Plucking right mate from the gene pool

Genetics

May 22, 2008

Swapping spit: The term takes on a more refined meaning at the new dating site ScientificMatch. com. A prerequisite for signing up - in addition to having a bit of cash to spare - involves swishing a cotton swab inside your cheek and mailing a juicy sample of skin cells and saliva.

Scientificmatch.com - perhaps the first company to combine the commercial potential of genetic testing, dating and the Internet in one package - offers to find you a lover who smells good.

But not simply a bathed-and-used-deodorant kind of good smell. If all goes well, you'll get a lusty good smell that indicates compatibility.

Services offered by the company, launched in December, so far are available only in the Boston-Providence, R.I., area, although founder Eric Holzle is looking to expand in the coming year. Cost of the lifetime membership is $995.

Los Angeles Times

Stress

Having a bad day? Men pour stiff one

For those who have poured themselves a stiff cocktail at the end of an awful day - or a spat, traffic ticket or office crisis - it's official: You are likely trying to distract yourself from negative emotions. And if this is how you tend to respond, you're more likely to be a man than a woman.

A Yale University study finds that under stress, women report more sadness and anxiety than men, but men report more craving for alcohol.

In a study to be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 27 women and 27 men - social drinkers - heard stories from their lives that were stressful, relaxing or alcohol-related. Then they had their heart rate and blood pressure measured, and emotional state and craving for alcohol gauged. When men's emotions were aroused, up went their blood pressure and evidence of emotional discomfort, such as fidgeting and distressed looks. And up went their professed desire for alcohol.

For women, sadness and anxiety rose after hearing stressful stories. But compared with men, their increased alcohol craving was slight.

Is nature or nurture at work - society's expectation that women, not men, may show emotion? Study author Tara M. Chaplin of Yale isn't sure, but says that men's response to stress, plus the fact that men tend to drink more than women, puts them at greater risk for alcohol-use disorders.

Los Angeles Times

Pediatrics

Kids who snore may also wet bed

Children who wet their beds frequently have elevated levels of a heart hormone that helps regulate fluid around the heart, a study finds. Additionally, children who habitually snore are about three times as likely to wet the bed as children who don't snore, but the severity of snoring appears to have little effect on the risk of bed-wetting, according to the research, which is published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

Why the levels of brain natriuretic peptide were raised requires more research, said study co-author Dr. David Gozal of the University of Louisville in Kentucky. But if your child snores and wets the bed, Gozal said, treating the snoring may help reduce bed-wetting.

Chicago Tribune

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