Mindsuckers - Meet Nature’s Nightmare

“Ladybugs are said to bring good luck—but one infected by the wasp species Dinocampus coccinellae is decidedly unfortunate. When a female wasp stings a ladybug, it leaves behind a single egg. After the egg hatches, the larva begins to eat its host from the inside out. When ready, the parasite emerges and spins a cocoon between the ladybug’s legs. Though its body is now free of the tormentor, the bug remains enslaved, standing over the cocoon and protecting it from potential predators. Some lucky ladybugs actually survive this eerie ordeal.”…
And what of D. coccinellae and its hapless ladybug host? While at the University of Montreal, Fanny Maure and her colleagues made a startling discovery: In turning its victim into a willing bodyguard, the wasp itself may only be acting as the extended phenotype of yet another organism. The researchers found that when a wasp injects an egg into a ladybug victim, she also injects a cocktail of chemicals and other substances—including a virus that replicates in the wasp’s ovaries. Some evidence suggests it is this virus that immobilizes the ladybug, protecting the wasp’s cocoon from intruders.
The virus and the wasp have the same evolutionary interests; turning a ladybug into a bodyguard produces more wasps, and more wasps beget more viruses. And so their genes work together to make the ladybug their puppet. The D. coccinellae wasp may not be the puppet master it once seemed. Instead it hides another puppet master within.

Read the whole article: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/11/mindsuckers/zimmer-text

Mindsuckers - Meet Nature’s Nightmare

Ladybugs are said to bring good luck—but one infected by the wasp species Dinocampus coccinellae is decidedly unfortunate. When a female wasp stings a ladybug, it leaves behind a single egg. After the egg hatches, the larva begins to eat its host from the inside out. When ready, the parasite emerges and spins a cocoon between the ladybug’s legs. Though its body is now free of the tormentor, the bug remains enslaved, standing over the cocoon and protecting it from potential predators. Some lucky ladybugs actually survive this eerie ordeal.”

And what of D. coccinellae and its hapless ladybug host? While at the University of Montreal, Fanny Maure and her colleagues made a startling discovery: In turning its victim into a willing bodyguard, the wasp itself may only be acting as the extended phenotype of yet another organism. The researchers found that when a wasp injects an egg into a ladybug victim, she also injects a cocktail of chemicals and other substances—including a virus that replicates in the wasp’s ovaries. Some evidence suggests it is this virus that immobilizes the ladybug, protecting the wasp’s cocoon from intruders.

The virus and the wasp have the same evolutionary interests; turning a ladybug into a bodyguard produces more wasps, and more wasps beget more viruses. And so their genes work together to make the ladybug their puppet. The D. coccinellae wasp may not be the puppet master it once seemed. Instead it hides another puppet master within.

Read the whole article: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/11/mindsuckers/zimmer-text

New Montreal study: Has your ‪#‎sex‬ life put you at greater risk of prostate ‪#‎cancer‬?
• Having had >20 female sexual partners associated with decreased prostate cancer risk.• Having had >20 male sexual partners were suggestive of greater prostate cancer risk.• Self-identification as a homosexual was suggestive of greater prostate cancer risk.• No association found between sexually transmitted infections and prostate cancer.

More details: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877782114001556

New Montreal study: Has your ‪#‎sex‬ life put you at greater risk of prostate ‪#‎cancer‬?

• Having had >20 female sexual partners associated with decreased prostate cancer risk.
• Having had >20 male sexual partners were suggestive of greater prostate cancer risk.
• Self-identification as a homosexual was suggestive of greater prostate cancer risk.
• No association found between sexually transmitted infections and prostate cancer.

Montreal study: Who are the men and boys suffering from anorexia? "It is clear from their study that males and females affected by anorexia share the same fear of gaining weight and "getting fat." Participants in the study presented clinically significant weight loss, with an average BMI of 16.1, placing them in a state of malnutrition. However, dissatisfaction with body image for males was more related to muscle mass, a motivation that can be associated with social norms of male beauty. "Moreover, excessive physical exercise is far ahead of rituals around food and vomiting in the list of strategies used to lose weight and the behaviours associated with anorexia nervosa," suggests Corbeil-Serre. Their review also suggests a common comorbidity in males with depression and substance abuse and the presence of antisocial, explosive, or psychotic personality traits.
The researchers also note that the rate of homosexuality among participants was much higher than in the general population. “We postulate that the importance of physical appearance in the gay community exacerbates the disorder once it is present and results in an overrepresentation of homosexual patients in treatment units. As well, anorexia nervosa may be a way to delay sexual issues for individuals with a conflictual or questioning homosexual orientation,” says Corbeil-Serre. Restrictive behaviour, finally, may be used to suppress male sexual characteristics in order to evade issues related to sexual maturity, which are a source of anxiety, or to approach models of female beauty. The researchers suggest, however, that because their hypotheses are not supported empirically, they must be submitted to further investigation.”
Complete document here (EurekAlert)

Montreal study: Who are the men and boys suffering from anorexia? 

"It is clear from their study that males and females affected by anorexia share the same fear of gaining weight and "getting fat." Participants in the study presented clinically significant weight loss, with an average BMI of 16.1, placing them in a state of malnutrition. However, dissatisfaction with body image for males was more related to muscle mass, a motivation that can be associated with social norms of male beauty. "Moreover, excessive physical exercise is far ahead of rituals around food and vomiting in the list of strategies used to lose weight and the behaviours associated with anorexia nervosa," suggests Corbeil-Serre. Their review also suggests a common comorbidity in males with depression and substance abuse and the presence of antisocial, explosive, or psychotic personality traits.

The researchers also note that the rate of homosexuality among participants was much higher than in the general population. “We postulate that the importance of physical appearance in the gay community exacerbates the disorder once it is present and results in an overrepresentation of homosexual patients in treatment units. As well, anorexia nervosa may be a way to delay sexual issues for individuals with a conflictual or questioning homosexual orientation,” says Corbeil-Serre. Restrictive behaviour, finally, may be used to suppress male sexual characteristics in order to evade issues related to sexual maturity, which are a source of anxiety, or to approach models of female beauty. The researchers suggest, however, that because their hypotheses are not supported empirically, they must be submitted to further investigation.”

Complete document here (EurekAlert)

J’hésite toujours lorsque des hommes veulent régler des questions féminines (rappelons que moins d’un député péquiste sur trois possède un vagin), et donc c’est avec incrédulité que je perçois ces énoncés qui veulent que la priorité en matière d’équité des genres serait la coiffure des fonctionnaires, alors que, par exemple, la santé sexuelle est absente du curriculum national.

J’hésite toujours lorsque des hommes veulent régler des questions féminines (rappelons que moins d’un député péquiste sur trois possède un vagin), et donc c’est avec incrédulité que je perçois ces énoncés qui veulent que la priorité en matière d’équité des genres serait la coiffure des fonctionnaires, alors que, par exemple, la santé sexuelle est absente du curriculum national.