Today’s Headlines: Brain Aging, Three-Parent Babies, No More Food Additives at Popular Chain

Learning a second language may help slow brain aging: University of Edinburgh study of 262 individuals showed that learning a second language may help cognitive ability in the brain. Subjects were tested age 11 and then again in their seventies. “The findings indicate that those who spoke two or more languages had significantly better cognitive abilities compared to what would have been expected from their baseline test.” (BBC)

‘Three parent’ babies may not be far away: A UK scientific panel is backing research that would allow a genetically modified embryo to be implanted into females. The “three parent” technique of this IVF treatment uses two eggs and one sperm in order to prevent mitochondrial diseases from being passed down from parents to children. “Known as mitochondrial replacement or transfer, the methods are at the research stage in laboratories in Britain and the United States and have never yet been carried out in people anywhere in the world. They are illegal in Britain for now, but the government said last year it was drawing up draft legislation which if passed into law would allow the treatments to go ahead if they proved safe and effective in clinical trials.” (Reuters)

Restaurant chain to ditch artificial foods: Panera has announced it will remove all artificial food additives or sweeteners in their food by the end of 2016. “The 1,800-store chain was among the first 10 years ago to restrict its chicken to those raised without antibiotics, and among the first to voluntarily post calorie counts on its menu board.” (USA Today)