Remember That Blue and Black or White and Gold Dress? Well, Scientists Are Weighing In

Untitled-12Where’s Chestnut, this one’s for you. 🙂

Yes, “The Dress” has made the news again, but now it’s taken a scientific turn.

Three papers on the is-it-gold-and-white-or-is-it-blue-and-black debate have been published in the recent issue of the journal, Current Biology.

“When The Dress first came out and was shown to the world, I thought it was social media fluff,” Bevel Conway, a professor of neuroscience at Wellesley College and an author to one of the studies, tells Yahoo Health. “But actually, it has taken the scientific community by a far greater, if so, burning storm than it did for the popular media.” Continue reading

Antibody Effectively Suppresses HIV Infection During First Human Trial

150408133040-largeAn antibody designed to fight HIV that generated excitement last year when it was proven to work well in monkeys has now been shown effective in humans.

The results of a phase 1 clinical trial using antibody 3BNC117 were published a few days ago in the journal, Nature.

In the trial, researchers injected the antibody into 29 volunteers, 17 with HIV and 12 without. The subjects received one intravenous dose of 1, 3, 10, or 30 milligrams of the antibody.

“Among HIV-infected participants, 3BNC117 had the greatest effect on the eight participants who received the highest dose, resulting in significant and rapid decreases in viral load,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported in a news release. “HIV resistance to 3BNC117 was variable, but some individuals remained sensitive … for 28 days.” Continue reading

Same-Sex Couples May Soon Be Able To Produce Biological Children Together, Scientists Say

g6Scientists say that same-sex parents may be able to produce biological children together in the very near future.

Researchers at Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science claim to have found a way to create human egg and sperm cells from the stem cells in the skin of two adults.

Any two adults.

Two males. Two females. It doesn’t matter.

Using stem cell lines from embryos and cells from the skin of five adults, researchers engineered sperm cells, then compared the cells with those from aborted fetuses to see if the two had matching characteristics.

Lo and behold, they did! Continue reading

The World Hates Gay People Less Than Ever Before, Reports New Survey

g-stay1A new survey has found that acceptance of gay people is up in 90 percent of countries surveyed over the last 20 years.

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the LGBT think-thank Williams Institute at UCLA examined the results of hundreds of surveys on attitudes toward gay men and lesbians in 52 countries collected since 1981. What they found was that acceptance of gays has gone up by an average of about 1 percent per year since 1994.

“This study shows a clear trend toward increasing acceptance across the globe,” Andrew Park, director of International Programs at the Williams Institute, said in a statement. Continue reading