Scientists have been eager to see if the hormone oxytocin, which plays a role in emotional bonding, trust, and many biological processes, can improve social behavior in people with autism. Some parents of children with autism have asked doctors to prescribe it, although it is not an approved treatment for autism, or have purchased lower-dose versions of the drug over the counter.
The Obama administration moved Wednesday to keep girls under 15 from having over-the-counter access to morning-after pills, as the Justice Department filed a notice to appeal a judge’s order that would make the drug available without a prescription for girls and women of all ages. The appeal reaffirms an election-year decision by the Obama administration to block the drug’s maker from selling it without a prescription or consideration of age, and puts the White House back into the politically charged issue of access to emergency contraception.
The most popular contraceptive for women in eastern and southern Africa, a hormone shot given every three months, appears to double the risk of HIV infection among users, according to a large study published Monday. And when it is used by HIV-positive women, their male partners are twice as likely to become infected than if the women had used no contraception.
<i>Science</i> has never given much credence to claims that you can learn Chinese or French by having the instruction CDs play while you sleep. If any learning happens that way, most scientists say, the language lesson is probably waking the sleeper up, not causing nouns and verbs to seep into a sound-asleep mind.
Same-sex marriage will continue to be legal in Massachusetts, after proponents on Thursday won a months-long battle to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.