Longer live the Queen, or why women live longer than men.

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

This article explores why women live longer than men, and not just in humans in what appears to be a beyond-lifestyle trend in longevity.

Living longer is good, evolutionarily, longer living individuals have better repairing and maintaining mechanisms.

Evolution may also have played a role, as the better the female body, the more successful her attempts at reproduction.  In other words, women have less disposable bodies than men, whose mating success does not depend so much on longevity.

As for men, it was found that castration was an indicator for longevity, but I doubt that that would be standard therapeutic practice.

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Contraceptive pill, now in gel form

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

But not yet in the market.  Researchers recently reported that rubbing the contraceptive gel on a woman’s arms, shoulders, legs, or abdomen could prevent a woman from getting pregnant.

Similar in action to the contraceptive pill, the gel does not have common pill side effects and could be used while breastfeeding.

The contraceptive gel may soon add to the range of choices women have for contraception.

On another front, research is being done on human egg cells to see if novel contraceptives can be developed that will bat away pesky sperm cells from fertilizing it.  By looking at the human egg cell protein ZP3, found in the zona pellucida, which is

the egg’s strong outer coating… it helps to ensure that – in general – only sperm from the correct species can fertilise the egg.

Aside from the potential to becoming the newest target for contraception since birth control pills, ZP3 could also give insight as to how to help sperm from infertile men to break the egg cell barrier.

Fertility is in the Blood

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Blood type, that is.  Research of 560 women undergoing fertility treatment has found that women with blood type O have more follicle-stimulating hormone than women with blood types A or AB blood types.

Blood levels of follicle-stimulating hormone are used as an indicator of fertility. A woman with FSH blood levels higher than 10 units per litre is considered to have a diminished ovarian reserve – a low egg count.

I have blood type O and have four kids, so I was not convinced.  But then again, here’s another link so you can read more.

On another front, Princeton scientists have identified genes responsible for controlling reproductive life span in worms and found they may control genes regulating similar functions in humans. They are actually looking for ways by which women can preserve their eggs in good condition on the event that they want to delay having children.

The Biological Basis of Sex, among other things

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Gender materials are everywhere.  While surfing around for DNA models, I saw the Wellcome Trust site (foundation with the big bucks for biomedical research), and hey, they’ve got some resources on the X’s and Y’s of sex, as well as research based talk on gender.  Answers to questions like,

Is gender based on Nature or Nurture?

What does evolution say about homosexuality?

Is being in love a pathological condition?

Do we expect our partners to be loyal?

and my favorite:

Are men redundant?

So before I forget, here’s the link: Big Picture on Sex and Gender.

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The case for Same-Sex Marriage

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

US Senator Dianne Savino speaks on same-sex marriage in Albany, New York.

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Women in Science free book

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

A very recent publication from Science and L’Oreal, a well-known supporter of women in science, is the booklet Women in Science: Forging New Pathways in Biology. Here’s the blurb from the site:

Science and the L’Oréal Foundation have teamed up once again to bring you the latest Women in Science booklet focusing on 16 women in five different areas of biology research. The essays about these scientists give you an idea of the differences and similarities between their jobs as well as some insight into their personal triumphs and struggles as they have built successful and meaningful careers. The interviews span the career spectrum from new scientists to more established researchers who have experienced the many ups and downs of a life in biology research.

Download or read online, the link is available at this site.

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Research refutes Eager Male-Choosy Female evolutionary logic

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

New data is undermining the evidence that has long been proposed to support the eager males—choosy females paradigm.

For more than three decades evolutionary psychologists have advanced a simple theory of human sexuality: because men invest less reproductive effort in sperm than women do in eggs, men’s and women’s brains have been shaped differently by evolution. As a result, men are eager for sex whereas women are relatively choosy. But a steady stream of recent evidence suggests this paradigm could be in need of a makeover.

Find more information here.

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