FOR THE past twenty years or so, social scientists have affirmed what parents think when they are at their most exasperated and dyspeptic: children make you miserable. In 2004 Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University and others discovered that parents thought that looking after their children was about as enjoyable as doing the housework. Two meta-studies (studies of studies) in 2012 found that, in most of the research, self-reported “life satisfaction” (a measure of happiness) was a bit lower when there was a child in the house.

The effect was not large. But there is something odd about these findings. In rich countries at least, people decide to have children. A few children are doubtless unplanned but only a few. If children make parents unhappy, why do they keep having them? The puzzle, says Letizia Mencarini of Bocconi University, is why isn’t fertility even lower in countries where people have a choice? Parents far outnumber the childless at every stage of adulthood. A new generation of research helps answer that question, and suggests that children are more likely to make parents happy than was once thought.

Studies have linked PFAS to adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, decreased fertility in women, liver damage, cancer, low birthweight and an increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease. The use of some of the more common PFAS was gradually phased out in the United States between 2000 and 2015. However, other variations of the chemicals have taken their place. The newer PFAS tend to have shorter chains of the carbon-fluorine bond, and are thus more rapidly eliminated from the body. But the FDA says they continue to present a concern for human health.

Research suggests that people who regularly consume microwave popcorn have markedly higher levels of PFAS in their bodies. A study published in 2019 analyzed a decade of data about the eating habits of 10,000 people, which was collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2003 and 2014. Blood samples from the study participants were also collected. The researchers found that people who ate microwave popcorn every day over the course of a year had levels of PFAS that were up to 63% higher than average.

Sydney residents are resorting to increasingly sophisticated measures to prevent sulphur-crested cockatoos from opening and raiding household wheelie bins, detailed in new research published in the journal Current Biology.

Ukrainians have reminded us what freedom means -- a word that for many in rich democracies had long ago curdled into platitudes. The resilience of the population has impressed the West and surprised the Kremlin. It shouldn't have. For the past few years I've been trying to unlock the secret of Ukrainian identity by talking to Ukrainians. Through my research project, Arena, based originally at the LSE and now at Johns Hopkins University, I've worked with Ukrainian journalists and sociologists to find ways of strengthening democracy. My team has interviewed thousands of adults across the country. Our fieldwork shows that the response to Russia's invasion has deep roots in Ukrainian history.

You might have heard that although salt is very common, growing crystals with it is hard.

Yes, and no. Growing big, transparent salt crystals is indeed very difficult, but anyone can easily grow a beautiful cluster at home.

But despite the nuts' value -- or perhaps because of it -- parrots are also willing to share their treats and the tokens to buy them with other birds. Given the option, the birds will transfer the precious metal rings to a friend in a neighboring cage so they, too, can enjoy some nutty nosh -- even without the promise of reciprocation, Brucks' latest research shows.

Some scientists fear we are nearing a point of no return in the Amazon rainforest, which exerts power over the carbon cycle like no other terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. Evidence is mounting that in certain areas, localized iterations of irreversible damage may already be happening.

In this post, I'll try to explain how simple rules for electric and magnetic fields demonstrate that all velocities must be less than the speed of light. It can be done by imagining the consequences of a simple experiment, where a charged particle is watched by two different observers.

"There are some tragic cases of children whose brains failed to develop because of their parents being ill-informed vegans," says David Benton, who studies the link between our diets and brain chemistry at Swansea University. In one example, the child was unable to sit or smile. In another, they slipped into a coma.

Later in life, the amount of B12 in a person's blood has been directly correlated with their IQ. In the elderly, one study found that the brains of those with lower B12 were six times more likely to be shrinking.

Even so, low B12 is widespread in vegans. One British study found that half of the vegans in their sample were deficient. In some parts of India, the problem is endemic — possibly as a consequence of the popularity of meat-free diets.

One conspiracy site even claimed vaccinated people were dying at higher rates than those who had not received the jab, which is untrue.

This site and others use real figures in a misleading way, to arrive at a completely false conclusion - that the vaccine may not be working or even doing more harm than good.

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