"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Living Well, Passing it On 

Also, a good excuse to plaster Winston all over the blog.Parents generally want their kids to be healthy and happy. Kids often want pets. The two, it turns out, seem to go hand in hand: Cincinnati researchers have found that infants raised in households with two or more dogs seem to have lower rates of wheezing disorders.

The press release is a bit self-contradictory, so I can't tell what the group's actual findings were in regards to allergy risk, but it would make sense that protective effects against wheezing would suggest protection from allergy development, right?

Something else that may have unexpected benefits is mifepristone (aka RU-486). A UC-Irvine study suggests that the 'abortion pill' may block breast and ovarian cancers in mice.

They examined mice with the BRCA1 mutation, known to predispose for cancer; those treated with the progesterone-blocking drug developed fewer tumors than controls. Probably not a treatment for humans, but a nice suggestion of future steps.

Speaking of breeding, it seems that alpha-male stags are more likely to produce male offspring. The idea that parents health or status can really influence (besides chance) in mammals is pretty amazing.

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