Tagged with Female fertility

Menstrual music

Menstrual music

Ladies, which musical composer would you like to sleep with? Well, according to some science that just happened, your preference might be influenced by where you are in your monthly cycle. Benjamin Charlton at the University of Sussex wanted to know if Darwin was right, that music, having no survival benefit, was a target of … Continue reading

Mouse eggs are busy Survivin

Mouse eggs are busy Survivin

The process of getting eggs ready for fertilization in mammals is extremely complicated. With so many moving parts, it’s amazing that it actually goes right so much of the time. But as biologists, we are of course more interested in when things go wrong. Researchers studying reproduction at the Chinese Academy of Sciences had an inkling … Continue reading

Sex in (floral) advertising

Sex in (floral) advertising

Having a wingman can be helpful, but for many plants it’s absolutely crucial. Flowering plants don’t have smoky bars, speed dating or eHarmony. They have to rely entirely on their tiny wing—well, I guess “men” isn’t really appropriate. But unlike your witty friend who backs you up in the bar, pollinators don’t help plants with their … Continue reading

More stuff for pregnant women to freak out about

More stuff for pregnant women to freak out about

A quick look at the press releases on Eurekalert for this week yielded: Eating junk food while pregnant may make your child a junk food addict (FASEB journal) Progesterone may be why pregnant women are more vulnerable to certain infections (Journal of Leukocyte Biology) When morning sickness lasts all day (TMI: Åse Vikanes’s doctoral thesis all about … Continue reading

The discriminating vagina

The discriminating vagina

All kinds of things go into a woman’s vagina. Some are friendly (like sperm and vaginal microbes), and some are very bad (STDs). The immune system in the vagina has to be able to tell the difference and react appropriately. As you can imagine, the system isn’t perfect and sometimes things go terribly wrong. An … Continue reading

Giving STDs to goats. For science!

Giving STDs to goats. For science!

Goats could potentially transmit a dangerous parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, in their semen, according to research by Flaviana Wanderley and colleagues in Brazil. Well…who cares? Why should scientists devote research dollars and time to purposely giving goats STDs, just to see if they can? Like with so many other apparently bizarre research projects, the answer is: … Continue reading

Fertile eggs created from stem cells

Fertile eggs created from stem cells

You may read about this paper already, about scientists turning stem cells into fertile eggs (for example, this article at NPR). And of course, it deserves the hype. This is certainly a big breakthrough in stem cell research–especially induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research. iPS cells are similar to embryonic stem cells, except that they … Continue reading

The pill: Not just about contraception

The pill: Not just about contraception

There’s a lot of noise going on right now about contraception. Obama wants to increase access to it by making contraceptives covered by insurance. Representatives of religious organizations believe that by paying for said insurance they are “condoning” contraceptive use, which is contrary to their beliefs. I won’t try to sound objective: I think it’s … Continue reading

Double vaginas, double the trouble?

Double vaginas, double the trouble?

I just read this article on the Huffington Post website about a woman with two vaginas and two uteruses, an extremely rare condition known as uterus didelphys. The condition usually isn’t discovered until puberty, when the girl starts having what I can only imagine are the worst periods of all time. However, there have been … Continue reading

Get in my spermathecae!

Get in my spermathecae!

You may notice that this paper has been out for a while already, even though I really should have been excited to blog about it right away, given its importance for my field of study. But, lately, research has kept me too busy to actually sit down and write a decent post about it. So, … Continue reading

Wolbachia gives eggs a boost

Wolbachia gives eggs a boost

Wolbachia are a type of bacteria that live inside the cells of many animals, but mostly insects. They are passed on from mother to child through the mother’s eggs. They can often be bad for the insect host: they might kill all male offspring, destroy the host’s gonads, or make it harder for the host … Continue reading

Is good cholesterol good for fertility?

Is good cholesterol good for fertility?

Mice that are missing a protein required for taking up ‘good’ cholesterol from the blood have an increased risk for heart disease, which is what you might expect. But you might not expect these female mice to be sterile. Research done in 1999 found that female mice missing the receptor for good cholesterol, SR-BI, were … Continue reading