Discovered: A twin baby boom, college leads to better health, how to turn skinny babies into skinny adults, and a PTSD gene.
- There's a deluge of twins. There must be something fashionable about matching babies, because it's quite popular to have them these days. "Prior to 1980, the incidence of U.S. twin births was stable at about 2 percent of all births, but it has risen dramatically in the past three decades," said researcher Barbara Luke. In 2009 1 in 30 of every baby born in the U.S. was a twin, compared to one in every 53 in 1980. The big increase is not exactly about fashion, but it's not something in the water etiher. "Older maternal age accounts for about one-third of the rise, and two-thirds is due to the increased use of fertility treatments," continues Luke. [International Society of Twin Studies]
- College is healthy. Um, certainly not the way we handled those four years. But, in general, science says, having a college education leads to overall better health in the end. Looking at over 3,000 countries, those with a higher percentage of college educated people had fewer premature deaths. Though four years of drinking, gluttony, drugs, and Aderall probably scrape years off of one's life, not going to college at all has worse effects. If you're unemployed, you're likely to be without insurance and to have a lot of stress in your life," researcher Pat Remington, said. "You often give up hope and that often leads to substance abuse and other self-destructive behaviors. So all these things are part of a web of health." [Reuters]
- How to turn skinny babies into skinny adults. Put them on diets. Diets for babies. When babies come out too skinny, parents tend to overcompensate, fattening them up for life. "If there is a mismatch where the baby is growth-restricted at birth but exposed to plenty of calories after birth, then that leads to obesity," explains researcher Dr. Sherin Devaskar. Don't do that, says research. "While many trials that include exercise and various drug therapies have tried to reverse the tendency of low birth weight babies becoming obese, we have shown that a dietary intervention during early life can have long lasting effects into childhood adolescence and adult life," he continues. Skinny babies, get ready for a lifetime of diets. [Diabetes]
- There is a PTSD gene. Actually there are two. Science believes two genes linked to serotonin production make certain people much more susceptible to post traumatic stress disorder. "We suspect that the gene variants produce less serotonin, predisposing these family members to PTSD after exposure to violence or disaster," said Dr. Armen Goenjian. As of now psychiatrists rely on trial and error to figure out if someone has PTSD, knowing a biological basis would clear things up a lot. [Journal of Affective Disorders]
Image via Shutterstock by David Clark Digital Photography.