For most of us, procuring a gallon of milk requires only a quick trip to the corner store. Breastfeeding mothers, on the other hand, need an estimated 30 percent more energy to keep a newborn nipper happy with fresh mama juice. Eating like a horse and lazing about are two ways to offset this extra energy demand, but another factor may contribute as well. According to a new study, support from family may play a key role in helping mothers conserve energy and therefore allow their bodies to prepare more quickly for another pregnancy.
What to get Grandma for her birthday? Well, you might want to dig around in some piles of discarded electronics. Researchers at St. Louis University are studying whether the Sony Aibo can make nursing home residents feel less lonely. Yikes. If the Aibo—the recently discontinued, much-mocked plastic pooch—turns out to help, it may say less about robot dogs than it does about the quality of nursing homes and the deteroriation of our social fabric. Anyway, the same researchers recently got attention for a valuable study that showed that seniors get a boost from flesh-and-blood pups. Weirdly, however, that study also showed that the seniors actually preferred a visit from a dog alone, instead of with human companions. I guess if personality doesn't count, maybe the Aibo could work after all. —Lauren Aaronson