Educate your immune system – NYT

IN the last half-century, the prevalence of autoimmune disease — disorders in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the body — has increased sharply in the developed world. An estimated one in 13 Americans has one of these often debilitating, generally lifelong conditions. Many, like Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, are linked with specific gene variants of the immune system, suggesting a strong geneti
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Do you own your microbes?

In the 1990s, scientist Ivan Casas traveled to the Peruvian Andes in search of human microbes. Casas was head of research for a Swedish probiotics company called BioGaia. He believed that mammals, including people, passed beneficial microbes to their young via breast milk. But he’d been unable to isolate one species he thought should be there (Lactobacillus reuteri) in breast milk from women in the US or urban areas
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Should You Bring Your Unborn Baby to Work?

Last year, asmy wife and I prepared for the arrival of our second child, I began to worry. My wife is a mid-level manager at an advertising agency with offices around the world. She heads a team, and she’s ferociously dedicated to her work—which translated, late in her pregnancy, to a couple of 80-hour weeks and chronic sleep deprivation. When she came home from work at 2 a.m. for the second time in as many weeks, I
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On NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin

On NPR’s “Tell Me More” with host Michel Martin. The co-guest was Mauricio Lim Miller, founder of the Family Independence Initiative, a very interesting nonprofit that’s driven by some very interesting ideas about what drives the cycle of poverty (hint: dependence and loss of — let’s just call it faith in one’s ability to get stuff done, or agency). I was there apropos of my
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What Happens When the Poor Receive a Stipend?

Growing up poor has long been associated with reduced educational attainment and lower lifetime earnings. Some evidence also suggests a higher risk of depression, substance abuse and other diseases in adulthood. Even for those who manage to overcome humble beginnings, early-life poverty may leave a lasting mark, accelerating aging and increasing the risk of degenerative disease in adulthood. Today, more than one in f
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