As you've probably heard by now, in an interview Sunday, Missouri Representative and Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin said he believed that rape-related pregnancy was "really rare." He continued by saying that, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
So, now for the facts. Pregnancy resulting from rape is not rare. In fact, a woman is more than twice as likely to get pregnant during a rape than during consensual sex.
An interesting story in the New York Times today explores the ease with which noninvasive prenatal diagnostics can now determine paternity, even when the pregnancy is only eight or nine weeks old. Multiple companies are now offering such tests, which require only blood samples from the mother and from the potential father to determine paternity long before the pregnancy culminates.
A simple blood test can determine a baby’s gender as early as seven weeks into pregnancy, a new study says — far earlier and far less invasive than other options. The test could conceivably help parents who are worried about gender-related diseases, but it could also allow people to wade into the morally murky waters of sex selection.
For the first time, doctors have imaged a live birth using a special MRI machine, hoping to illuminate the birthing process and understand how complications may develop. The mother and baby — who was born Nov. 20 — are both doing fine, according to doctors at Berlin's Charité hospital, who announced the results today.
Though the University of Utah in Salt Lake City might not be the first place one would expect to find researchers getting experimental in the bedroom, a team of scientists there have developed a new gel that can quickly shift from liquid to solid, for use in a vaginal condom that more easily protects against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Locally sourced organic food is so passe. Meet "the world's first entirely synthetic gourmet dish." The future of haute cuisine, according to one Michelin chef, will be formed from tartaric acid, 4-O-a-glucopyranosyl-D-sorbitol, and triacylglycerol. After all, he says, sugar is just as artificial as anything else.
Also in today's links: the taste of evolution, the taste of the Milky Way, and more.
For most of us, procuring a gallon of milk requires only a quick trip to the corner store. Breastfeeding mothers, on the other hand, need an estimated 30 percent more energy to keep a newborn nipper happy with fresh mama juice. Eating like a horse and lazing about are two ways to offset this extra energy demand, but another factor may contribute as well. According to a new study, support from family may play a key role in helping mothers conserve energy and therefore allow their bodies to prepare more quickly for another pregnancy.
The stereotype of pregnant women experiencing bizarre cravings has long had people believing that all expectant mothers go a little crazy when it comes to food and drink over the course of nine months. Though the image of a petite woman screaming at her husband at 2:00 in the morning, "I WANT BROCCOLI AND STRAWBERRY SYRUP!" may lead us to imagine that all pregnant women gain extra, non-baby weight, a recent study shows that those who are more likely to over-gain weight during pregnancy are overweight or obese mothers-to-be who underestimate their weight at the beginning of term.
By observing the seahorse's unusual sex roles, scientists hope to learn more about how they came to be
By Matt Ransford
Posted 05.05.2008 at 2:26 pm 1 Comment
The seahorse is a strange fish. Many of the traits it possesses have evolved in a direction unlike any other family of animals underwater—its bent S-shape; its head at a 90-degree angle to its body; its prehensile tail; and, most curiously, the male's brood pouch. A lab at Texas A&M University led by Adam Jones is currently studying these structures in the hope of understanding how it was that male pregnancy evolved in seahorses and how it affects the traditional sex roles in the fish.
In a new column we tackle the studies that make us say "duh." First up: HIV-positive women still want babies
By Laura Allen
Posted 02.27.2008 at 8:20 pm 3 Comments
I wrote the first Science Confirms the Obvious round-up in Popular Science a few years ago. But keeping pace with the stream of no-duh research takes the likes of a blog. So welcome to the inaugural post of my new column, Science Confirms the Obvious: Your one-stop source for scientific no-brainers—findings that dont rattle conventional wisdom, settle great mysteries, win Nobel Prizes or inspire future generations of brilliant thinkers—and why scientists bother producing them in the first place.
Will we grow babies outside their mothers' bodies?
By Gretchen Reynolds
Posted 08.01.2005 at 2:00 pm 8 Comments
A fetus lives in a world of bubbles. In its earliest days, it’s shaped like one. Later, it floats in one-the squishy, enveloping amniotic sac. And eventually, if all goes well, the fetus releases one bubble of fluid, then another and another, like smoke signals, as it puckers and swallows and floats in the womb. It was the bubbles that first convinced Hung-Ching Liu two years ago that a baby might actually be grown outside its mother’s uterus.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.