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April 15, 2022

Weekend reads: Are melatonin gummies safe for kids?

Daily Briefing

    The missing link in viral evolution, why everyone is so forgetful right now, and more.

    Vivian Le's reads

    The power of placebos. Although placebos do not contain any active medicinal ingredients, research shows that they can help patients see clinical improvement with certain conditions, including depression, pain, fatigue, allergies, and more. Writing in the Washington Post, Elissa Patterson and Hans Schroder, both psychologists, explain how placebos can activate existing systems of healing inside the mind and body, particularly by lowering stress, and why patients could benefit from an increased use of placebos in medicine.

    The missing link in viral evolution. Researchers have recently identified thousands of previously unknown RNA viruses through an analysis of genetic material in the ocean, according to a new study published in Science. Writing for The Conversation, Guillermo Huerta, Ahmed Zayed, James Wainaina, and Matthew Sullivan, all microbiology experts from The Ohio State University and part of the study team, explain how these findings help scientists better understand the evolutionary history of RNA viruses, as well as their potential impact on future research.

    Alyssa Nystrom’s reads

    Why parents may want to reconsider giving their children melatonin gummies. In recent years, it has become increasingly common for parents to give their children melatonin supplements as a sleep aid—but the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently announced plans to release a health advisory that says the supplements should not be taken by children without a physician's supervision. Writing for Kaiser Health News, Jenny Gold explains why some health experts have warned against melatonin supplements for chronic insomnia in children.

    Why everyone is so forgetful right now. According to memory experts, more people are experiencing "senior moments" of forgetfulness where they have difficulty recalling simple things that should come to them easily. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Bernstein explains what memory experts believe is driving the recent increase in temporary forgetfulness in so many people.

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