10 Interesting Facts About Breasts
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Nicholas Day of Slate writes that formula certainly isn’t the worst thing in the world, but breast milk is more complicated than we once thought. It is a medication in that some of the simple sugar carbohydrates- - oligosaccharides -- are nourishment for an infant’s gut bacteria. Day quotes Katie Hinde, assistant professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard and UC-Davis chemist Bruce German as having written that “mothers are not just eating for two, they are actually eating for 2 × 1011 (their own intestinal microbiome as well as their infant’s)!”
Milk is a tough thing to study because it’s so changeable, varying from mother to mother and from moment to moment, sometimes being affected by signals from the infant. Day quotes Hinde: “If the infant is showing signs of infection, somehow that’s being signaled back to the mother and she up-regulates the immune factors that are in her milk. Now, is that her body’s responding to a need of the baby? Maybe. Is it that she also has a low-grade infection that she’s just not symptomatic for and so her body’s doing that? Maybe. Is it partially both? Maybe. We don’t know. It’s brand-new stuff.”
Who’d have ever thought milk could suddenly pose so much excitement and intrigue without chocolate syrup in it?
10. The Scar Project. “Breast cancer is not a pink ribbon,” is the tagline of The Scar Project, a reminder that we see the symbol of breast cancer awareness everywhere, but seldom see the effects of breast cancer in the flesh.
Photographer David Jay changed that dramatically by showing both the reality of breast cancer and the courage and grace of the women who survive it. His nude and semi-nude photographs show both the scary reality and the inspiring resilience of these survivors.
Jay, a fashion photographer, was inspired to begin taking these pictures when a close friend in Australia was diagnosed with breast cancer: she had a double mastectomy just two weeks after being diagnosed. Eventually the Scar Project would become an art exhibit, a book, a documentary and a blog. It’s a graphic reminder to pay attention to your own breast health, and also a way to show survivors their own bravery and beauty. As Jay said to me in an interview for SeXis magazine, “It doesn’t have to be scary. There are so many ways to live courageously, beautifully and without fear."
As Neely O'Hara said, some people do great without ‘em.