Sea, Sun, Sex…and Skeeters!

[August 12-16, 2013] The editor’s note about your summer science week

Sea, Sun, Sex…and Skeeters!

Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of covering some really summery, but equally science-y, subjects, and at the same time, discovering a new point of view on these topics that are right around us at this time of year. Read on to find out what we’ve learned!

Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of covering some really summery, but equally science-y, subjects, and at the same time, discovering a new point of view on these topics that are right around us at this time of year. Read on to find out what we’ve learned!

 

Something that ought to be right around and all over you is sunscreen. Most of us have had the importance of protecting our skin drilled into our sun hat-wearing heads. But very little is said about what all the chemicals in sunblock might be doing when they wash off our bodies into the sea. A study conducted recently on the Spanish island of Majorca led to some really interesting results concerning toxicity for marine organisms and totally unexpected levels of nutrients. Antonio Tovar-Sanchez explains more:

Sunscreen, while protecting skin, pollutes water         

 

Just as sunbathing is a pleasure not without its complications, there are those who suffer when it comes to sex. Hypersexuality itself is difficult to define (What is “normal”?), and there is no consensus as to whether sex addiction is a true dependency, akin to what we might see with drugs. Nevertheless, the condition creates serious problems for a person’s mental health, in their personal life and at work. Learn more about it from Laurent Karila, a psychiatrist specializing in sexual addiction:

Is sex addiction an actual dependency?

 

Maybe you won’t be lying awake at night this summer, worrying about any sort of addiction, but at some point you will, most likely, awake in horror to the buzzing of a tiny blood-sucking insect. Mosquitoes are an inherent part of summer – we might even miss them if they were gone from our evening strolls and barbecues! – but species that spread malaria are of serious concern to public health in many parts of the world. In order to understand them better, and to create more effective traps, a team of researchers tracked the flight of individual mosquitoes in 3D, observing their every move as they home in on their human target. Check out how it works and what they found in this article:

3D mosquito flight tracking for better malaria traps

 

And, finally, if you can’t get back to sleep after that cursed mosquito’s turn around your room, perhaps a little reading is in order. Last summer, MyScienceWork asked a few of the scientists and bloggers we follow to recommend their favorite science reading. You can find their suggestions here:

Your Summer Science Reading List

 

Or, better yet, have a browse on MyScienceNews!

Enjoy, and see you next week!

The MyScienceWork Team