Discovered: Women put far too much faith in birth control, there's a new wonder fat drug coming our way, Saturn's moon is kind of like a not-moon, and a sperm killing antibiotic.
- Women think birth control is better than it really is. There's a good chunk of women who overestimate the effectiveness of the pill and condoms. About 45 percent of a group of 4,500 women looking to use these methods as a way to not have babies, put too much faith in these anti-baby having products. The problem, science says, is that people conflate "ideal use" and "typical use." "We need to do a better job of educating the public -- women and men -- on the failure rates with typical use," explains researcher David L. Eisenberg. So here's some education, ladies. On the Pill, the pregnancy rate with "typical use" is about nine percent per year and using condoms, it's between 18 and 21 percent. A lot higher than you thought, right? [American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology via Reuters]
- There's a new fat wonder drug coming out way that probably doesn't work. Actually it's not a drug yet, it's an idea for a drug based on the following finding. "Using X-ray crystallography we have solved the structure of the leptin‑binding domain of the receptor bound to a potential therapeutic antibody that blocks leptin binding. This is the first crystal structure for any part of this important receptor," explains researcher Pete Artymiuk. The important part: "blocks leptin binding." Here's how they plan on turning that into a wonder-pill. "Because we now know the precise atomic structure of the receptor we can begin to design drug molecules that can alter its activity. This can be useful in the treatment of a variety of diseases ranging from obesity to autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis," he continues. We're waiting. [The University of Sheffield]
- Saturn's moon is kind of like a not-moon. It's more like a planet, actually. It looks quite moon-y over there. But, unlike other moons, this one called Pheobe started out as something that could have evolved into a planet. But didn't. "Unlike primitive bodies such as comets, Phoebe appears to have actively evolved for a time before it stalled out," exokains Julie Castillo-Rogez. "Objects like Phoebe are thought to have condensed very quickly. Hence, they represent building blocks of planets. They give scientists clues about what conditions were like around the time of the birth of planets and their moons." [NASA]
- A sperm-killing antibiotic. Not only does this drug hinder the sperm count of the male who took it for strep, or whatever, it also effects his offspring. "Tetracycline has a significant detrimental effect on male reproductive function and sperm viability of pseudoscorpions - reducing viability by up to 25 percent - and now we know that effect is passed on to the next generation," explains researcher David Zeh. Men, medicate responsibly. [University of Nevada]