Good Grief! Scientists uncover a difference between the sexes

Perhaps somebody could tell the politically correct that “different” is not an issue of “better” or “worse”. It is about not being the same. Vive la différence.

From the “science is wonderful” category.

Scientists have discovered there are fundamental differences between the brains of men and women. You cannot blame the scientists for the headlines of course, otherwise I would not know whether to be worried or relieved. In any case we could always pass a law saying this is not so.

N. Tabatadze, G. Huang, R. M. May, A. Jain, C. S. Woolley. Sex Differences in Molecular Signaling at Inhibitory Synapses in the Hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience, 2015; 35 (32): 11252 DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1067-15.2015

Press Release from Northwestern University:

Scientists Uncover a Difference Between the Sexes

Male and female brains operate differently at a molecular level, a Northwestern University research team reports in a new study of a brain region involved in learning and memory, responses to stress and epilepsy.

Many brain disorders vary between the sexes, but how biology and culture contribute to these differences has been unclear. Now Northwestern neuroscientists have found an intrinsic biological difference between males and females in the molecular regulation of synapses in the hippocampus. This provides a scientific reason to believe that female and male brains may respond differently to drugs targeting certain synaptic pathways. 

“The importance of studying sex differences in the brain is about making biology and medicine relevant to everyone, to both men and women,” said Catherine S. Woolley, senior author of the study. “It is not about things such as who is better at reading a map or why more men than women choose to enter certain professions.”

Among their findings, the scientists found that a drug called URB-597, which regulates a molecule important in neurotransmitter release, had an effect in females that it did not have in males. While the study was done in rats, it has broad implications for humans because this drug and others like it are currently being tested in clinical trials in humans.

“Our study starts to put some specifics on what types of molecular differences there are in male and female brains,” Woolley said. 

 

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