No single ‘gay gene’, reveals the largest-ever study of the genetics of same-sex sexual behaviour

ABC news, 30/08/2019

Scientists have again debunked the idea of a single “gay gene”, in the largest study to date of the genetics of same-sex sexual behaviour.

Rather, their findings paint a diverse and complex picture of human sexuality, and the genetic factors that influence it.

Nearly half a million people took part in the study, mostly from the United Kingdom and the United States, which was published in the journal Science today.

STIs in remote Australia

ABC Health Report, Monday 18 March 2019 5:45 PM

Leading Aboriginal researcher Associate Professor James Ward* is calling for action in remote Australia to deal with a preventable epidemic of sexually transmissible infections — including syphilis — in a population that’s no more sexually active than non-Indigenous people of the same age.  

He joined Dr Norman Swan’s Health Report on ABC RN.

Later this month James will present to the National Rural Health Conference about addressing sexually transmitted infections in remote Australia.

*James Ward is Associate Professor, Flinders University; & Head of Infectious Diseases Research, Aboriginal Health, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. 

 

 

‘Patient zero’ Gaëtan Dugas not source of HIV outbreak, study confirms

Guardian, 27 Oct 2017

Scientists have managed to reconstruct the route by which HIV arrived in the US – exonerating once and for all the man long blamed for the ensuing pandemic in the west.

Using sophisticated genetic techniques, an international team of researchers have revealed that the virus emerged from a pre-existing epidemic in the Caribbean, arrived in New York by the early 1970s and then spread westwards across the US.

  • Read more here 
  • Access Nature article (full text) here 

 

Update on male contraceptive development

It Takes Two: How Men Fit into Expanding the Family Planning Method Mix

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange,  July 5, 2016 9:22 am

The terms “family planning” and “birth control” are synonymous with women’s health and associated with the struggle for equal rights and women’s liberation.  And while the advent of the pill and subsequent advances in contraceptive technology have had enormous implications for women’s health and agency over the last 60 years, male-controlled methods have been responsible for a substantial portion of prevented births for millennia.

Read more here

New Male Contraceptives: What’s in the Near-term Pipeline?

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange,  July 12, 2016 8:34 pm

Several groups are  researching novel methods of contraception for men from three angles:

  1. Hormonal contraceptives to suppress brain signals that direct the testes to make sperm
  2. Non-hormonal contraceptives that inhibit sperm production in the testes or their maturation prior to ejaculation, and
  3. Novel ways to plug the vas deferens.

Read more here

Genetic and Small Molecule Advances Bode Well for Male Contraceptive Development

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, July 20, 2016 11:05 am

On the male side, only three viable methods of contraception have been developed over several millennia (withdrawal, the condom, and vasectomy). New research in hormonal contraception has led to current clinical trials in men; however, as in women, changes in hormone concentrations have adverse effects in men. Thus, to find a non-hormonal contraceptive for men or women would be a game changer.

Read more here

Making New Male Contraceptives a Reality

Contraceptive Technology Innovation (CTI) Exchange, July 29, 2016 4:05 pm

A steadfast and devoted group of non-industry scientists, clinicians and advocates—with a desire to bring new and innovative male contraceptive options to market—continues to move the idea forward.  Slow and steady progress is being made, but important challenges still need to be addressed before new male contraceptives become a reality.

Read more here

 

Gene sequencing offers way to beat global spread of gonorrhoea

Oxford University, 12 July 2016

With drug-resistant strains of sexually-transmitted infection gonorrhoea increasing, scientists from Brighton, Oxford University and Public Health England have found that genetic sequencing can track the spread of infection. They show coordinated national and international strategies are required to stop drug-resistance spreading further.

Their study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and the NIHR Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU), is published in The Lancet Infectious Disease.

Read more here

Science & Health Scabies Research Breakthrough Will Help Remote Indigenous Australian Communities

Gizmodo, 15/2/16

Australian researchers have used cutting-edge genome technologies to reveal the genetic makeup of a widespread skin parasite causing serious health problems in Aboriginal communities. The research team identified the genetic ‘map’ of the human parasitic scabies mite, accelerating research that could lead to new ways of preventing and treating scabies infestations and prevent lifelong complications for people in remote Aboriginal communities.

Read more here