Thank You, Grandma, for Human Nature

By Alison Gopnik Why do I exist? This isn’t a philosophical cri de coeur; it’s an evolutionary riddle. At 58 I’m well past menopause, yet I’ll soldier, on, with luck, for many years more. The riddle grows more vivid when you realize that human beings (and killer whales) are the only species where females outlive their fertility. Our closest primate relatives – chimpanzees, for example – usually die before their 50s, when they are still fertile. This isn’t just a …

A Baby at 62! Why Are Scientists So Surprised?

She is 62, and the smarty-pants scientists were sure her fertile days were long over. But then she (literally) gave them the bird by hatching a new little albatross chick. Her name is Wisdom, and she’s a beautiful charcoal-gray and snowy-white Laysan albatross (see a typical one, pictured at left) who lives at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge near the Hawaiian Islands. Although the average Laysan albatross dies at less than half her age, Wisdom is proof you should …

The Takeaway: Would-Be Grandparents Put Their Money Where Their Hearts Are

I have to admit, this story smacks a little bit of media-manufactured-trend piece, but the New York Times is reporting that an increasing number of would-be grandparents are helping pay for their daughters to freeze their eggs. One doctor says three-quarters of his egg-freezing patients have parents who paid part or all of the bill.