Why have sex? Are you kidding?
There may be 23 positions in a one-night stand, but there are 237 reasons (at least) for getting yourself in that position. University of Texas at Austin psychologists asked 400 students to list their reasons for doing the deed and had a separate group rate the importance of each of the 237 motivations on the titillating list (available here). The top 10 reasons for men and women were largely identical ("I was attracted to the person"; "I was sexually aroused and wanted the release"; "I was 'horny")—and a bit redundant. Some other motivations ("I wanted to give someone else a sexually transmitted disease") were understandably infrequent. Yet another reason to renew your subscription to Archives of Sexual Behavior, which published the study. (University of Texas)
I claim this Pole in the name of the Kremlin
Arctic explorer and patriotic Russian Artur Chilingarov descended 14,000 feet in a submersible on Thursday to plant a titanium flag under the North Pole, symbolizing his nation's claim to the Lomonsov Ridge, which is thought to contain up to 10 billion barrels of oil, according to the London Telegraph. In June, the paper notes, Russia's Institute of Ocean Geology said it had come closer to fulfilling a U.N. requirement for ceding Arctic territory by gathering new evidence that the undersea mountain range sits on the country's continental plate. Melting ice sheets have made the region more attractive as a potential shipping lane and pit stop for resources. Risk, anyone? (Telegraph)
What, ministering to the poor?
Doctors who describe themselves as religious are slightly less likely to practice medicine among the needy, according to a University of Chicago survey of 1,144 physicians of all specialties. Respondents who scored high on church attendance and "intrinsic religiosity" were only 31 percent likely to treat underserved populations, compared with 35 percent among the nonreligious; spirituality and youth were better predictors of service. So much for answering a (house) calling. (Annals of Family Medicine; University of Chicago)
FDA panel: Iffy diabetes drug should stay put
No sooner than a federal drug advisory panel agreed by a 20-to-three margin on Monday that the GlaxoSmithKline diabetes drug Avandia raises the risk of heart attacks, it turned around and voted 22 to one to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allow it to stay on the market. The New York Times reports that experts were unsure exactly how big a risk the drug presented. A study in the May issue of The New England Journal of Medicine that combined data from 42 separate clinical trials found that rosiglitazone (Avandia) boosted the risk of death by 64 percent. The FDA has yet to vote on the matter, but almost always goes with advisory board recommendations. (New York Times)
A lefty gene? Right
Researchers claim to have found a gene that increases a person's odds of being left-handed—and having schizophrenia. Dubbed LRRTM1, the Oxford University–led team speculated that the poorly understood gene contributes to the brain's division of labor between left and right hemispheres, which becomes skewed in the disease. But lefties need not fret: the researchers stressed to the BBC that schizophrenia has many greater risk factors. (BBC; University of Oxford)