Welcome to Fitmodo, your regular weekly round up of the news you need to know to keep your earthly form in top shape -- from fitness advice to breakthroughs in medical research.
For years, scientists have known that growing up on a farm protects children from asthma, but the reasons for this weren’t entirely clear. A fascinating comparative analysis of Amish and Hutterite farming communities has finally uncovered the specific aspects of farm life that are responsible for this built-in immune protection.
In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Arizona have shown that substances found in house dust in Amish homes have a profound impact on the development of the body’s innate immune system in ways that protect children from asthma. Revealingly, the same could not be said for Hutterites, who share similar ancestry, lifestyles and cultural values. But it’s the differences between these two farming communities that shed light on the reasons why.
As a result of the federal government’s ‘No Jab No Pay’ legislation, almost 6000 children — whose parents were previously vaccination objectors — have been vaccinated. As a result, vaccination rates in Australia are at an all-time high, with one and five-year-old vaccination rates at 93%.
Starting from January 2016, parent who didn’t have their children’s vaccinations up-to-date were being denied the Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Rebate and the Family Tax Benefit. As a result of the change, precisely 5,738 objectors have vaccinated their children.
Archaeologists have discovered a treasure trove of ancient stone tools at a dig near Azraq, Jordan, some of which still contain traces of animal residue. A number of food items on this bona fide paleolithic menu will be familiar to the modern eater, while others, well, not so much.
A new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science shows that humans who lived during the Middle Pleistocene (781,000 to 126,000 years ago) were highly adaptable and capable of exploiting a wide range of prey, including wild cattle, horses, duck and even rhinoceros.
Also catching our eye:
- Mark Serells passionate about porridge. He eats it every day. Here he is sharing his "cooking porridge if you only have a microwave" techniques on Lifehacker Australia.
- Think you're into a niche sport? Business Insider Australia have some Olympics throwbacks that are so odd they no longer exist.
- Take your life cues from Instagram's most influential? Then you'll want to make sure you're following Australia's fittest faces, courtesy of Popsugar Australia.