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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
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Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
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ScienceShot: Do Youngest Children 'Shrink' When Born?
16 December 2013 12:15 pm
The adage that says mothers tend to baby their youngest children isn’t all fiction. A new study finds that while moms accurately estimate the height of their elder children, they consistently underestimate the height of their youngest. Seventy percent of mothers, researchers found, recall a sudden shift in the size of their youngest child after a new baby was born; the no-longer-youngest child suddenly seemed much bigger. To test whether that was because older children were perceived as larger than reality or younger children were perceived as smaller, and to put numbers to this phenomenon, the scientists asked 77 mothers to mark the estimated height of their 2- to 6-year-old children on a blank wall. While the height estimates of their older children were accurate, mothers guessed that their youngest children were, on average, 7.5 centimeters shorter than their actual height. When a new baby is born, that height guess for the first child jumps and is suddenly more accurate—the “baby illusion” no longer distorts the mother’s estimate. The findings, published online today in Current Biology, could help researchers understand the subconscious factors that influence how parents view their children’s maturity levels or needs.