The Daily Dose: Effects of police violence in America shown to affect unborn babies, study

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The World Health Organization’s annual World Malaria Report is out and it contains some very good news. For the first time since 2015, the numbers of malaria cases has fallen year-on-year by 3 million. As per Nature, “This drop can be attributed in large part to fewer cases in southeast Asia (see ‘Malaria in southeast Asia’). The WHO found that, in the past decade, the most marked decline has been in six countries across the Mekong River basin — Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.”

Excessive and sometimes deadly police is a major problem in the United States (and around the world). A recent study shares some truly sobering findings. The effects of police violence extends well beyond the initial victims. According to STAT news, “Research published Wednesday in Science Advances finds that black mothers who were exposed to police shootings of unarmed black Americans during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to infants who were born prematurely or with low birth weight. Living within 1 kilometer of such incidents tended to have a greater effect on these indicators of infant health. The effect was also more pronounced among infants born to mothers who had previously had children without exposure to such events.”

It is believed that human cardiovascular systems evolved differently than other primates. For example, chimpanzees and gorillas’ systems were adapted to short bursts of activity like climbing trees. Humans on the other hand had cardiovascular systems made for endurance activities. The question for reseaerchers was whether hearts reflected those differences. A new paper suggests that it does. The researchers “compared left ventricular (LV) structure and function across semiwild sanctuary chimpanzees, gorillas, and a sample of humans exposed to markedly different physical activity patterns.” They discovered that human hearts had evolved for endurance activities.

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has sent back the first set of findings it observed while whipping past the sun. Its many discoveries included, “spotted strange spikes in the wind, where particles speed up and flip the direction of the wind’s magnetic field. The spacecraft also observed the wind rotating around the Sun faster than expected — suggesting that scientists’ understanding of how stars’ rotation slows down as they age could be wrong.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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