Tag Archives: Peer-Reviewed

Scientists discover how fathers improve brain development of children

Story from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

Dr. Braun’s group found that at 21 days, the fatherless animals had less dense dendritic spines compared to animals raised by both parents, though they “caught up” by day 90. However, the length of some types of dendrites was significantly shorter in some parts of the brain, even in adulthood, in fatherless animals.

“It just shows that parents are leaving footprints on the brain of their kids,” says Dr. Braun, 54 years old.

The neuronal differences were observed in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is related to emotional responses and fear, and the orbitofrontal cortex, or OFC, the brain’s decision-making center.

[…]The balance between these two brain parts is critical to normal emotional and cognitive functioning, according to Dr. Braun. If the OFC isn’t active, the amygdala “goes crazy, like a horse without a rider,” she says. In the case of the fatherless pups, there were fewer dendritic spines in the OFC, while the dendrite trees in the amygdala grew more and longer branches.

A preliminary analysis of the degus’ behavior showed that fatherless animals seemed to have a lack of impulse control, Dr. Braun says. And, when they played with siblings, they engaged in more play-fighting or aggressive behavior.

In a separate study in Dr. Braun’s lab conducted by post-doctoral researcher Joerg Bock, degu pups were removed from their caregivers for one hour a day. Just this small amount of stress leads the pups to exhibit more hyperactive behaviors and less focused attention, compared to those who aren’t separated, Dr. Braun says. They also exhibit changes in their brain.

The basic wiring between the brain regions in the degus is the same as in humans, and the nerve cells are identical in their function. “So on that level we can assume that what happens in the animal’s brain when it’s raised in an impoverished environment … should be very similar to what happens in our children’s brain,” Dr. Braun says.

Read the whole thing.

Related posts

New peer-reviewed study links abortion and breast cancer

The abstract of the paper is posted here. (H/T Jennifer Roback Morse)

Excerpt:

On multivariable logistic regression analysis, age (≥ 50) years (OR 2.61, 95% CI 2.20–3.11), induced abortion (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.38–1.99), and oral contraceptive use (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.48–0.74) were found to be associated with breast cancer risk as statistically significant independent factors.

These findings suggest that age and induced abortion were found to be significantly associated with increased breast cancer risk whereas oral contraceptive use was observed to be associated with decreased breast cancer risk among Turkish women in Istanbul.

These findings mean that women who have abortions are 66% more likely to develop breast cancer than women who don’t. And those who use oral contraceptives are 40% less likely to develop breast cancer than women who don’t.

More adult stem cell advances

ECM sent me a Telegraph article on adult stem cell research. (Source: Secondhand Smoke)

A lot of abortion supporters like to talk about all the medical advances we will have a few decades from now by using human embryos (which are persons) for medical research. But the news media doesn’t really want to report much on all the proven cures that adult stem-cell research give us today.

Excerpt:

British scientists have developed a stem cell technique which is being used by patients to avoid hip replacements, in a major medical breakthrough. Doctors in Southampton are using the pioneering technique, where a patient’s damaged bones are repaired using their own stem cells. Patients hailed the treatment, after many found they could walk normally again without any pain and without the need for hip replacement surgery. So far six patients have had the treatment with only one failure, doctors said.

Why should we pursue the medical program of Nazi Germany when we can have cures today without killing anybody?

New Scientist article shows why fathers are necessary for children’s well-being

Here’s a story from the New Scientist. (H/T Jennifer Roback Morse)

First let’s re-cap the old stuff:

Previous studies have hinted at the importance of fathers in child-rearing. Some have shown that girls reach puberty younger, become sexually active earlier and are more likely to get pregnant in their teens if their father was absent when they were young. Others have suggested that the sons of absent fathers display lower intimacy and self-esteem.

Now let’s get the new stuff:

Cells in pups deprived of fathers had a blunted response to oxytocin – the “cuddle chemical”, which is normally released during social interactions and pair bonding. They also had an increased response to NMDA, which is involved in memory.

The fatherless mice were also less interested in engaging with other mice. “Usually if you put two animals in the same cage they investigate and touch each other, but when we put two animals deprived of a father together they ignored each other,” says Gobbi. Her colleague Francis Bambico presented the work at the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry in Paris, France, in early July.

But according to this Telegraph article, it doesn’t seem as though research impacts public policy. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

Women who undergo fertility treatment and their same-sex partners are now both allowed to register as parents on their baby’s birth certificates.

The move has been criticised for damaging the traditional notion of a family, which many people say is necessary for a healthy upbringing.

But ministers insist it is a step forward for equal rights.

Lord Brett, the Home Office Minister, said: “This positive change means that for the first time female couples who have a child using fertility treatment have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts to be shown as parents in the birth registration.

“It is vital that we afford equality wherever we can in society, especially as family circumstances continue to change. This is an important step forward in that process.”

There are powerful special interest groups on the left whose whole purpose is to demonize fathers and destroy marriage. They want children to be raised by the state, (i.e. – by those who run the secular government). They think that government programs taught by strangers and designed by experts well-versed in all the isms of the left, are better for children than their biological parents.

The increase in tropical storms and hurricanes is NOT due to global warming

NASA’s NOAA notes a new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Climate. (H/T Watts Up With That via ECM)

Excerpt:

A NOAA-led team of scientists has found that the apparent increase in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes since the late 19th and early 20th centuries is likely attributable to improvements in observational tools and analysis techniques that better detect short-lived storms.

The new study, reported in the online edition of the American Meteorological Society’s peer-reviewed Journal of Climate, shows that short-lived tropical storms and hurricanes, defined as lasting two days or less, have increased from less than one per year to about five per year from 1878 to 2008.

“The recent jump in the number of short-lived systems is likely a consequence of improvements in observational tools and analysis techniques,” said Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami, and lead author on the study. “The team is not aware of any natural variability or greenhouse warming-induced climate change that would affect the short-lived tropical storms exclusively.”

[…]When the researchers discounted the number of short-lived tropical storms and hurricanes and added the estimated number of missed medium- to long-lived storms to the historical hurricane data, they found no significant long-term trend in the total number of storms.

The paper is online at the NOAA.gov web site.