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January 20, 2023

Weekend reads: Unpacking the science behind fad 'detox' diets

Daily Briefing

    The best way to comfort someone when they're sad, honeybees are getting vaccines, and more.

    Lex Ashcroft's reads

    The best way to comfort someone when they're sad. When a friend, family member, partner, or co-worker is hurting emotionally, it's common to struggle to find the best way to make them feel better. While the research is limited, a growing number of studies suggest that one of the most powerful ways to comfort someone is to simply start a conversation. Writing for the New York Times, Melinda Moyer breaks down a research-based guide for supporting those you care about in times of need, with tips such as: validating emotions, helping to strategize, and using careful framing in discussions.

    Understanding AAVE: a dialect born from conflict and creativity. African American Vernacular English, or AAVE, is better known as "Ebonics" or Black English. AAVE, along with other languages such as Creole, are the result of contact linguistics, a type of communication that naturally develops when people who speak different languages converge. Writing for The Conversation, professor of English Walter Edwards explains the biggest misconceptions about AAVE, the effects the internet has had in its recognition and acceptance, and how educators can help break the stigma of using AAVE for both children and adults.

    Allie Rudin's reads

    Unpacking the science behind fad 'detox' diets. Thinking of starting off the new year with a diet as a fresh start after the holidays? Detox diets are often promoted as a way to "cleanse" the body of toxins and promise quick results like weight loss, which can be particularly appealing around this time of year. However, there is little evidence to support the use of these fad diets. Dietitian Taylor Grasso breaks down for The Conversation the claims of detox diets, as well as their potential harmful effects, and provides research-backed tips to safely boost your body's own detoxification system.

    Honeybees finally hop on the vaccine train. In an entomology first, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted conditional approval to a biotech company's vaccine meant for insects. This initial vaccine, developed by Dalan Animal Health, is aimed at protecting honeybees from a destructive bacterium called American foulbrood and is administered through sugar product fed to queen bees—allowing immunity to pass on to developing larvae. Writing for the New York Times, Remy Tumin explains what makes this vaccine such an important breakthrough for honey production and bee population conservation overall.

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