Finalists are being screened for the world's first face transplant. The face will be taken from a corpse. The idea is to give a real face to a burn victim who otherwise looks like a monster. Critics say the procedure is too physically and psychologically risky to justify for an aesthetic condition. Defenders say the face won't look like the dead person (because the recipient's bones and muscles will shape it) and it's safer than the current practice of using other body parts to make a new face.
Scientists are zeroing in on a Parkinson's drug that can cause compulsive gambling. The culprit seems to be pramipexole. In some cases, patients began to gamble pathologically soon after taking the drug. In other cases, they stopped gambling after they stopped taking it.
A national survey shows increased reporting of oral and lesbian sex. According to self-reports, 1) Most boys and girls aged 15-19 have had oral sex, slightly more than have had vaginal sex; 2) 14 percent of women aged 18-29 have had sex with a woman; and 3) among men aged 15-44, 6 percent have had oral sex with a man, and 4 percent have had anal sex with a man. The early spin is that the first two findings can be explained by fear of pregnancy.
Latest Human Nature columns: 1) The mainstreaming of anal sex. 2) The hurricane and the bioethics council. 3) The looting of New Orleans. 4) The political use of fetal pain. 5) The difference between blacks and animals. 6) The emerging technology of artificial wombs. 7) The case for growing embryos for their parts. 8) The evolution of creationism.