Caster Semenya and the Twisted Politics of Testosterone

Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya received bad news about her racing career last week, news that centered on the particulars of her body. Those probing, intimate details shaped a controversial rule of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of the running world. And they are now determining the fate of other athletes. The Court of Arbitration for Sport decided last week to uphold an IAAF rule that would require Semenya to take testosterone suppressants to compete in the women’s division in her best events, the 800-meter and 1,500-meter races. Almost immediately the decision rippled out to other runners. Athletics Kenya announced on Friday that it had dropped two female sprinters from its team for the IAAF World …

Scientists Save a Sick Teen, Hackers Steal $40 Million, and More News

Viruses from a freezer saved a dying teen, hackers stole millions, and Adam Savage has some organization tips for you. Here's what you should know, in two minutes or less. Today's Headlines Genetically tweaked viruses just saved a sick teen A teenage girl in London found herself in life-threatening peril from cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition where the lungs can’t clear mucus or disease-causing bacteria. She had already had double lung transplants and was running out of options. So her doctors turned to scientists at the University of Pittsburgh, where the world's largest collection of bacteriophages—viruses that prey solely on bacteria—was stored in freezers. Scientists identified phages that could attack the bacteria assaulting the patient, and now she is slowly …

Sunscreen in Your Bloodstream, Googles Conference, and More News

Sunscreen chemicals are slipping through your pores, Google has big conference coming, and Game of Thrones made an "oopsie." Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. PSA: Sunscreen chemicals can seep into your bloodstream A new clinical trial from the FDA suggests that, contrary to what sunscreen manufacturers have been saying, the UV blocking chemicals in sunscreen do, in fact, seep into your bloodstream. Don't toss those tubes just yet though; thus far there isn't any evidence that anything harmful is happening because of it. What to expect from Google's big conference tomorrow Google's I/O conference is tomorrow. You can watch it on wired.com, but before you do, read our rundown of what we expect …

Spend Part of the $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan on Robots

This week, the Democrats and President Trump are talking about a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, a number in line with American Society of Civil Engineers' estimates for infrastructure needs, but it isn't clear where the money will come from or if a bipartisan plan will actually move forward. The ASCE’s 2017 report card gave America’s infrastructure a D+ with scant progress these last 20 years. "America's infrastructure is like a third-world country," said Ray LaHood, transportation secretary under President Obama. If we don't make a major infrastructure investment, our enormous infrastructure needs will just keep growing. We need good new ideas to make the most of whatever money is approved by the federal government or local governments. New technologies are …

Women May Soon Start Using AI to Tell Good Eggs From Bad

Millennials are increasingly making time in their busy schedules to put their eggs on ice. More effective flash-freezing technologies, micro-optimized ad targeting, and a growing willingness among companies to follow Silicon Valley’s lead of including fertility treatments in benefit packages have made the practice more attractive to would-be parents. At last count, more than 65,000 so-called social egg freezers in the US are doing so each year, despite the costs, physical toll, and the uncertain odds. Egg freezing doesn’t guarantee a child-bearing future; recent data from one of Europe’s largest IVF clinics indicates that while most eggs survive the thawing process, only about a third of them result in successful pregnancies. To give patients a sense of what their chances …

Instagram’s Newest Star Is … a Tree?

In recent days an Instagram post about planting trees has been making its way, like the darkest of dark horses, up the list of most liked posts in the platform’s history. As of this writing, it’s tallied 14.3 million likes, more than Justin Bieber’s engagement photo with Hailey Baldwin, and more than any picture Kylie Jenner has ever posted of her daughter, other than her first photo. (Duh—look at that tiny well-manicured hand!) The Great Instagram Tree Post of 2019 currently sits in fifth place, just behind a picture Selena Gomez took with her friends. The meteoric post is from the eco-friendly apparel company Tentree. Peppered with a healthy helping of tree emoji, it promises that for “every TEN LIKES …

AI Could Predict Death. But What If the Algorithm Is Biased?

Earlier this month the University of Nottingham published a study in PloSOne about a new artificial intelligence model that uses machine learning to predict the risk of premature death, using banked health data (on age and lifestyle factors) from Brits aged 40 to 69. This study comes months after a joint study between UC San Francisco, Stanford, and Google, which reported results of machine-learning-based data mining of electronic health records to assess the likelihood that a patient would die in hospital. One goal of both studies was to assess how this information might help clinicians decide which patients might most benefit from intervention. The FDA is also looking at how AI will be used in health care and posted a …

Researchers Want to Link Your Genes and IncomeShould They?

The UK Biobank is the single largest public genetic repository in the world, with samples of the genetic blueprints of half a million Brits standing by for scientific study. But when David Hill, a statistical geneticist at the University of Edinburgh, went poring through that data, he wasn’t looking for a cure for cancer or deeper insights into the biology of aging. Nothing like that. He was trying to figure out why some people make more money than others. Along with a team of European collaborators, Hill sifted through the UK Biobank data to find about 286,000 participants who had answered a survey question about household income. Using that information they conducted something called a Genome Wide Association Study, where …

New antibiotics could be developed using fish slime, scientists say

Mucus that protects fish contains substances that could help tackle MRSA and E coli Fish slime could be key to the development of new antibiotics, researchers say. Antibiotic resistance is a growing danger, with aiming to cut antibiotic use by 15% by 2024 in a bid to tackle the problem which has been called a danger to humanity while the government Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

By 2080, Tropical Diseases Could Be Headed to Alaska

This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Nearly a billion people could be newly at risk of tropical diseases like dengue fever and Zika as climate change shifts the range of mosquitoes, according to a new study. Since the life cycle of mosquitoes is temperature sensitive, scientists have long been concerned about how their prevalence might spread as the world continues to warm. The study is one of the first to examine in detail how that might happen by using an overlap of two disease-carrying mosquitoes’ range and projected monthly temperature changes under a variety of future warming scenarios. In the most extreme scenario of more than 4 degrees …

Crispr Gene Editing Could One Day Cut Away Human Pain

For Jo Cameron, it takes the sight of blood or the smell of her own flesh burning for her to know that something is very wrong. As the 71-year-old Scottish woman recounted to The New York Times earlier this week, she has lived a life virtually free of pain, fear, and anxiety, thanks to a missing stretch of DNA. Doctors discovered there was something different about Cameron when she came in for surgery and turned down painkillers after the nerve blocker from her operation wore off. After years of investigating, they identified the never-before-seen mutation believed to be responsible for her almost supernatural pain tolerance. Weirdly, any wounds she gets also heal faster than other people, and she cannot recall …

The Failure of NASA’s Spacewalk Snafu? How Predictable It Was

When Saralyn Mark heard the news earlier this month that NASA was planning the first all-women spacewalk at the International Space Station on March 29, she started to worry. Mark, an endocrinologist by training, was a senior medical advisor to NASA for 18 years. In that role, she studied the way men and women’s bodies differ, on space and on earth. Within the agency, she advocated for spacesuit and technological design that took these differences to account. She led two separate decadal reviews into how NASA handled sex and gender difference, the last of which published in 2014. Those audits taught her that women astronauts often struggled to get spacesuits to fit right. “I was very concerned,” says Mark, of …

I had a huge swelling: why my life as a female cyclist led to vulva surgery

Why has there never been any research into better saddles for female cyclists, asks Hannah Dines, who has endured years of pain and swelling caused by friction as she rides The plastic surgeon, in that particularly endearing way of surgeons, was trying to reassure me that although he had never operated on an endurance cyclist before, he had seen presentations like mine. Ive seen chronic inflammation and long-term trauma to the vulva like this. You know he paused, in patients who compulsively rub up against bedposts. Silence. I decided against explaining that the relationship with my bike saddle did not, perhaps, deserve to be in among the psychiatric cases in his cognitive filing system. However, he had a point. While …

It’s Either the Best Time or the Worst Time to Have a Baby

Reproduction is messy. The genetic swaps and recombinations that occur when gametes merge don't always happen perfectly. Babies don't arrive when scheduled. Even preventing reproduction can be complicated, as anyone who has ever wrestled with birth control can attest. That said, it’s arguably a better time than ever to have a baby. Prospective parents struggling with infertility can turn to IVF, or sperm and egg donation. But as the egg donor industry grows more sophisticated, the donors themselves are sometimes kept in the dark. Once a person becomes pregnant, they can take advantage of the extraordinary advancements in noninvasive prenatal testing to screen for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic mutations—but then, what actually happens to the mountains of genetic information these …

A Clever New Strategy for Treating Cancer, Thanks to Darwin

Just as ecologists allow for a manageable population of diamondback moths to exist, Gatenby’s method would permit cancer to remain in the body as long as it doesn’t spread further. To test this idea, Gatenby got permission in 2014 to run a trial on advanced-stage prostate cancer patients at Moffitt. The patients had cancer that no longer responded to treatment; their drug-resistant cells were winning an evolutionary battle within the body, surviving an onslaught of toxic drugs where weaker cancerous cells had succumbed. The hope was that, by using a precise drug-dosing scheme developed using evolutionary principles, they could slow the rise of the mutations that would endow some cancer cells with the fitness to survive. Gatenby's name for the …

Women’s Pain Is Different From Men’sthe Drugs Could Be Too

Men and women can’t feel each other’s pain. Literally. We have different biological pathways for chronic pain, which means pain-relieving drugs that work for one sex might fail in the other half of the population. So why don’t we have pain medicines designed just for men or women? The reason is simple: Because no one has looked for them. Drug development begins with studies on rats and mice, and until three years ago, almost all that research used only male animals. As a result, women in particular may be left with unnecessary pain—but men might be too. Now a study in the journal Brain reveals differences in the sensory nerves that enter the spinal cords of men and women with …