Blog Posts by Newser

  • A Pregnancy Mixup Leaves One Woman Pregnant with Another Couple's Twins

    Italian woman didn't learn of the December mistake for 3 months(Newser) - "Mix-up" is a word best left out of sentences involving another word: pregnancy. But the two are making headlines together following yesterday's report that a woman in Rome became pregnant with twins after undergoing fertility treatment-except the embryos she was implanted with weren't those of her and her partner. The woman wasn't alerted to the issue until she was three months along. The AFP reports the switch somehow happened on Dec. 4 at the Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome. Four couples received treatment that day, and it's unclear whether any other improper pregnancies resulted.

    There's also no word on how the mix-up came to light, though Rome's health authority said it learned there was "genetic incompatibility" between the parents and embryos on March 27. The country's health ministry is now investigating, and no further implantations are being done at the clinic.

    It's far from the first time this has happened: In 2009 an Ohio woman implanted with the wrong

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  • The Surprising Place Where Bee Stings Are Most Painful

    A colony of bees(Newser) - Where would it hurt more to get stung by a bee: on a testicle or on a nostril? It was this burning question that led Michael Smith, a graduate student at Cornell University studying honeybees, to his latest research.

    After being stung on the testicle and realizing it didn't hurt as much as one might think it would, Smith decided to use himself as the subject of an experiment with the goal of charting the worst places to get stung by a bee.

    The most painful, according to National Geographic, in descending order: the nostril, upper lip, and penis. The least painful: the skull, the upper arm, and the tip of the middle toe. Smith's methods sound pretty awful: He gave himself five stings a day for 38 days, ultimately stinging 25 body parts multiple times.

    "Some locations required the use of a mirror and an erect posture during stinging (eg, buttocks)," he wrote in his amusing paper on the matter. He rated the painfulness of each sting on a scale from 1 to 10, and found

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  • Faking it in Bed? Your Partner Probably Knows

    Study finds couples are more perceptive than you might think(Newser) - If what you and your partner do between the sheets is no longer doing much for you, but you're faking satisfaction for appearances' sake, you may be fooling ... no one.

    A study of 84 heterosexual couples by researchers at Canada's University of Waterloo has found that men and women in a relationship "have fairly accurate and unbiased perceptions of their partners' sexual satisfaction," the study's lead author says per the university's site.

    The study's participants were either married or lived together, and were asked to report on their sexual and relationship satisfaction, sexual communication, and ability to recognize emotions-as well as that of their partner. The study found that men and women were pretty accurate in gauging their partner's satisfaction level; no significant gender difference emerged, though the study notes that "one sample t-tests" showed men actually "slightly underestimated their partners' levels of sexual satisfaction."

    Two factors apparently

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  • Teen's Idea to Fund Prom Dress: Sell Pot Brownies

    These probably don't have marijuana in them.(Newser) - Saira Munoz needed to make enough money to buy a prom dress. What to do? The then-18-year-old high school student chose quite possibly the worst course of action: She baked pot brownies, then hired another student to sell them at her high school in Yuba City, California.

    When one of the students who ate a brownie got sick, Munoz got caught, and on Monday she was sentenced to nine days in jail and four years' probation for employing a minor to sell marijuana.

    The good news: Due to time served, she didn't actually have to go back to jail, Fox 40 reports. The very, very bad news: The crime is a felony, and Munoz, who came to the US from Mexico with temporary permission in 2000, now faces deportation, CBS Sacramento reports. The probation department did reveal her conviction to the federal immigration authorities, but there's no word yet on her fate.

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  • Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin Have 'Uncoupling' Ceremony

    Gwyneth Paltrow(Newser) - We would warn you to take this news, which comes courtesy of a UK tabloid, with a grain or two of salt-but then again, it does sound like something that might occur to Gwyneth Paltrow. As she and Chris Martin are "consciously uncoupling"-while on what they're reportedly calling their "break-up-moon" in the Bahamas (the same one during which Martin reportedly gave Paltrow a parting gift)-the couple supposedly took part in a spiritual ceremony marking their separation.

    Paltrow, you see, doesn't want their split to be "seen as a sign of failure but as an 'inevitable circumstance,'" a friend explains.

    Sources tell the Daily Star that a Kabbalah rabbi led the beach ceremony, which involved Paltrow and Martin reading from a sacred book, lighting a fire, and using stones to symbolize the "concrete relationship" that will continue between them (but then threw rocks into the water to symbolize their "wandering spirits"). Yep. Sounds about right. Then they reportedly recited,

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  • Mom Spies on Son's Facebook, Saves Him from Shooting

    Calls police, they find alleged suspects near school with gun(Newser) - Perhaps the most incredible result to come from a parent monitoring her child's Facebook page: A Salt Lake mom who did just that managed to help intercept two teens who allegedly planned to shoot her son. The mom called the police officer who serves as resource officer at West High School Friday and said that she saw comments from two male teenagers on Facebook threatening to come to the school and shoot her son.

    "She had actually read threats and seen the threat on his Facebook page," a police detective tells the Deseret News.

    The detective says there was also a picture of a gun posted to Instagram, and the hand holding it had gang-affiliated letters written on it. Police officers searched the school and the surrounding area around 2pm, and found the teens who allegedly made the threats in a car parked nearby-along with, allegedly, the pictured gun, ammo, drugs, and lots of money. Police believe the boys, ages 16 and 17, were waiting there in order to confront their

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  • For Better Sex, Men Don't Need Viagra, Just Fewer Cheeseburgers

    Researchers find men taking statins reported improved erectile function(Newser) - Drop your cholesterol before dropping your pants, or so suggests a new study out of Rutgers University. Researchers there analyzed 11 studies on erectile dysfunction and statins, which are prescribed to lower cholesterol along with heart attack and stroke risk. What they found was that in addition to lowering those risks, statins "also improve erectile function in the men included in our analysis," says lead researcher John Kostis, who notes that erectile dysfunction often goes hand in hand with cardiovascular disease, and can even be a warning sign of it.

    While further research is needed-and Kostis notes doctors shouldn't prescribe statins solely for erectile dysfunction-he thinks the finding could be a good factoid for doctors to use in convincing patients who need statins to take them as prescribed.

    The Rutgers press release on the 11 studies assessed all used the International Inventory of Erectile Function, "a self-reporting evaluation of male sexual function

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  • Mom Dies so Her Baby Can Live

    Elizabeth Joice died March 9, six weeks after giving birth(Newser) - Cancer survivor Elizabeth Joice was told the chemotherapy that helped her beat sarcoma in 2010 would also leave her infertile, so when she and husband Max got the news that she was in fact pregnant last year, "it very much felt like a miracle," he tells CNN.

    The happy news, however, was short-lived. Just a month into her pregnancy, Joice's cancer returned, and though surgeons removed tumors from her back, there was no way of knowing how far the cancer had spread without a full-body MRI scan. But the dyes used in the scan could harm the baby, meaning she'd need to end the pregnancy before undergoing the procedure.

    Joice opted to continue with her pregnancy but began having trouble breathing in her third trimester; an X-ray revealed tumors in her lungs. Jan. 23 brought both joy and devastation. Joice had a baby girl, Lily, via C-section, but "there were tons of tumor[s]," her doctor tells ABC News. "It had spread all over her abdomen." Tumors were also found in Joice's

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  • Survey: Left-Handed People Are More Satisfied in Bed

    According to LELO, 86% of lefties put themselves in the 'extremely satisfied' category.(Newser) - If the results of a survey by a Swedish "intimate lifestyle product" manufacturer are to be believed, the left-handed among us are vastly more satisfied with our sex lives. As part of LELO's 2014 Global Sex Survey of 10,000 people, the company distinguished between righties and lefties, and asked about their levels of satisfaction in bed. Some 86% of southpaws put themselves in the "Extremely Satisfied" category; only 15% of right-handed people did the same, reports Australia's News Network. LiveScience previously noted that about 10% of the planet is left-handed.

    But LELO's note that the results were verified by the seemingly non-existent and too-perfectly-named "Le Gauche Institute, Paris" is enough to lead us to advise you to take the results with a grain of salt. After all, LELO has good reason for coming to such conclusions: It has a new product out that's designed for left-hand use ... by righties.

    Among other potentially disheartening sex-survey news: the condom

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  • Did James Franco Try to Hook Up with a Teenage Fan?

    James Franco arrives at the 81st Annual Academy Awards.(Newser) - A story that is either kind of hilarious or totally gross is making the rounds: It seems James Franco met a 17-year-old tourist in New York City on Tuesday as he was signing autographs after performing in Of Mice and Men, and later attempted-via Instagram-to hook up with her. The teen posted photos and a video-in which Franco can be seen and heard asking her to tag him-on Instagram. Then things got weird. In screenshots the teen posted to Imgur (they've since been taken down), Franco, 35, appears to try and pick up on the girl. The screenshots were captured for posterity by Daily Dot, Dlisted, Gawker, Jezebel, and other outlets.

    In them, Franco (or at least it appears to be Franco) asks the girl (first through Instagram direct messages, then in text messages) how old she is, whether she has a boyfriend, and whether he should rent a room so they can get together in her hotel. The girl twice asked for proof of his identity, and he sent two selfies, one in which he's holding

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