Once-a-month contraceptive pill developed by scientists

Gelatine capsule could prevent unplanned pregnancies caused by errors in daily pill use A contraceptive pill that needs to be taken only once a month has been developed by scientists. The gelatine capsule, which has so far only been tested on pigs, dissolves in the stomach to a release a six-armed star-shaped polylmer structure that sits in the stomach for at least three weeks and releases synthetic hormones to prevent pregnancy. Scientists say it could help to prevent unplanned pregnancies caused by errors in daily pill use. Prof Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a co-author of the study, said the approach could eventually be applied to an even broader range of applications. I hope there will be …

Dating disasters: why bad grammar could stop you finding love online

The users of one dating site rate good grammar and literacy above erratic spelling in their search for a warm, ideal partner Its a modern love story: they liked your profile, you liked them back, the messages are coming through fast and flirty then they mix up their and there. A study of Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, has clear limitations. For example, it drew on only a small sample of members, all mostly older adults, of one Dutch dating website, called Parship. It may be that on dating apps serving younger demographics, a good grasp of literacy and convention might be rated less highly. Linguist Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, has explored how written online communication …

Faking it: could I go from being an introvert to an extrovert in one week?

New research has found that being an extrovert makes you happier. So I spent a week attending social events to see if I could trick myself into being more naturally outgoing I was asked to torture myself for a week for this experiment. Well, not torture, but close enough for me. For a week, what Princess Diana used to do when she wanted to lose friends change her phone number. So the prospect of spending a week saying yes to every social engagement that came my way was about as appealing as a root canal treatment. But evidence shows that conquering your inner introversion can be good for your mental health. In the study of its kind, researchers at the …

Strike a contrapposto pose to look more attractive, science says

Study finds pose makes waist-to-hip ratio seem lower on one side and looks more appealing Dancers do it, Instagrammers do it, even the Venus de Milo does it. When it comes to striking a pose, it seems the only way is contrapposto. Now research has shed light on why the attitude is so appealing. Experts say the pose, which involves standing with weight predominantly on one foot with a slight twist in the upper body, makes the waist-to-hip ratio appear strikingly low on one side of the body. A low waist-to-hip ratio reflecting studies have suggested the most popular imaginary women have even lower ratios in particular a very small waist a finding that might help to explain the appeal …

‘CBD lubricant is a bestseller’: cannabis oil products are booming but does the science stack up?

Its been hailed as a wonder ingredient, added to everything from ice-cream to hummus. But is CBD more than just a wellness trend? Last month, Lisa Jenkins went for a walk alone around her local park for an hour, the first time she had done so unaided for 13 months. Jenkins was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. Now 46, she struggles with vertigo and dizziness, as well as muscle spasms and poor mobility. An Access to Work grant means that she can get a taxi to and from her job in advertising, but for the last three months she hasnt needed one. The difference? She believes, a few drops of grassy-tasting oil under the tongue each …

The science of addiction: a personal struggle to kick cocaine gives a neuroscientist unique insights

Having survived a decade of drink and drugs as a young woman, Professor Judith Grisel focused all her determination on writing a book about addiction When guardianbookshop.com

For women like me, postponing the menopause would be a blessing | Sonia Sodha

Scientific advances that prolong fertility can only be a benefit to many would-be mothers Let us imagine for a moment that we lived in a world where male fertility dropped off a cliff by the time men hit their mid 40s, leaving a group of men who wanted to have children but couldnt. When would science have produced a fix? I am going to hazard a guess that it would have been quite some time ago. But it has taken until 2019 for a fledgling treatment to delay the menopause by up to 20 years to be offered to women, even though the idea has been around for treatment involves removing and freezing a small piece of ovarian tissue from …

Dani Shapiro: Science will bring an end to these family secrets

As a young Jewish girl, Dani Shapiro always felt different. Years later she found out why She reveals what she learned about family, identity and the hard truths of DNA tests Take a look at your reflection. What do you see? Who do you think you are? When the writer Dani Shapiro was a little girl, she would sneak down the hall late at night once her parents were asleep, the better to stare at herself uninterrupted in the bathroom mirror. She felt, though she would not have been able to articulate this at the time, different a creature apart. Perhaps if she gazed at herself for long enough, a new face would emerge from behind her own: a truer …

‘It’s ghost slavery’: the troubling world of pop holograms

Dead stars from Whitney Houston to Maria Callas are going on tour again. As Miley Cyrus explores the issue in a new Black Mirror, we uncover the greatest identity crisis in music today In the star-making Disney Channel switcheroo Hannah Montana,Miley Cyrus played a teenage girl who is able to metamorphose from regular eighth grader to pop icon, simply by donning a streaked blonde wig. Most of the show seems quaintly dated now, but one moment taps into a very 2019 pop anxiety. On foam-finger humper to The episodes trailer ends with Ashley Too acquiring potty-mouthed sentience, screaming for her owner to get this [USB] cable out of my ass! Holy Shit! Specifics are under wraps, but the episode seems …

Science of anger: how gender, age and personality shape this emotion

What purpose does anger serve? Are men angrier than women? Can it affect our mental wellbeing? Science is beginning to uncover some of the answers Anger is the flash of fire that sparks in your brain when you feel you have been shortchanged. Perhaps a stranger has nipped into the parking space that you had been about to occupy, or a lazy work colleague has landed you with a thankless task. Or maybe you have been confronted with a deep, hurtful betrayal by someone you love. Anger is one of the most primitive emotions we experience animals are equipped with the same basic neural circuitry. It operates on a spectrum from mild frustration to absolute fury, and the intensity with …