Sex in the News: April 8-17


The last week (or so) in sexy news:

  • A custom-made scaffold that will be used to build a vagina. Image from Wake Forest Institute.

    A custom-made scaffold that will be used to build a vagina. Image from Wake Forest Institute.

    The world learned that lab-grown vaginas are a thing, and that they have been successfully transplanted into women born with a rare birth defect. Girls born with what’s snappily called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome have either an underdeveloped or completely missing vagina. The transplant surgery has helped 4 women so far experience a more normal life, including the ability to have sex and experience orgasm.

  • The Huffington Post reported the results of a California survey that found that just talking to a gay person about marriage equality was enough to lead to lasting changes in voters’ views of this issue (shifting in favor of marriage equality). In other news, a lawyer who had previously argued in favor of California’s “Prop. 8″ ban on gay marriage learned his daughter was gay, and said his views on the issue were “evolving”. He is currently helping his daughter plan her wedding to another woman.
  • Katrina Karkazis and Rebecca Jordan-Young for the New York Times Opinion pages wrote about “The Trouble with too much T.” They argue against the rules enforced by sports governing bodies requiring women athletes with testosterone levels outside the “normal” range to undergo potentially harmful treatments, including surgery.
  • Walt Bogdanich, also writing for The New York Times, covered the story of the extremely flawed investigation of a Florida State football player, Jameis Winston, accused of rape.
  • In more sciency sex news, Nature News reported on a study showing that stress and trauma affected mouse sperm, causing an increase in certain small RNAs, that were associated with depressive behaviors in their children and grandchildren.

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  • Research from Stanford University finds that increasing the genetic diversity of tigers may be the best way to save them. Only about 3000 tigers remain in the wild. Conservation efforts have so far focused on increasing numbers, but without increasing genetic diversity, the species may be doomed.
  • Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute discovered a protein on eggs that interacts with a sperm protein to allow fertilization to occur. The sperm protein, called Izumo, had been previously identified. The egg protein discovered by the Wellcome Trust researchers was named Juno, after the Roman goddess of fertility and marriage.

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  • Christina Szalinski at the ASCB Post wrote about a study that identified tiny bubbles released by hermaphroditic microscopic worms (C. elegans) that turned out to be “love notes”.  Males encountering these bubbles get excited and start to display mating behaviors.

3 thoughts on “Sex in the News: April 8-17

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