Originally posted on Swampland:
There are two Americas when it comes to abortion—one in which it’s nearly impossible to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and one in which access to the procedure is mostly unfettered and often publicly financed. Geography is everything. While abortion has been a federally protected right for 40 years, in some states,…

Bad parenting is hilarious.

Bad parenting is hilarious.

I guess I missed this commercial for the Kia Sorento during the Superbowl, but I just saw it on TV for the first time tonight. And boy, was it adorable. If lying to your kids and then shutting them down when they express an interest in understanding how the world works is adorable. Based on … Continue reading

Being pregnant must be super scary

Being pregnant must be super scary

Kate Middleton might love being pregnant, but for the average woman it can be confusing and scary. Every day we learn about some new thing that, if you do it when you’re pregnant, can totally screw up your kid. By this point, pretty much everyone knows that you shouldn’t smoke or drink during pregnancy. Even … Continue reading

Giving STDs to goats. For science!

Giving STDs to goats. For science!

Goats could potentially transmit a dangerous parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, in their semen, according to research by Flaviana Wanderley and colleagues in Brazil. Well…who cares? Why should scientists devote research dollars and time to purposely giving goats STDs, just to see if they can? Like with so many other apparently bizarre research projects, the answer is: … Continue reading

Getting Taz’s sperm…with electricity

Getting Taz’s sperm…with electricity

Remember Taz? That lovable, mischief-making cartoon tasmanian devil who traveled around in a mini-tornado of dust? What you probably don’t remember from those cartoons is Taz biting the faces of other devils, aiding the spread of a contagious form of cancer. Tasmanian devils are rapidly face-cancering themselves to extinction. If we don’t do something soon, … Continue reading

The secret sex of cheese

The secret sex of cheese

Are you grossed out by blue cheese? (I’m not, but I know many who are). Does that blue-green marbling of delicious fungus kind of make you gag? Well, this little factoid probably won’t help: there may be sex going on in that cheese. Until pretty recently, a big chunk of fungal species were thought to … Continue reading

And now, a political rant about sexism

And now, a political rant about sexism

It is said that a gaffe is when a politician accidentally says something true. Lately it seems that Republican politicians in the US, especially, have been speaking their mind more than usual. And now, sitting here 8 days before the presidential election and staring down hurricane Sandy, I finally just can’t take it anymore. The … Continue reading

Sperm are Cool #3: Giant sperm and the Zenker organ

Sperm are Cool #3: Giant sperm and the Zenker organ

Today, I’m going to write about everyone’s favorite kind of sperm: giant. Who makes giant sperm? It’s not who you might think. The giants of the animal kingdom–whales, elephants–make sperm that are very similar to that of men and mice. Tiny. It’s the little guys who make the biggest sperm. In fact, as I’ve pointed … Continue reading

Fertile eggs created from stem cells

Fertile eggs created from stem cells

You may read about this paper already, about scientists turning stem cells into fertile eggs (for example, this article at NPR). And of course, it deserves the hype. This is certainly a big breakthrough in stem cell research–especially induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research. iPS cells are similar to embryonic stem cells, except that they … Continue reading

Sperm are Cool #1: Naked Mole Rats

Sperm are Cool #1: Naked Mole Rats

Sperm are pretty cool. Some are tiny, some are huge. Some have hooks, some crawl, and some can’t actually fertilize an egg. But all of them are awesome products of evolution. That’s why I want to start a collection of posts dedicated to quirky sperm. For the first post, a relatively recent paper (about a year … Continue reading

Sperm tracked in 3D

Sperm tracked in 3D

Despite referring to sperm as “sperms”, this paper showing 3D tracking of human sperm swimming paths is pretty cool. Actually, I take that back. Calling them sperms definitely adds to the awesomeness. I won’t pretend to fully understand the physics behind their method, but it’s obvious that this imaging method will be important for many … Continue reading

Male contraception: a new advance

Male contraception: a new advance

Good news, guys: one day soon you may not have to worry about whether your girlfriend remembered to take her pill. The bad news? You might actually have to be the one who remembers to take it. A group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and … Continue reading

Glucose ramps up sperm speed

Glucose ramps up sperm speed

The sperm of mice and men are streamlined cells, designed to move fast and deliver a payload. To maintain their Phelps-like speed through the long haul to the egg, sperm cells need energy. But even though sperm have all the equipment they need to turn fuel into energy, they don’t carry any fuel with them. … Continue reading

Video of fruit fly development in 3D

Video of fruit fly development in 3D

A new technique developed by Lars Hufnagel’s group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory gives us a look at fruit fly development–from fertilized egg to crawling larva. Check out the full story here.

Science says monogamy is good for society

Science says monogamy is good for society

Well, hello again imaginary reader of this blog. I’m ready to dust this site off and finally start adding some new posts, after a long hiatus. Since the last post, I’ve written my doctoral dissertation, and will be defending it in just 2 days! I’ve also gotten engaged, which is why I was so interested … Continue reading