Texas Professors Respond to New Research on Gay Parenting
Mark Regnerus claims to have produced the first rigorous scientific evidence showing that same sex families harm children. As a family sociologist at the University of Texas, I am disturbed by his irresponsible and reckless representation of social science research, and furious that he is besmirching my university to lend credibility to his “findings.”
The recent study by my colleague Mark Regnerus on gay parenting purports to show that young adults with a parent who ever had a same-sex relationship turn out worse than young adults with continuously married heterosexual parents (who are, in addition, biologically related to their children). He calls this latter group the “gold standard for parenting.”
But in making this claim, he has violated the “gold standard for research.” Regnerus’ study is bad science. Among other errors, he made egregious yet strategic decisions in selecting particular groups for comparison.
Did you know you owe your teeth to a 15th Century emperor? This week marks significant strides in history for dental care, but that’s not all.
The week also commemorates the first African-American astronaut—and it’s not who you might think. Chemists synthesized one of the world’s most important molecules for the first time, and a man made history while traveling the high seas.
What else does “This Week In Science History” hold? Click here for all the landmark events.
What does the Sun look like from space? What do astronauts want to eat when they return to Earth? What does this button do?
If you’ve ever wondered things like this, we’re here to help. Here is a list of 20 astronauts to follow on Twitter (in no particular order). Veteran commanders and trainees alike, they have a unique perspective on the world—and since they’ve been in orbit, we mean that literally!
From behind-the-scenes pictures inside the International Space Station to thoughtful answers to your spaceflight questions, these astronauts are a wellspring of insight. It’s a shame that so few astronauts tweet regularly—where else can you hear about the final frontier first-hand?
How does the brain work? What explains love—and hate? Is free will an illusion?
If these sorts of questions interest you, HuffPost Science would like to introduce you to a a few folks—renowned experts in neuroscience whose tweets can help keep you abreast of the latest findings and continuing controversies in the realm of the brain and mind.
Fetal Genome: DNA Sequencing From Mother's Blood, Father's Saliva Stirs Ethical Debate
What if you could read much of your child’s medical future while it was still in the womb? Taking a major step toward that goal, one fraught with therapeutic potential and ethical questions, scientists have now accurately predicted almost the whole genome of an unborn child by sequencing DNA from the mother’s blood and DNA from the father’s saliva.
World Said Near Tipping Point For Disastrous Breakdown
Earth is rapidly headed toward a catastrophic breakdown if humans don’t get their act together, according to an international group of scientists.
Writing Wednesday (June 6) in the journal Nature, the researchers warn that the world is headed toward a tipping pointmarked by extinctions and unpredictable changes on a scale not seen since the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago.
"There is a very high possibility that by the end of the century, the Earth is going to be a very different place," study researcher Anthony Barnosky told LiveScience. Barnosky, a professor of integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley, joined a group of 17 other scientists to warn that this new planet might not be a pleasant place to live.
The researchers wanted to find how other emotions impact facial temperature, so they took heat-showing pictures of two groups of young heterosexual women during a standard interaction with an experimenter, which included touching the arm, palm, face and chest (using a light probe that they were told measures skin color).
When an experimenter (of either gender) touched a participant, the participant’s average skin temperature jumped about a tenth of a degree Celsius. The effect wasn’t as large when considering only touches to the participant’s arm or palm, and the skin of the face and chest regions changed the most.
Infidelity is easy to explain in males. By sleeping around, a guy can potentially impregnate more females and sire more offspring than if he just had one mate. But females cheat, too, even though a woman will only be able to have roughly one baby per year no matter how many male sex partners she has had.
One leading evolutionary hypothesis suggests that a female who mates with multiple males ensures the genetic diversity and quality of her offspring; having higher-quality offspring could theoretically give her more grandchildren later. A 17-year study, published in the June issue of The American Naturalist, challenges this hypothesis.
"This is one of the most careful and most robust studies to explore whether polyandry is adaptive in females," says Tommaso Pizzari, a University of Oxford biologist who was not involved in the research. "The answer is: not really."