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Thursday News: The male contraceptive; Hospital power failure leads to research...

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“According to precedent studies, almost 55% of the patients questioned are willing to try the male contraceptive pill. However, a recent study from the United Kingdom, published in 2010, reveals that women don’t trust that men would take the pill on a daily basis. There are currently other forms of male contraception, which includes a monthly injection. It’s based on testosterone and the result is the regulation of two brain chemicals that temporarily block sperm production. According to a clinical trial conducted in China, which involved 1,000 male patients, over a period of two years, these injections were proven to have an efficiency of preventing pregnancy of almost 95%. However, 30% of the patients stopped participating in the clinical trial due to side effects which included acne, mood swings and a lower sex drive.”

“Many precious reagents — special enzymes, antibodies, DNA strands — generated by scientists and stored at -80 degrees and -20 degrees were likely destroyed, a researcher tells the Daily News.”

“Though amputation was one of the first recorded surgeries, mentioned in the Hippocratic treatise “On Joints” around the 4th century BC, the procedure really became a viable option after major improvements were made in blood-loss prevention during the 15th and 16th centuries. Doctors began working with ligatures to seal off individual blood vessels and eventually used tight tourniquets around entire appendages to slow blood flow.”

Technology such as microprocessors are helping individuals move up and down steps which was, not just two years ago, a difficult chore. Also, wasn’t titular character from The Iron Duke actually an Anglesey?

Han Solo with Andy on his foot

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ruthie
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 04:12:59

    No need to wait, Jane — male pill plots can start now, with heroes involved in the clinical trial! Just imagine the potential … cutting-edge research involvement, “are you clean?” conversation, embarrassing unexplained acne, pill discontinuation, accidental pregnancy. I’ll go ahead and start writing that synopsis now…

  2. jmc
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 04:32:00

    My sister, who does biochemical research at a lower tier school than NYU, told me she felt physically ill at the thought of the labs’ loss: millions of dollars worth of samples, entire careers worth of development – gone.

  3. Meri
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 05:10:10

    I feel bad for the mice who suffered and died in vain.

    But yes, being a researcher myself (though in a different field), the thought of losing years of work like that is just awful.

  4. library addict
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 05:22:38

    My favorite pic regarding the Disney deal is the one of Darth Vader in mouse ears. There’s also a YouTube vid of Vader and two stormtroopers at Disneyland.

  5. Nadia Lee
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 05:48:35

    @Ruthie: Don’t forget what your hero’s loss of sex drive can do for the internal and external conflict!

  6. SAO
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 06:17:09

    Even if they put Mickey Mouse ears on Darth Vader, it can’t be worse than wooden Hayden Christianson going from being a good Jedi Knight to a Sith Lord, complete with battle to the death with Obiwan on the brink of the chasm of hell opening up. That had all the emotional resonance of a Powder Puff girls cartoon. In fact, the more I think of the last Star Wars, the more I think it was a smart move for Disney. Anything they produce, no matter how Disnified, is going to be a step up — even if they position it for a Musical, complete with Yoda, Anikin and Han Solo caroling ‘May the Force be with you,’ in three part harmony.

  7. Ros
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 06:17:27

    @Ruthie: I cannot wait for this book. Write it NOW!

  8. Inez Kelley
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 06:35:42


    I’ll take the opposite approach and have a hero who lies to his wife and says he has STOPPED taking the male BC pill when they are trying to conceive but in reality is popping little white pills every morning. He will of course have to have deep dark compelling reasons for his actions.

    *mind spins off into sinister and tormented places* *jots synopsis notes on post-its*

  9. Deb
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 07:16:38

    Not in love with Star Wars- at all- but this development doesn’t inspire any confidence. Not exactly grieving though- in part because I lack the photoshop skills to properly do so.

  10. Lynnd
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 07:39:10

    @Ruthie and @Inez Kelley – SOLD!

  11. Nikki
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 08:36:34

    I am sad they lost the research. The years of financial and emotional investment being gone are terrible. I keep thinking about when Ike came to Houston, and I talked to the people who remembered the medical center flooding and all the changes that the hospitals required to make sure they did not lose power during a hurricane again. I suspect a lot of people will review their construction choices after this experience.

    As for male contraception, I would be perfectly fine with saying it is mandatory.

  12. Isobel Carr
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 09:26:24

    Disney bought Marvel and then produced movies that people have loved (X-Men First Class, Avengers). And honestly, NOTHING they do could be worse than that second trilogy and the “upgrades” Lucas gave to the original trilogy.

    I have quite a few friends who work for Lucas Film, and once they were assured that their facilities weren’t moving to LA, they were all fine with the new corporate overlord.

  13. Ridley
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 10:16:44

    I loved the prosthetics article. Thank you for linking that.

  14. Beverly
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 11:12:24

    I don’t get all the worry over Disney buying LucasFilm at all. Disney has done an awesome job with Marvel, which they own outright also. The Avengers was an excellent movie that was nearly universally loved, and that was all Disney. There has always been an element of “for kids” in Star Wars, so if that’s what people worry about with Disney, it makes no sense.

  15. Darlynne
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 11:41:38

    @SAO: Don’t forget Jar Jar Binks (as if anyone could). On a how-much-worse-can-it-get scale, Disney would have to work really hard to top that.

  16. becky
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 12:14:49

    Or how about the plotline of the man telling the woman he’s on the pill, but he stops, because he knows that she really doesn’t mean it when she says she doesn’t want kids, and that she will magically change her mind and become a family woman when she gets pregnant.

    Read basically the opposite gender of that in a book once…wanted to burn it afterwards!

  17. Ann Somerville
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 16:35:05

    @Inez Kelley:

    “I’ll take the opposite approach and have a hero who lies to his wife and says he has STOPPED taking the male BC pill when they are trying to conceive but in reality is popping little white pills every morning. He will of course have to have deep dark compelling reasons for his actions. ”

    Dear Prudence (Emily Yoffe) had a letter recently from a woman who had been trying to conceive with her husband for over two years, and finally in desperation was about to undergo IVF. WHen she told her M-i-L, M-i-L said ‘Oh, did [husband] have his vasectomy reversed then?”

    When the wife confronted her husband, he admitted he’d had a vasectomy before the marriage, but didn’t tell her because he assumed she’d go off the idea of children when they didn’t happen.

    Prudence’s advice was to dump the sociopathic bastard forthwith. I agree.

    And no way would I ever trust a man with *my* contraception.

  18. FD
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 18:06:40

    I wish that it wasn’t so completely predictable that, in any article about male contraceptive options, there will be a quote from ‘research’ about women not trusting their partners to take it. It’s irrelevant and vaguely sketchy. The whole point of it is that it would give men more independent options to control their own fertility – what their female parters then decide to do about controlling their fertility is equally their own business.

  19. Christine M.
    Nov 01, 2012 @ 20:06:23


    Maybe I’d agree with you if we could actually impregnate them. Which isn’t the case. I’m all good if a man decides to take the male pill if his intent is to remain child-free, but I won’t rely on my bf to remember to take a pill everyday to avoid getting me preggers. He doesn’t even remember taking his Lactaid pills half the time when dairy actually makes him crazy sick.

  20. FD
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 07:30:18

    @Christine M.: I’m sorry, I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. How is your decision to use one form of contraceptive, relevant to the development of another form of contraceptive which would be used by someone else?

  21. Shelley
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 16:31:05

    I love the prosthetics article! Knowing Vietnam vets (my uncle, for one) who have lived with a prosthesis for many years and watching Oscar Pistorius in the Olympics this last summer inspired me to no end! I’ve also loved Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas books and how she’s handled the nifty prosthetic gadgets as well as the much sadder characters who were forced to have these attached in order to slave for the Horde.

  22. Wahoo Suze
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 19:57:04

    The whole point of it is that it would give men more independent options to control their own fertility – what their female parters then decide to do about controlling their fertility is equally their own business.

    Right, cause the first sign of a healthy relationship is NEVER TALK ABOUT CONTRACEPTION, amirate?

  23. Ridley
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 20:29:54

    What’s your deal, people? Mentioning how women feel about male contraceptives IS beside the damn point. What do men’s feelings on women-controlled contraceptives have to do with anything? Nothing. So why are we diminishing this research with nonsense about whether women trust men w/ contraception? Two people in a relationship could use contraception at the same time. Developing a male contraceptive doesn’t mean women can’t have their contraception too.

    And, @Wahoo Suze, sex does occur outside of established relationships, you know. When condoms have a typical use failure rate of 18%, why would finding a hormonal birth control for men be anything but a good idea?

  24. Sunita
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 21:03:04

    I’m very grateful that science and political policies made it possible for me to control my fertility in ways that I chose. I did that regardless of whether my sexual activity involved one-night stands or long-term relationships, not to mention men I trusted to be honest with me (and those I didn’t).

    I think it’s about damn time that men had the same options. Way past time, in fact.

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