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anthropology In The News

Aug 8, 2017

You wake up with a jolt and take a look outside. The moon is still out, the sun isn’t quite up, and you still have a few hours to go before starting your day. In an ideal world, you would have slept cleanly through the night. (By the way, you can make these eight little changes to sleep better in just one day.)

Jul 31, 2017

In a 2016 interview with CNN, Anthony Scaramucci — President Donald Trump's new White House communications director — said that Earth, as well as human history, is just 5,500 years old. But ample evidence exists to prove that the world has been around for much, much longer.

Jul 17, 2017

It is known that once they reach a certain age, elders are sleeping fewer and fewer hours at night. While most of them complain of the side effects of their sleeping issues, this topic might pertain to the heritage humans receive from prehistoric times. Thousands of years ago, the oldest members of a group might have been in charge of watching over the cave at night.

Jul 14, 2017

Trouble sleeping is a common complaint among older folks, but what if their insomnia traces back to prehistoric times when Grandma and Grandpa were in charge of keeping the cave safe at night?

Jul 14, 2017

If your sleep is getting worse with age, evolution might be to blame. A study recently published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that humans' age-specific sleep patterns may have evolved to protect mixed-age groups from potential danger in the night. And in this scenario, the elderly members of these groups may have drawn the short straw—their restless sleep made them perfect for the night watch.

Jul 14, 2017

You may not look forward to sleeping less as you get older. But maybe it wouldn’t seem as bad if you knew it once played an important role in human survival.

Jul 12, 2017

Poor sleep is often regarded as a modern affliction linked to our sedentary lifestyles, electric lighting and smartphones on the bedside table.

Jul 7, 2017

Some women, after giving birth, choose to preserve their child’s placenta—the organ that connects a fetus to the wall of the uterus—and eat it. They eat this placenta raw in smoothies, or cooked in lasagna, or freeze-dried and placed in ingestible capsules.

Jul 3, 2017

The growing phenomenon of mothers eating their own placentas seems to have caused a baby to be infected with group B streptococcus, according to a new report detailing the case that was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Apr 25, 2017

As someone who's been at this parenting gig a while, and has subjected myself (and my kids) to quite a few parenting trends over the years, I tend to view most parenting choices, as "you do you and I'll do me." However, I draw the line at choices that might put someone or their kids in harms' way. I don't want people to get hurt just because something seemed like a good idea and everyone else was doing it. That's one of the many reasons why I refused to eat my placenta and, honestly, why I think you shouldn't either.

Mar 16, 2017

Findings from the first comprehensive study on the oral health of a population in transition from a foraging, wild-food diet to an agriculture-based diet indicate that oral health is affected not just by diet, but also by gender and behavior differences between men and women.

Jan 17, 2017

I stared at the crimson-colored organ sealed in industrial-strength Tupperware and labeled with the international symbol for biohazard.

Nov 28, 2016

Roast it, fry it, steam it, drink it, pill-pop it — each of these is one of the various methods a small minority of women may choose if she has decided to consume her placenta after birth. While some women opt for placenta lasagna, placenta chili or placenta-topped pizza, most go with encapsulation, in which the placenta is dehydrated, pulverized and then consumed in pill capsules. The process typically costs around $200 to $350.

Nov 16, 2016

Hey new moms, don't put down that can of spinach just yet. A research team led by UNLV medical anthropologists found that eating encapsulated human placenta, a practice known as placentophagy, may not be as good a source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers as proponents suggest.

Nov 16, 2016

I know what you're thinking; if it's good enough for Kim Kardashian-West it's good enough for me, right? After Kardashian-West gave birth to son Saint in 2015, she reportedly had her placenta freeze-dried into pill form to combat possible iron deficiency. Well, a new study has found that eating placenta has no iron benefit.

Nov 16, 2016

For years now, there has been a trend of women eating their placentas after giving birth. Fans of the practice (known as placentophagia because “phagia” is the sound you make when you vomit) claim that it can prevent post-partum depression, increase milk production, and provide a source of nutrition for new mothers. A new study from UNLV, however, claims that when it comes to iron, women receive no benefit from eating their placentas.

Nov 16, 2016

Hey new moms, don't put down that can of spinach just yet. A research team led by UNLV medical anthropologists found that eating encapsulated human placenta, a practice known as placentophagy, may not be as good a source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers as proponents suggest.

Nov 16, 2016

Eating placenta isn’t common among women who have just given birth, but the practice is growing. Advocates say it reduces pain, increases energy levels and milk production, and generally eases recovery.