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June 8, 2018

Weekend reads: He survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Then he got crushed by a flying rock.

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Feeding an infant formula may be linked to overweight. Feeding formula to an infant may alter stomach bacteria that affect how the child burns and stores fat, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Researchers examined from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study that focused on the first year of life for more than 1,000 infants. The researchers found that weight differences began to manifest early: At three months of age, 33% of the formula-fed babies were overweight or at risk of being overweight, while 19% of the exclusively breastfed babies were overweight or at risk of being overweight.

    Nerds are more likely to wear glasses, research suggests. The more years a person spends in school, the higher the risk of developing nearsightedness, according to a study published in the journal BMJ. For the study, researchers looked at publicly available data on nearly 68,000 men and women in England, Scotland, and Wales. They found that, while much nearsightedness is genetic, years of education were also strongly linked to the condition. Denize Atan, lead author on the study and a consultant senior lecturer of ophthalmology at the University of Bristol, said that these results could be explained by reduced exposure to natural daylight among highly educated individuals.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    A blast from the past. Archaeologists working in Pompeii have uncovered the remains of a man who they think survived Mount Vesuvius' first deadly eruption but was later crushed by a flying stone. (Archeologists think it's also possible that the man might have died from the last of hot ash lava and gas from Vesuvius before the rock struck him, according to LiveScience.) The researchers discovered the remains as part of a new set of excavations that started in March to "contribute toward an increasingly accurate picture of the history and civilization of the age," according to Massimo Osanna, the general director of the archaeological site. The remains show signs of a bone infection in one leg, officials said, which could have compromised the man's ability to flee.

    Have a great summer (and this lock of hair). Schools are letting out for summer, and students are sending each other off by signing each other's yearbooks—a practice that's been traced back to the late 1600s. In the United States, the tradition started at schools on the East Coast in the late 17th Century. People would mark their signature in scrapbook-like pages that held artifacts from the school year, such as newspaper articles, dried flowers, and even hair clippings. The Yale class of 1806 made the first official bound book with memories from the year, and the tradition has evolved ever since.

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