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Oct 3, 2017: Many of us grew up holding that ‘hymen’ is a proof of virginity. In many societies, women are demanded to be virgins until marriage. The intact hymen confirms that a woman is a virgin. However, not many of us know that science has long back dodged hymen myths. Then why are we still holding back to such fallacious claims about female virginity? Lately, ‘The Virginity Fraud’ was discussed upon the world’s famous talk platform TEDx by Ellen Støkken Dahl (25) and Nina Dølvik Brochmann (29), medical students, sexual health workers and the authors of the book ‘The Wonder Down Under’ (science book about female genitals).
According to the speakers, the virginity dilemma revolves around two hymen myths- Hymen breaks and bleeds the first time women have vaginal sex, and if it does not bleed, it connotes that the girl wasn’t a virgin. The second myth tells that the hymen disappears after it breaks. The anatomical understanding of virginity have lived on for centuries and passed on to generations after generations. Girls are being edified not to lose virginity before marriage or preserve their virginities for their husbands. A typical wedding night is also the judgment night of the bride’s sexuality. Women are often being shamed and humiliated and sometimes killed for virginity.
Cultural Significance of Virginity & an In-Tact Hymen
You might have wondered that why is virginity so important? It is because virginity has cultural significance, according to the speaker, it has been used as a powerful tool to control women’s sexuality in every culture, religion, and history. In many cultures, virginity has been connected with special powers, such as the ability to medically cure people with ailments, while others profess losing virginity a taboo.
Fear of Surgical Revirgination:
Busting Hymen Myths
The hymen is a rim of tissue at the outer opening of the vagina and has either a doughnut or half moon shape with a large central hole. Speaker explains that this is not even the exact shape of the hymen. It has myriads of forms, and therefore it’s hard to execute a virginity check. The hymen is elastic in form and can never disappear, however, it can only stretch to make space for sexual intercourse. Since hymen come in every shape and form, it is unlikely to know that a dent or a fold was because of previous damage or it’s just a normal anatomical variant.
The finding was discovered hundred years ago, in 1906, by the Norwegian Dr. Marie Jeancet, who examined a middle-aged sex worker and noted that her genitalia was implicative of a teenage virgin. Another study conducted on 36 pregnant teenagers reveals only two were found to have sexual intercourse. The revelation is itself a shred of evidence to debunk the fraud of virginity.
Reading women between legs do not tell anything about her sexual story. No magical seal disappears after sex, and half virgins can have sex without bleeding.
The speaker emphasized that just by removing these hymen myths will not make women’s life easier as it appears. Sexual oppression of women comes from something much deeper than the understanding of hymen. It comes from culture and religion in the world that tries to control women’s sexuality.
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)