My Favorite Bit this week was about how eggs have the ability to control which sperm is used for fertilization. The idea of random fertilization is a key premise underlying Mendel’s laws of genetics, but a new study has demonstrated how sperm with specific genes fertilized eggs with a lower frequency than predicted. This calls into question the idea that the process of fertilization is completely random.
Prosecutors in the United States are greatly reducing the incidence of capital punishment in the United States; a starting point in making the criminal justice system less punitive and more cost-effective. Kortney Ziegler is also trying to make the system more fair with the creation of Appolition.us an app that uses your spare change to provide bail for incarcerated black Americans. One way to have fewer incarcerated Americans would be the legalization of prostitution, an opinion advocated for by economists who study markets for sexual services. Afghanistan has a different kind of incarceration problem where hundreds of innocent children are locked up with their mothers under a law that requires their mothers to give permission for the children to be cared for by other people.
As the holidays approach a common parenting challenge is how many toys your child needs and some studies show that limiting that amount of toys your child has can improve their ability to concentrate and develop their imaginations. In fact what children benefit from the most is active interaction with adults; particularly babies who learn about the world and develop self-confidence through supportive engagement from the adults around them.
Giving birth is a difficult process for humans and scientists are rethinking a 50-year old theory about why it is such a strenuous process for women. On the topic of giving birth, men should take note of the variety of healthy female genital tracts and stop sharing their opinions about appropriate vulvar and vaginal health.
Finishing off your week in review is a hodgepodge of articles about how to have a more productive conversation on partisanship and sexual assault that encourages people across the political spectrum to stand with victims, dangerous myths surrounding Sufi Muslims, and how small talk varies across cultures.
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Have a great rest of your week!