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The Grandson's Inheritance: Grandpa's Walker

Researchers find a link between hip fractures in grandfathers and reduced bone size in their grandsons. Plus, see what happens when pop culture and academics collide ...

Does your grandpa have a bum hip? That's bad news for you, sonny boy. A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism discovered a link between hip fractures in grandfathers and reduced bone size in their grandsons.

"This is the first time this risk factor for low bone mass has been demonstrated across two generations," research team leader Mattias Lorentzon said.

The study examined about 3,700 grandparents and their grandsons, finding that 270 grandsons had reduced bone density in their skeleton — and all of these also had a grandparent with a broken hip. Further research showed that men with a male relative who had suffered a fracture had 5 percent less bone density and bones smaller by as much as 4 percent.

Lorentzon, associate professor at the University of Gothenburg, added: "This is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis."

The lesson is clear: Tell grandpa to go have himself another beer.

When Pop Culture and Academics Collide
Federica Giardini's essay "What's Love Got to Do With It?" in the February issue of the European Journal of Women's Studies begins: "From our present vantage point, Tina Turner's question, although complaining, has a reassuring tone. She protests against a 'he' and his quite classical behavior: cold, selfish, etc., but in fact in these very last years the question opens a range of matters that turn the very meaning of the word [love] upside-down."

In the next issue: The feminine superego at work in Cher's 1987 smash hit "If I Could Turn Back Time."

Be Honest: Half These Words Are Made Up
"The Jouissance of the Flâneur: Rewriting Baudelaire and Modernity," by York University's Richard Pope, appeared in the February issue of the journal Space and Culture.

And Finally, the Last Word
"These results could provide new insights in the understanding of evolutionary shifts between generalized to specialized pollination strategies in flowering plants," says the University of Naples' Giovanni Scopece, who helped study how 31 different orchid species used deception and trickery to lure insect pollinators. Or to put it in plain English, Scopece concludes: "Sexy orchids do it better."

The Cocktail Napkin appears at the back page of each issue of Miller-McCune magazine, highlighting current research that merits a raised eyebrow or a painful grin.