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Posts Tagged ‘science’

STUDY: Smoking During Pregnancy Is No Longer Life Risk, Just Gay Risk


I can’t tell by the bump: Is that baby gay or lesbian? 

Meet Dick Swaab. And I was careful to put the rightful space in-between his first and surname, but after this story, you may want me to delete it. Technically, it’s Dr. Dick Swaab.

Dr. Swaab here is a neurobiologist from Amsterdam, so he’s kind of a big deal in his line of work. His most recent study, as found in Metro (UK), declares findings that says smoking during pregnancy can jack with a child’s IQ or sexuality. 

[Dick, here,] said, “Pre-birth exposure to both nicotine and amphetamines increases the chance of lesbian daughters. Pregnant women suffering from stress are also more likely to have homosexual children of both genders because their raised level of the stress hormone cortisol affects the production of fetal sex hormones.”

Of course, he notes “some traits are dictated by nature,” but who cares when he’s got science to back his play like this. GLAAD? Your move. Shall we start with that space?

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Pitch Your Beauty Clients to, the science-based beauty site co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, is open to PR pitches.

For publicists, the pitching opportunities are endless: Makeup, hair and skin products are always in demand. As the editors explain, publicists need to show that they understand the site’s mission and content:

YouBeauty features daily editorial content that reviews the most recently published studies and trending health topics that have the web buzzing. There’s also a group of quizzes based on real, scientific scales that are licensed from universities and research institutions. When readers take a quiz (that determines stress level, for example), they are given feedback on their results and are then routed to corresponding articles. It’s a strategic approach to delivering personalized, science-backed and beauty-based content that differentiates YouBeauty from other health and wellness publications.

To hear more about the site, including editors contact info, read: How To Pitch:

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets Successfully Stored in DNA

Okay, we realize that the PR angle on this one is a bit of a stretch, but we’re not sure whether we think this is totally awesome or extremely creepy, and we thought the public might relate to our quandry (see what we did there?). Plus, it’s Friday, and cool stories are cooler on Fridays. Fact.

The plan to try and store information in DNA was hatched (as so many weird and wonderful ideas are) while Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were discussing a problem over a beer.

The institute where they work is responsible for storing and maintaining a huge database of genetic information, including many thousands of genes from humans, corn, pufferfish…you name it. Storing all of that ever-compounding data on hard drives was becoming financially problematic.

“The data we’re being asked to be guardians of is growing exponentially,” Goldman told NPR. “But our budgets are not growing exponentially.”

Then it occurred to them:

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Female Scientists Parody Sexist ‘Science: It’s A Girl Thing’ PSA

In case you don’t remember that laughably sexist and undeniably offensive “Science: It’s A Girl Thing” video we told you about over the summer, here’s a quick refresher: Females account for 45 percent of all PhD’s earned in Europe, but only (roughly) a third of researchers–so the EU decided to create a three-year campaign targeted at girls aged 13 to 17 in order to make science seem “cool”, thereby encouraging them to consider careers in the field.

A progressive and legitimately respectable plan, right? Unfortunately, the video itself was anything but. Take a look at the original in all its pink, sparkly glory:

Now, a group of real, living, breathing female PhD candidates in neuropsychology at the University of Bristol (who don’t actually spend all day pouring colorful liquid form one beaker into another while male scientists gawk at them) decided to channel their outrage at having their serious career paths represented by lipstick and stillettos into a hilarious parody of the EU’s lambasted PSA.

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