Fathers’ role greater in language skills
In families with two working parents, fathers had greater impact than mothers on their children’s language development between ages two and three, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina. Researchers videotaped pairs of parents and their two-year-old children in their homes during playtime. The children whose fathers used more diverse vocabularies had greater language development when they were tested one year later. However, the mothers’ vocabulary did not significantly affect the children’s language skills. “These findings underscore that for dual earner families, fathers should be included in all efforts to improve language development and school readiness,” says the study to be published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
Meth exposure in womb
Babies can be exposed to methamphetamine or “crystal meth” while in the womb of a woman addicted to the substance, reveals an analysis of hair samples, published in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood. Crystal meth boosts alertness and promotes a sense of well being and euphoria, curbs appetite and enhances sexual arousal. But long-term abuse damages nerves in the brain and can lead to psychotic behaviour and aggression. Researchers say that the precise effects of crystal meth on a foetus are not fully known, but the evidence to date points to restricted foetal growth and developmental problems.
Pre-cooked chips healthier
Pre-cooking your chips in a microwave before you fry them reduces the levels of a cancer-causing substance, acrylamide, reveals a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Acrylamide forms during processes such as frying, baking and roasting where high-temperature and low-moisture conditions exist. Although numerous studies have been conducted to explore the possibilities of reducing acrylamide levels in French fries, a team of researchers from Turkey has shown that pre-cooking the potato strips in a microwave reduces the frying time and hence the formation of acrylamide.
Sex sells subconsciously
Even when we’re not aware of them, erotic images can still grab our attention. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, US researchers have shown that “invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers’ spatial attention depending on their gender and sexual orientation”. In other words, sex sells — even subconsciously.