Condom alert: Researchers in Chicago have discovered that a dusting powder used in the packaging of condoms can cause allergic reactions in condom factory workers.

Plate alert: A researcher in Missouri has found that dining off antique porcelain plates may damage your health. Half the antique plates tested contained levels of lead that would be illegal today.

Monkey business: Psychologists in Wisconsin claim to have found evidence that first-born children may have a more stressful life than their younger siblings. Their conclusion is based on research with rhesus monkeys which showed that when frightened, first-born infants produced up to twice as much of the stress hormone cortisol as their younger siblings.

Risible rodents: Scientists in Ohio claim that rats giggle when they are tickled. According to a report in New Scientist, this is the strongest sign yet that animals other than primates laugh. It is not known whether they would laugh at the sight of a scientist trying to frighten a baby monkey.