5 Things You Need To Know Today (July 3)

Photo: Milles Studio

1. Will sunscreen become a thing of the past?

Summer is here, and that can mean slathering on the SPF. But scientists are working on a new way to protect us from UV damage: synthetic melanin. These nanoparticles would protect our skin cells from the inside out, using our body's own biology. (Scientific American)

2. Women around the world share wisdom on breastfeeding.

While women around the world struggle with latching, nipple soreness, or concerns over supply, there's a town in Namibia where virtually everyone breastfeeds her baby. What are their secrets? For one, breastfeeding hasn't been stigmatized in Namibia, so girls learn from watching women throughout their lives. And because the vast majority of women give birth in their homes without doctors, mother and child are never separated. Some postulate that infants' suckling instinct might be derailed by separation from their mothers in hospitals in the hours after their birth. (NPR)

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3. Pesticides aren't great for honeybees.

While there's been debate about how bad pesticides are for honeybees, two new studies confirm that neonicotinoids—pesticides used for almost all corn and 50% of soy in the US—kill honeybees. The new studies are the largest of their kind, tracking actual bee populations over time. “I hope that my study kind of makes the debate go away,” said the lead researcher. (Scientific American)

4. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is climbing, except in California.

In other wealthy countries where women's health is prioritized—Japan, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, and the UK—maternal mortality rate has dropped over the last twenty years. The opioid epidemic, restricted access to contraception, having children later in life, and obesity rates are to blame for a rise in mortality rates in the U.S. Thankfully, California is the exception: with a larger focus on women's health, and particularly maternal health, state hospitals been able to prevent and decrease maternal death rate. (Vox)

5. Exercise can improve your love life.

Both men and women who adopted a vigorous exercise regimen reported greater sexual satisfaction. Men had lower instances of erectile disfunction and women reported greater desire, arousal, and satisfaction after increasing their activity. Scientists speculate a combination of better blood circulation and enhanced self-image may be responsible for the boost. (CNN)

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