Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine

  • Womb transplants may be the latest in infertility treatments

    According to a prominent scientist, women could soon have another option when it comes to beating infertility: womb transplants.

    Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has spent more than 10 years working on making such a transplant possible. In a study published last month in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, Brannstrom wrote: "Uterus transplantation has been proven to be a feasible procedure in different experimentation animal models with proof of concept concerning surgery, control of rejection and fertility." Translation: His team has been able to implant donated wombs in mice, rats, sheep, and pigs, and hope that the process can be used to help women who suffer from permanent infertility.

    The Daily Mail reports that a British team from Hammersmith Hospital in London has also been working on uterus transplants and have successfully done them in rabbits. The only womb transplant attempted on a human took place in Saudi Arabia in 2000; the

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  • Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011: Actress, AIDS activist, and style icon

    Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, one of the great actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age, died today at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, surrounded by her four children. She was 79.



    Unlike the stars of today, who are often famous for being famous, Elizabeth Taylor was famous for being simply amazing. From her iconic style to her luminous beauty, her penchant for huge diamonds and her many marriages, the name Elizabeth Taylor is synonymous with glamour and activism, thanks to her tireless support for AIDS awareness and research.



    The daughter of an art dealer and a former actress from Arkansas City, Kansas, Taylor was born in London on February 27, 1932, and moved to the United States in 1939, settling in Los Angeles. She appeared in her first movie, "There's One Born Every Minute," when she was 9. In spite of harsh criticism ("She can't sing, she can't dance, she can't perform," Universal Studios product chief Edward Muhl famously once said), she landed roles in three other movies

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  • High BMI? What it means for your child, and what you can do about it

    First Lady Michelle Obama, right, talks to White House Executive Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford, second from left, as local 5th graders from Bancroft Elementary look on during the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest on October 20, 2010, at the White House. The festival was part of the First Lady's initiative to stop childhood obesity. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)First Lady Michelle Obama, right, talks to White House Executive Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford, second from left, as local 5th graders from Bancroft Elementary look on during the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest on October 20, 2010, at the White House. The festival was part of the First Lady's initiative to stop childhood obesity. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)In an exclusive post published on Shine today, First Lady Michelle Obama offers some advice, drawn from her own experience, about the Affordable Care Act and how parents can get the most out of visits to the pediatrician. One of her suggestions: Learn about your child's BMI.

    The First Lady was surprised to learn that her daughters' BMI numbers were "creeping upwards." "I didn't really know what BMI was," she writes. "And I certainly didn't know that even a small increase in BMI can have serious consequences for a child's health. But as Dr. Susan J. Woolford explains, despite the medical jargon, BMI (Body Mass Index) is actually a very easy way to answer a very difficult question: Is my child overweight?

    "We're concerned about obesity because of the complications of obesity," Woolford says. "Increased risk for developing problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease-all the things that can happen as a result of having a high BMI."

    The medical director of the Pediatric

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  • In Japan, kids helping their community recover (video)

    With all of the posts about parents who hate parenting, and with the bad rap given to teenagers in general (and boys in particular), it's time for a little something positive. Make that a big something positive-this clip of teen- and tween-age boys volunteering to help rebuild their community and help provide for their neighbors after the devastating earthquake and tsunami is just inspirational:






    Also on Shine:

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  • Royal wedding etiquette: Do Americans have to bow or curtsy to the queen?

    Prince William and Kate Middleton during a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 8, 2011. (Photo: Indigo/Getty Images) Prince William and Kate Middleton during a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 8, 2011. (Photo: Indigo/Getty Images) Most of us will be taking in the pomp and circumstance of Will and Kate's royal wedding from the comfort of our living rooms. But if you're curious as to what a royal wedding is all about-and about what you should or shouldn't do if you're ever invited to one-we've got you covered.

    Perhaps the most obvious way this wedding will differ from conventional (or "common") weddings is in the fact that it'll be televised and watched by billions of people around the world. OK, that may be the second-most obvious way; the first being, of course, that a good portion of the British royal family will not only be in attendance, but in the receiving line. Do you shake hands with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, or are Americans expected to bow and curtsy to the grandparents of the groom?

    "If they extend their hand to you, you should certainly extend yours right back," advises Anna Post, great-great granddaughter of etiquette expert Emily Post and the author of "Do I Have To Wear White? Emily Post

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  • What would you like to ask the Obama Administration?

    Next week, Shine is heading down to Washington, D.C., to chat with White House officials about issues that affect women in education, employment, and work-life balance. Our exclusive interview with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Preeta Bansal, General Counsel and Senior Policy Adviser at the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President, will be livestreamed at whitehouse.gov and elsewhere, and we want to know: What do you want us to ask the Obama Administration about women in the workplace, education, or work-life balance?

    Earlier this month, the White House published "Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being," the first comprehensive federal report since 1963, when President Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, was released. The 2011 report pulls together data from a variety of sources and studies, offering a big-picture view of the

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  • Parents who hate parenting: The latest trend?

    The stories are a little disturbing, even if you don't have kids at home: Moms who confess that they love one child more than another. People who decide they don't want to be a full-time parent. Study after study showing that non-parents are happier than parents.

    Is the latest parenting trend "parents who hate parenting"?

    "Parents of young children report far more depression, emotional distress, and other negative emotions than non-parents, and parents of grown children have no better well-being than adults who never had children," points out Robin Simon, a sociologist at Wake Forest University.

    New studies by Richard Eibach and Steven Mock, psychologists at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, confirmed that people idealize parenthood in order to justify the costs, which are mind boggling-more than $200,000 to raise a child born in 2007 to age 18, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

    "Although raising children has largely negative effects on parents'

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  • Kittens born via in-vitro fertilization? Yay, science!

    Photos: Karen Ross for the Audubon Institute, via zooborns.comPhotos: Karen Ross for the Audubon Institute, via zooborns.comThere's more to this adorable bundle of fur than meets the eye: He and his equally adorable brother are the first animals to be born from a frozen embryo via in-vitro fertilization.

    Why go the in-vitro route when it comes to kittens? To preserve an endangered species-in this case, one of the world's smallest and rarest felines, the African Black-Footed Cat, which are native to South Africa. Born to a surrogate mama cat named Bijou on February 13, the tiny scientific marvels are the latest achievement from the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans.

    According to the Feline Conservation Federation, there are only 19 Black-Footed Cats in zoos in the United States, and just 40 of them throughout the world. The births of these two kittens took many years of planning, according to Zooborns.com. In 2003, sperm was collected from a 6-year-old Black-Footed Cat named Ramses in Omaha, Nebraska, by researchers at the Henry Doorly Zoo Center for Conservation and Research's Reproductive Sciences

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  • Reality TV and the SAT: Did students miss the point of the essay question?

    Students, parents, and school officials are crying foul over an essay question on last Saturday's SAT college admissions test, in which test-takers were asked to consider the merits, if any, of reality television.

    "I know basically nothing about reality TV, so I just had to talk about the few shows that I did know about and their effects on long-term mentality. Ugh," one student wrote on the discussion boards at College Confidential.

    Another student quipped: "i wrote about Man vs. Wild and MTV 'made.' One of my friends who is reallllly smart doesn't have cable, so i wonder how it fared for him."

    But people who are outraged about the issue may be missing the point: The essay is supposed to evaluate the test-taker's writing skills, not his or her knowledge of a topic. To that end, there was more than enough information provided in the question prompt for students to pick a side-you didn't need to watch "Jersey Shore" or "The Bachelor" in order to answer it.

    Here's the actual essay

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  • Nuclear power: Has the disaster in Japan changed how you feel about it?

    While Japan struggles to avert a nuclear catastrophe caused by the recent earthquake and tsunamis, the White House says that the Obama Administration is still committed to nuclear energy. Has the disaster in Japan changed the way you feel about nuclear power?

    "We view nuclear energy as a very important component to the overall portfolio we're trying to build for a clean-energy future," Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman told reporters at the White House on Monday, adding that the administration believes nuclear power plants in the United States are safe.

    Last year, President Barack Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to build a new nuclear power plant in the U.S.-the first new plant in 30 years. Increasing nuclear power production is part of his plan to lower U.S. dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    But after watching the radiation rates rise in Japan, public perception of nuclear energy being a safe and clean alternative to oil and coal

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Pagination

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