The Loh Down On Science

Canadian study puts the "men" in menopause

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Georgia O'Keefe's Flower of Life II.

And now, for a news flash—or is it a hot flash?—on menopause.
 
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Menopause, or the end of a woman's reproductive years, seems to be unique to humans. But no one is sure why it occurs.

Biologists from McMasters University argue that women may actually be getting nudged into menopause—by men!  

The team says that a male preference for younger mates has left older females with less chances to reproduce. And it’s that reduced opportunity that's given rise to menopause.

To test this idea, they turned to computational models and computer simulations. These showed that a male desire for younger females COULD allow fertility-impairing mutations to build up in females, ultimately leading to menopause.

This idea takes support away from the controversial “grandmother hypothesis.” It says that women became infertile in order to help raise grandchildren, rather than have babies themselves.
 
We would go on but thanks to this study I’m in a rage.  Must get chocolate.

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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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