Noted geneticist Snoop Dogg once said--and I'm paraphrasing here--that no matter where one goes in life, one's surroundings during one's formative years stay with one for life. No matter where you go, you can't change where you're from (I think Prof. Dogg was actually calling back to an old Comrads lyric from the song Homeboyz--I'm sure you all will correct me in the comments). Findings published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggest that he may have been correct--socio-economic status and living standards early in life may actually cause changes to your DNA that you carry with you for life, regardless of how your living conditions change along the way.
Step up to the plate, nature-versus-nurture combatants. New research suggests that male homosexuality is determined in the womb—and that fraternal birth order may be the key. A study done by Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario shows that men with multiple biological elder brothers were more likely to be homosexual (about a 30 percent higher chance per brother) than those who merely grew up around a lot of older nonbiological male siblings. In fact, only the number of biological older brothers predicted homosexuality in men, regardless of their upbringing, which suggests that the triggering factor is prenatal. Just one more thing to fight about at the family Fourth of July picnic. —Martha Harbison