Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jena Pincott's "Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?"

Jena Pincott writes about the quirky, hidden side of science — the shocking, subconscious, under-the-radar stuff. Her book Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?, on the science of love and attraction, is being translated in 17 languages.

She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy, and reported the following:
Page 99 of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? is about conflict:
I confess the only part about parenthood I’m not looking forward to is conflict. The squabbles and skirmishes. The tensions between mother and father, parents and children, grandparents and parents, not to mention sibling rivalry if we have more than one child.
Turning the page, the reader realizes that this passage isn’t about the usual family feud. It’s about genes. In particular, it’s about imprinted genes. Imprinted genes have a tag that says whether they come from Mom or from Dad, and the tag silences the gene. This means that sometimes Mom’s genes have the upper hand and sometimes Dad’s genes do. When the father’s genes have the upper hand in pregnancy, as they often do, the result can be a greedy fetus and an overeating mother. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s in the father’s best interest for the fetus that is carrying his genes to survive and pilfer the most resources from the mother. Women who overeat in pregnancy may place at least some of the blame on their partners.

This is just one example of the sort of strange, surprising, under-the-radar stuff that happens in pregnancy. There’s a lot more, from chemosignals in pregnant women's sweat to prenatal flavor-learning, fetus-friendly semen and gender-biased bodies; labor-expediting dreams, mood milk, and a lot of brainwashing and brain-boosting.
Learn more about the book and author at Jena Pincott's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Jena Pincott's Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?.

--Marshal Zeringue