candidscience:

Have You Ever Wondered Where Chickens Come From??

When a hen ovulates, the result is a yolk, which can be fertilized internally by sperm from a rooster.  The yolk, whether it’s fertilized or not, is then covered by egg white and then eggshell before the egg is laid. Stages of chicken development after laying:

Day 3: Nose, legs and wings begin to form

Day 6: Beak begins to form

Day 10:  Beak begins to harden

Day 15: Scales, claws and beak getting ready to break the shell

Day 18: Yolk will enter the body cavity of the developing chick

Day 21: Chick hatches!!

…and word to the wise: The eggs we buy in the grocery store are not fertilized, so although a fertilized egg may pass through the cracks once in a very long while, the usual grocery store egg will not develop a chick…..

Images source

 

Toddler Science: Babbling Away - Epic Science

Our human larva love to babble on about nothing, but what’s actually going on inside their un-languaged minds? Find out in this Epic Science episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

"We raise our little boys to view their bodies as tools to master their environments. We raise our little girls to view their bodies as projects to constantly be improved."

The Sexy Lie: Caroline Heldman at TEDxYouth@SanDiego (via mortari)

As a woman/ former girl, I can attest to the sad truth in that. And that’s part of the reason why Stuff Mom Never Told You is so important to me. It’s may way to doing right by the younger girls and women out there: to educate myself alongside them about self-acceptance, confidence and agency through intellectual empowerment. /Cristen

(via stuffmomnevertoldyou)

(Source: abigail-rising, via stuffmomnevertoldyou)

"When we put kids in a room with an iPad, they will choose that over other toys. They will often choose it over their own mothers."

Is technology scrambling my baby’s brain? | The Verge (via thisistheverge)

(via thisistheverge)

losangelespast:

Echo Park in 1895: Snow-capped peaks in the distance and rolling countryside all around.

losangelespast:

Echo Park in 1895: Snow-capped peaks in the distance and rolling countryside all around.

(via latimes)

houseofmind:

The Cinderella Effect is a term in evolutionary psychology that refers to higher incidence of maltreatment and/or abuse in children by step-parents  compared to biological parents. 

From an evolutionary perspective, natural selection has favored intensive parental care in humans. Thus, parents have to commit a lot of time and resources to raise children. Moreover, parents also have to be able to protect and defend their investment. 

According to Daly and Wilson (click title for full article), if the psychological underpinnings of parental care have evolved by natural selection, care-providing animals may be expected to direct their care selectively towards young that are a) their own genetic offspring and b) able to convert parental investment into increased prospects for survival and reproduction. This notion is known as the theory of discriminative parental solicitude and has been described and verified in a broad range of care-giving species. From this perspective, adoption of unrelated young has been interpreted as a failure of discrimination. In humans, adoption by unrelated caretakers is a recent cultural invention than repeated aspect of ancestral environments, meaning that it could not have been a feature of parental psychology as it evolved.

However, step-parental care is ubiquitous across cultures and species, while also being present throughout history. The main explanation as to why this occurs is thought to be that investing pseudoparental care in a new mate’s offspring is adaptive and favored by natural selection. In humans, for example, suitable mates are scarce may be scarce and established couples usually stay together for longer than one breeding season. 

On these grounds, Daly and Wilson hypothesized that any and all sorts of child abuse and exploitation would occur at elevated rates in steprelationships than in genetic parent-child relationships. This differential mistreatment is what the authors refer to as the “Cinderella Effect.” 

Considerable support has been found for the Cinderella Effect, but the theory does not come without controversy. Confounds such as socieconomic status and personality differences between parents that live with their own children and parents who become parents have been brought up although studies in Canada and the US have assessed these factors and found them to be non-plausible. 

Findings supporting the Cinderella Effect include: Stepparents beat very young children to death at per capita rates over 100 times higher than the corresponding rates for genetic parents. Stepparents also perpetrate both nonlethal physical assaults and sexual abuse at much higher rates than genetic parents. Abused stepchildren were almost always the eldest in the home. Cinderella effects are large regardless of marital registration (abuse can happen by unrelated live-in boyfriends, not necessarily a spouse). 

Sources: 

Daly and Wilson. The Cinderella effect is not fairy tale. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences (2005). 9 (11): 507-8. 

Daly and Wilson. (2008). Is the “Cinderella Effect Controversial? A Case Study of Evolution-Minded Research and Critiques Thereof. Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 383-400). Psychology Press. 

neuromorphogenesis:

Mom’s love good for child’s brain
School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.
The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing.
Their research is published online in theProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesEarly Edition.
“This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings,” says lead author Joan L. Luby, MD, professor of child psychiatry. “I think the public health implications suggest that we should pay more attention to parents’ nurturing, and we should do what we can as a society to foster these skills because clearly nurturing has a very, very big impact on later development.”
The brain-imaging study involved children ages 7 to 10 who had participated in an earlier study of preschool depression that Luby and her colleagues began about a decade ago. That study involved children, ages 3 to 6, who had symptoms of depression, other psychiatric disorders or were mentally healthy with no known psychiatric problems.
As part of the initial study, the children were closely observed and videotaped interacting with a parent, almost always a mother, as the parent was completing a required task, and the child was asked to wait to open an attractive gift. How much or how little the parent was able to support and nurture the child in this stressful circumstance — which was designed to approximate the stresses of daily parenting — was evaluated by raters who knew nothing about the child’s health or the parent’s temperament.
“It’s very objective,” Luby says. “Whether a parent was considered a nurturer was not based on that parent’s own self-assessment. Rather, it was based on their behavior and the extent to which they nurtured their child under these challenging conditions.”
The study didn’t observe parents and children in their homes or repeat stressful exercises, but other studies of child development have used similar methods as valid measurements of whether parents tend to be nurturers when they interact with their children.
For the current study, the researchers conducted brain scans on 92 of the children who had had symptoms of depression or were mentally healthy when they were studied as preschoolers. The imaging revealed that children without depression who had been nurtured had a hippocampus almost 10 percent larger than children whose mothers were not as nurturing.
“For years studies have underscored the importance of an early, nurturing environment for good, healthy outcomes for children,” Luby says. “But most of those studies have looked at psychosocial factors or school performance. This study, to my knowledge, is the first that actually shows an anatomical change in the brain, which really provides validation for the very large body of early childhood development literature that had been highlighting the importance of early parenting and nurturing. Having a hippocampus that’s almost 10 percent larger just provides concrete evidence of nurturing’s powerful effect.”
Luby says the smaller volumes in depressed children might be expected because studies in adults have shown the same results. What did surprise her was that nurturing made such a big difference in mentally healthy children.
“We found a very strong relationship between maternal nurturing and the size of the hippocampus in the healthy children,” she says.
Although 95 percent of the parents whose nurturing skills were evaluated during the earlier study were biological mothers, the researchers say that the effects of nurturing on the brain are likely to be the same for any primary caregiver — whether they are fathers, grandparents or adoptive parents.
The fact that the researchers found a larger hippocampus in the healthy children who were nurtured is striking, Luby says, because the hippocampus is such an important brain structure.
When the body faces stresses, the brain activates the autonomic nervous system, an involuntary system of nerves that controls the release of stress hormones. Those hormones help us cope with stress by increasing the heart rate and helping the body adapt. The hippocampus is the main brain structure involved in that response. It’s also key in learning and memory, and larger volumes would suggest a link to improved performance in school, among other things.
Past animal studies have indicated that a nurturing mother can influence brain development, and many studies in human children have identified improvements in school performance and healthier development in children raised in a nurturing environment. But until now, there has not been solid evidence linking a nurturing parent to changes in brain anatomy in children.
“Studies in rats have shown that maternal nurturance, specifically in the form of licking, produces changes in genes that then produce changes in receptors that increase the size of the hippocampus,” Luby says. “That phenomenon has been replicated in primates, but it hasn’t really been clear whether the same thing happens in humans. Our study suggests a clear link between nurturing and the size of the hippocampus.”
She says educators who work with families who have young children may improve school performance and child development by not only teaching parents to work on particular tasks with their children but by showing parents how to work with their children.
“Parents should be taught how to nurture and support their children,” Luby says. “Those are very important elements in healthy development.”
(Image: The hippocampus (highlighted in fuchsia) is a key brain structure important to learning, memory and stress response. New research shows that children who were nurtured by their mothers early in life have a larger hippocampus than children who were not nurtured as much. Credit: Washington University Medical School from press release)

neuromorphogenesis:

Mom’s love good for child’s brain

School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.

The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing.

Their research is published online in theProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesEarly Edition.

“This study validates something that seems to be intuitive, which is just how important nurturing parents are to creating adaptive human beings,” says lead author Joan L. Luby, MD, professor of child psychiatry. “I think the public health implications suggest that we should pay more attention to parents’ nurturing, and we should do what we can as a society to foster these skills because clearly nurturing has a very, very big impact on later development.”

The brain-imaging study involved children ages 7 to 10 who had participated in an earlier study of preschool depression that Luby and her colleagues began about a decade ago. That study involved children, ages 3 to 6, who had symptoms of depression, other psychiatric disorders or were mentally healthy with no known psychiatric problems.

As part of the initial study, the children were closely observed and videotaped interacting with a parent, almost always a mother, as the parent was completing a required task, and the child was asked to wait to open an attractive gift. How much or how little the parent was able to support and nurture the child in this stressful circumstance — which was designed to approximate the stresses of daily parenting — was evaluated by raters who knew nothing about the child’s health or the parent’s temperament.

“It’s very objective,” Luby says. “Whether a parent was considered a nurturer was not based on that parent’s own self-assessment. Rather, it was based on their behavior and the extent to which they nurtured their child under these challenging conditions.”

The study didn’t observe parents and children in their homes or repeat stressful exercises, but other studies of child development have used similar methods as valid measurements of whether parents tend to be nurturers when they interact with their children.

For the current study, the researchers conducted brain scans on 92 of the children who had had symptoms of depression or were mentally healthy when they were studied as preschoolers. The imaging revealed that children without depression who had been nurtured had a hippocampus almost 10 percent larger than children whose mothers were not as nurturing.

“For years studies have underscored the importance of an early, nurturing environment for good, healthy outcomes for children,” Luby says. “But most of those studies have looked at psychosocial factors or school performance. This study, to my knowledge, is the first that actually shows an anatomical change in the brain, which really provides validation for the very large body of early childhood development literature that had been highlighting the importance of early parenting and nurturing. Having a hippocampus that’s almost 10 percent larger just provides concrete evidence of nurturing’s powerful effect.”

Luby says the smaller volumes in depressed children might be expected because studies in adults have shown the same results. What did surprise her was that nurturing made such a big difference in mentally healthy children.

“We found a very strong relationship between maternal nurturing and the size of the hippocampus in the healthy children,” she says.

Although 95 percent of the parents whose nurturing skills were evaluated during the earlier study were biological mothers, the researchers say that the effects of nurturing on the brain are likely to be the same for any primary caregiver — whether they are fathers, grandparents or adoptive parents.

The fact that the researchers found a larger hippocampus in the healthy children who were nurtured is striking, Luby says, because the hippocampus is such an important brain structure.

When the body faces stresses, the brain activates the autonomic nervous system, an involuntary system of nerves that controls the release of stress hormones. Those hormones help us cope with stress by increasing the heart rate and helping the body adapt. The hippocampus is the main brain structure involved in that response. It’s also key in learning and memory, and larger volumes would suggest a link to improved performance in school, among other things.

Past animal studies have indicated that a nurturing mother can influence brain development, and many studies in human children have identified improvements in school performance and healthier development in children raised in a nurturing environment. But until now, there has not been solid evidence linking a nurturing parent to changes in brain anatomy in children.

“Studies in rats have shown that maternal nurturance, specifically in the form of licking, produces changes in genes that then produce changes in receptors that increase the size of the hippocampus,” Luby says. “That phenomenon has been replicated in primates, but it hasn’t really been clear whether the same thing happens in humans. Our study suggests a clear link between nurturing and the size of the hippocampus.”

She says educators who work with families who have young children may improve school performance and child development by not only teaching parents to work on particular tasks with their children but by showing parents how to work with their children.

“Parents should be taught how to nurture and support their children,” Luby says. “Those are very important elements in healthy development.”

(Image: The hippocampus (highlighted in fuchsia) is a key brain structure important to learning, memory and stress response. New research shows that children who were nurtured by their mothers early in life have a larger hippocampus than children who were not nurtured as much. Credit: Washington University Medical School from press release)

(Source: news.wustl.edu)