Monday, March 06, 2006

Tough women have boys: "Tough, confident females may be more likely to give birth to sons than women with less pushy personalities, researchers have found. Scientists have established that eggs taken from female mammals have varying levels of testosterone and that those with the highest levels are more likely to develop into male embryos. Testosterone in women has been linked to more dominant character traits. The discovery of the "queen bee" syndrome in mammals is the latest in a growing body of work that challenges the traditional view that a baby's sex is determined by chance. Valerie Grant, author of the study, said the sex of offspring might be due to more than just whether "male" Y chromosomes or "female" X chromosomes prevailed when sperm fertilised an egg. Grant, a behavioural science lecturer at Auckland University in New Zealand, said her latest research, conducted on cows, suggested that a female mammal's testosterone level might predispose her eggs to accept "male" sperm"

Rewired brain: "A Young woman confined to a wheelchair for seven years is not just walking again but singing and dancing in amateur shows, after a "miracle" cure using electrical implants in the brain. Amy Westall, 20, is the most dramatic example of the experimental treatment developed by doctors to tackle Parkinson's disease, depression and even paralysis. The "rewiring" of the brain involves guiding electrodes to areas known to govern specific functions. A small current is delivered from a battery implanted beneath the collar bone and connected by wires to the electrodes in the brain itself. Westall, from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, suffered from a genetic form of a condition called dystonia, in which fierce, uncontrollable muscle spasms force victims into painful contortions, making walking impossible. She underwent a lengthy experimental procedure by Marwan Hariz, professor of functional neurosurgery at the Institute of Neurology in London. Tiny filaments, thinner than a human hair, were implanted in her brain to carry electrical current that would interrupt the signals sending her muscles into spasm. They produced miraculous results."

No comments: