1. How important is wealth to childhood development?
According to new data from the Lancet, not very. The report looked at a large number of children between the ages of 0 and 3 in Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey and found that regardless of how much money they had, they met the same developmental milestones as long as they had their health. "Our study advances the understanding of early childhood development by showing that many milestones in numerous domains are similarly attained across sexes and countries," said the study's authors. "We found that the attainment of almost all milestones is similar in the first year when environmental and cultural influences might have the smallest effect.” (The Guardian)
2. New research shows that gender stereotypes are starting to change in the new generation.
A new study published in the Journal of Child Development asked kids grades K-12 to draw a picture of a scientist. A decade ago, 99 percent of drawings would have been males, but now almost a third of them depict female scientists. This is due to many forces, but an increasing number of strong women in science, a cultural deconstruction of gender stereotypes, and the ever-present empowerment movement are key. (Journal of Child Development)
3. Zac Efron is now eating vegan to boost longevity.
The 30-year-old actor recently told Teen Vogue that a vegan diet has "completely changed the way [his] body works" and left him feeling super-energized. He's combining it with plenty of sleep and time in nature. Music to our ears! (mindbodygreen)
4. Going to space WON'T change your genes.
A confusing news release from NASA has many people thinking that living in space might change your genes. So what's the truth? Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space, and NASA has been studying how that might have affected his body, including the way he uses his genes. (Vox)
5. The future of a male birth control pill is right around the corner.
A hormonal contraceptive pill for men may finally be available sometime soon, according to a new study. The findings, which were presented at the Endocrine Society meeting in Chicago, outline the proposed hormone pill created to reduce testosterone and other hormone levels tied to the production of sperm––without any side effects. Currently, the only birth control options for men include vasectomies, condoms, and a coitus interruptus. (CNN)
6. Obesity dulls the sense of taste.
New research is offering insight into a new reason why some people enter into cycles of weight gain. In a trial, mice lost 25 percent of their taste buds within eight weeks of becoming obese. The findings may help develop new treatments for obesity in the future. (The Guardian)