July 3, 2013 |
If you've ever had a meal that changed your life, maybe you understand what it's like to be a newborn lizard. If you're a Zootoca vivipara lizard, whether or not you get an easy first meal may change the course of your life, according to a pair of scientists in France and Spain. The study, published in Current Biology, shows that small, even fleeting events in an animal's life can dramatically alter an animal's development, even if it has the same genes as its brethren. At a national park in southern France, the researchers captured 120 pregnant Zootoca vivipara lizards, insect-eaters that birth their young live rather than laying eggs.
June 15, 2013 |
Evolution is a terrific thing for humans to learn about but a terrible thing to learn from. Case in point: fathers. Biology generates behavior that renders mammalian fathers something less than admirable, at least by ethical perspectives. Two factors are especially responsible: the consequence of being sperm-makers, as compared with the egg-making specialty that defines females, and the divergent effects of internal fertilization on male and female reproductive tactics - in brief, "Mommy's babies, Daddy's maybes.
March 19, 2013 |
When writer-director Ken Scott and his writing partner Martin Petit began working on the script for "Starbuck," a 2011 hit in Canada that opens in the U.S. on Friday, they were worried no one would buy the premise of a habitual sperm donor who discovers years later he is the father of 150 children. "Each day we would come in to write thinking it is too much," said Scott, 42, who was a member of a comedy sketch troupe before turning to screenwriting (2003's "Seducing Dr. Lewis") and directing (2009's "Sticky Fingers")
January 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Marriage should be limited to unions of a man and a woman because they alone can "produce unplanned and unintended offspring," opponents of gay marriage have told the Supreme Court. By contrast, when same-sex couples decide to have children, "substantial advance planning is required," said Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for House Republicans. This unusual defense of traditional marriage was set out last week in a pair of opening legal briefs in the two gay marriage cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this spring.
October 5, 2012 |
Reaching a long-sought milestone, Japanese researchers have demonstrated in mice that eggs and sperm can be grown from stem cells and combined to produce healthy offspring, pointing to new treatments for infertility. If the achievement can be repeated in humans - and experts said they are optimistic that such efforts will ultimately succeed - the technique could make it easier for women in their 30s or 40s to become mothers. It could also help men and women whose reproductive organs have been damaged by cancer treatments or other causes.
October 3, 2012 |
The children of mothers who have hypertension during pregnancy score lower on IQ tests 20 and 68 years after birth, according to a new study. The report, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, is the first to draw a connection between high blood pressure during pregnancy and adult intelligence. Hypertension during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth and small body size, which in turn have been connected to deficits in cognitive abilities. But hypertension itself had yet to be connected directly to intelligence, a gap this study attempts to fill in. The research, conducted in Finland, used data collected as part of a survey called the Helsinki Birth Cohort.