accord targets. Lawmakers are also considering relaxing environmental restrictions on private enterprise, and loosening protections on indigenous lands. “It’s very hard for someone to manage to be worse than (U.S. President Donald) Trump on the environment, but the Brazilian government is working very hard to do just that," said Marcio Astrini, coordinator of public policy for Greenpeace in Brazil. (Washington Post)

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