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Friday 26 June 2020

Baby Tastes (Things We Don’t Know about Pregnancy Series #22)

Do your baby’s tastes depend on what you ate when they were in the womb?

Apparently, you can taste foods in amniotic fluid and breast milk – certain distinct flavours such as carrot, vanilla, mint and garlic, anyway. These flavours can be detected in breastmilk as little as half an hour after eating, and adults can even smell and identify them.

Sunday 21 June 2020

Coronavirus 101

It’s devastating us now. But where did it come from, where is is going, and what is it anyway?

The disease COVID-19, caused by the virus commonly known as coronavirus, was thought to originate from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, where wild animals, including marmots, birds, rabbits, bats and snakes, are traded illegally. However, recent work has demonstrated that the market is only one possible origin of the disease. Potential patient zeroes – the first human to contract coronavirus – have found to have no link to the market.

Sunday 14 June 2020

Superfetation (Things We Don’t Know about Pregnancy Series #21)

As one literature report begins,
“Here we review the scant and at times ancient literature on this poorly understood topic.”[1]

European hare. By Jean-Jacques Boujot via Wikipedia Commons.
The topic is superfetation – the phenomenon of becoming pregnant whilst already pregnant. It happens in humans (we think). And hares[2]. It’s been documented in badgers, mink, panthers, buffalo, wallaby, rats, mice, rabbits, horses, sheep, kangaroos, sugar gliders and cats. But much of the evidence is dubious, and remains controversial. The only agreed incidents seem to be documented in fish that carry their young – the poecilid and zenarchopterid.

Superfetation shouldn’t happen. Once conception has occurred, hormones are released that prevent further ovulation, and a mucus plug blocks up the womb.

But does it happen from time to time anyway?

Friday 5 June 2020

Gender and Pain

Have you ever considered how your identity could influence how you feel pain? How your pain is perceived by others? Or how much of your pain experience is understood by the scientific and clinical communities?

Is it safe to assume that most of you haven’t?

Amongst many other contributing factors, our sex and gender may have a profound impact on pain and our pain experience. While we may have a better understanding of sex differences in pain perception, how gender ties into this is not fully understood. However, researchers are now beginning to understand that gender does impact our pain experience, and may play a significant role in how pain is differentially assessed and treated between men and women. This phenomenon has been deemed the ‘gender pain gap’: a gap in our understanding of women’s health issues which has lead to the inappropriate pharmaceutical treatment of men and women, and not taking women's health seriously.

The Gender Unicorn by TSER.