A Changing Understanding of ADHD

The Atlantic When ADHD isn’t what it seems


Women’s Self Esteem and What Men Want

The Atlantic How Women’s Self-Esteem is Tied to What Men Want

Researchers from Southern Methodist University and Florida State University have found that their study participants felt higher satisfaction with their weight when they were told men were attracted to average-sized models.

Undergraduate heterosexual women looked at images of plus-sized models (“plus-sized” in model terms). In some cases, the width of the pictures was reduced by 30 percent, “to depict the thin-ideal.” After viewing images of these models, women who were randomly assigned to be told that men found plus-sized models attractive experienced increased weight satisfaction compared to women who were not given any information. Moreover, telling women that other women find larger models attractive did not yield similar benefits. The study reveals once again that women’s beliefs about men’s body preferences are an important factor in women’s body satisfaction.

Original article can be found here

Scientists Discover Potent Antibiotic

WSJ New Antibiotic

The discovery of a new class of antibiotic, called teixobactin, was reported last week in the journal Nature. The news is especially welcome, given rising bacterial strains resistant to existing antibiotics and the lack of new antibiotics. Teixobactin kills bacteria by binding on to multiple targets and then causing the cell walls to break down. It has been shown to be effective against bacteria that cause certain types of pneumonia, tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus. However, it is not effective against most strains of Gram-negative bacteria, which many existing antibiotics have difficulty treating. These gram-negative bacteria include the bugs that cause cholera, gonorrhea and several common food-borne illnesses.

How are drugs developed in general?

Helping transgender kids become who they want to be

TED Helping transgender kids become who they want to be

Transgendered people are those whose psychological self (“gender identity”) differs from the social expectations for the biological sex (genitals, chromosomes, etc.) that they were born with. The persistent discomfort they suffer is called gender dysphoria, causing clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Current “standards of care” define stages of treatment, beginning with extensive exploration of psychological, family, and social issues, and then moving to physical interventions, which occur in stages from reversible to irreversible. Depending on specific state laws, reconstructive surgery is required before allowing name and gender changes on legal documents and health insurance cards.

A significant ethical question in transgender care involves interventions for children: should transgendered children complete puberty before being offered the same therapy used for adults? National or international protocols still do not exist. One side argues that physical intervention should be delayed until after puberty, as teens may change their minds about their gender identity. The other side, as Dr. Norman Spack proposes in the TED talk, argues for the importance of early endocrinological intervention to prevent severe depression that accompanies the onset of unwanted puberty and to avoid physical, psychological procedures to reverse puberty’s progress.

Norman Spack is a pediatric endocrinologist at Boston’s Children Hospital and the co-founder of the hospital’s Gender Management Service clinic. The clinic remains one of the few worldwide that treats minors with hormone replacement therapy.

For more information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health.

Haiti today, five years after the earthquake?

Doctors without Borders Health Care Underprioritized Haiti reconstruction 

On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake shook Haiti, and 60 percent of an already dysfunctional health system was destroyed in an instant. Government estimates of the number of people killed during the earthquake remain controversial, but MSF reports 10 percent of Haiti’s medical staff were either killed or subsequently left the country. Despite Haiti being deemed a philanthropically “successful” disaster, financing and organizing the reconstruction efforts in Haiti continue to be a challenge. The vast majority of the Haitian people still struggle to access the health care they need. MSF’s Haiti Country Director Oliver Schulz highlights key priorities to strengthen health care for local authorities and their international partners right now:

  1. More organized, secure, and timely funding mechanisms
  2. More coherent planning from those involved in the reconstruction effort
  3. More resources to provide effective emergency trauma and obstetric care, neonatal emergency health care, and treatment of severe burns

Mutations influence speciation

An animated, illuminating take on the age-old question of “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” 

No one mutation can ever really constitute a new species.

AsapSCIENCE has also previously covered other topics, such as the science of productivitywhat happens if we don’t go outsidehow music enchants the brainwhy we like our own fartsthe neurobiology of orgasms, and why we are all female.


NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/09/376084137/trapped-in-his-body-for-12-years-a-man-breaks-free

NPR’s new program on human behavior, Invisibilia, explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior. Co-hosted by NPR’s Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who helped create Radiolab and This American LifeInvisibilia brings new psychological and brain science to life through narrative storytelling. This second episode of the podcast delves into the question of how expectations can sometimes be so powerful that they can overcome physical disability.