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Protein in semen found to boost infectious potential of HIV

Protein in semen found to boost infectious potential of HIV

German AIDS researchers have discovered a protein common in semen that boosts the infectious potential of HIV 100,000-fold - a remarkable finding that may show how the virus can spread through sexual contact and also suggests new strategies to stop the epidemic.

If scientists can find a drug or chemical that blocks these infection-promoting proteins, it would go a long way toward development of a microbicide, a vaginal cream or gel that could protect women against AIDS.

What is catching scientists' attention is the 100,000-fold increase. "I was so surprised that I did not believe the numbers," said Dr. Frank Kirchhoff, leader of the University of Ulm laboratory that found the protein. "But we did the experiment multiple times, and the results were always the same."

Korean scientists create fluorescent cat clones

Glow-in-the-dark cat could help cut disease - Telegraph

Scientists have genetically modified three kittens so they appear fluorescent under ultra-violet light in a procedure which could help develop treatments for human genetic diseases.

A team of scientists led by Kong Il-keun at Gyeongsang National University, South Korea, cloned the cats after manipulating a gene to change their skin colour.

The fluffy white Turkish Angora cats now glow red when exposed to ultraviolet light and the scientists believe the process could be used to develop treatments for a range of genetic illnesses. The technology can also help clone endangered animals like tigers, leopards and wildcats.

December 12, 2007

Science: why don't pregnant women topple over?

Study: Why pregnant women don't topple - Yahoo! News

Answer: evolution.

WASHINGTON - Scientists think they have figured out why pregnant women don't lose their balance and topple over despite ever-growing weight up front.

Evolution provided them with slight differences from men in their lower backs and hip joints, allowing them to adjust their center of gravity, new research shows.

This elegant engineering is seen only in female humans and our immediate ancestors who walked on two feet, but not in chimps and apes, according to a study published in Thursday's journal Nature.

"That's a big load that's pulling you forward," said Liza Shapiro, an anthropology professor at the University of Texas and the only one of the study's three authors who has actually been pregnant. "You experience discomfort. Maybe it would be a lot worse if (the design changes) were not there."

Super-Precise Atomic Clocks

jwz | How Super-Precise Atomic Clocks Will Change the World...

December 07, 2007

Ha awl yoo beaches who kan spel are fukin pwnd

NYT | Tracing Business Acumen to Dyslexia\ Ironically, the dyslexic...

December 06, 2007

China caught badly faking moon photos

Moon photo mystery solved - Cosmic Log - msnbc.com

Nutshell: their photos were poor, so they photoshopped in the U.S. photos, but fucked it up and added new craters.

Some dogged sleuthing by a fellow space blogger has tracked down the truth behind the controversial first photo from China's moon orbiter.

In the week since the picture was released amid much fanfare in Beijing, there have been widespread rumors that the photo was a fake, copied from an old picture collected by a U.S. space probe.

The good news for the Chinese is that Planetary Society blogger Emily Lakdawalla's clears them of outright fakery. The bad news is, she found evidence that the photo was badly retouched for public release.

November 28, 2007

The Authentic Women's Penis Size Preference Chart

In case you're wondering how big your authentic woman's penis...

Continue reading "The Authentic Women's Penis Size Preference Chart" »

Diet may influence the sex of your baby

Diet may influence the sex of your baby - sex - 28 November 2007 - New Scientist

A mother’s diet in the run-up to conception could influence the sex of her child, suggests a study in mice. The research shows that mice given drugs to lower their blood-sugar levels produced significantly more female than male pups.

The findings lend credence to traditional beliefs that eating certain foods can influence the sex of offspring.

The conventional wisdom is that the father’s sperm is the main determinant of the sex of a child. But increasingly scientists have found hints that maternal factors might have an influence too. For example, earlier work has suggested that single mothers are more likely to give birth to daughters.