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Curious Times April 14, 2004



One of China's most famous sex change surgeons claims to have developed the technology to impregnate men and is now looking for volunteers to become the first men on this planet to become pregnant and bear children. Dr. Chen Huanran says he has been working on this technology for the past 10 years after repeated requests from his sex change patients who expressed the desire to be able to have children. He now believes he can help his transsexual patients with his "male mother" project, which has already lined up four test subjects and about 500 more who wish to volunteer. The procedure will begin with heavy doses of female hormones, and then the patient will be impregnated by in vitro fertilization and the baby will be delivered by Caesarean section nine months later. While Dr. Huanran is beginning with his transsexual clients, he also believes there will be a huge demand from men whose wives cannot give birth due to illness or sterility. (


This just in from the "evil bastards rule the world" files: an investigation by Britain's Observer newspaper has discovered that pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline sponsored experiments which used HIV-positive orphans and babies as young as three months old as guinea pigs for their latest drugs. The children came from the Incarnation Children's Center, a Catholic care home in New York City, which treats children infected with HIV or born to HIV-positive mothers. Since 1995, Glaxo has used Hispanic and black children from the home in order to test the toxicity of experimental AIDS medication. One experiment involved giving four-year-olds a high-dose cocktail of up to seven drugs at once; another trial injected six-month-old babies with a double dose of the measles vaccine. The medical establishment has defended the experiments, claiming that they are providing state-of-the-art therapy to children who otherwise would receive no treatment. But children's rights and health campaigners claimed that the babies were used as laboratory animals, and that these experiments were phase 1 trials, which are the most risky and have the highest likelihood of serious side effects. (Observer)


British astronomers now believe that that universe could be teeming with life, with as many as one in 20 stars being orbited by life-sustaining planets. Professor Barrie Jones told a conference of the Royal Astronomical Society "at least 10 percent of stars in the Earth's backyard have planetary systems ... if only half of these are able to sustain a rocky planet in the habitable zone, it means that one in 20 could harbor life." Although astronomers have only been able to find large Jupiter-like planets so far, they believe that within 10 years telescopes will be powerful enough to find small rocky planets lying in a habitable zone of our neighboring solar systems. So far, 105 "extrasolar" planetary systems have been found. (The Telegraph)


A Brazilian politician has lost his seat as a Member of Parliament and been fined $7,000 after it was discovered that he had bribed voters with Viagra. Antonio Jose Morae Souza won his seat in 2002, but has had his position stripped after a police investigation found that he had been campaigning with boxes of Viagra, which he was giving away to those who promised to vote for him. (Ananova)


A small city near San Francisco will be the first in the nation to experiment with new traffic lights that should discourage speeding. City engineers in Pleasanton, California have installed a traffic light that will turn red if the driver approaching the intersection is speeding. A camera about 350 feet away from the intersection will measure the speed of oncoming drivers and change the light to red for at least 10 seconds if they are more than a few miles per hour over the limit. The engineers are already working on an upgrade so that traffic coming in the opposite direction will still receive a green signal. (San Francisco Chronicle)


A study of 16,000 American teenagers published in New Scientist magazine has found that teenage lesbian or bisexual girls are many times more likely to smoke than straight girls their age. The survey found that almost 40 percent of teen lesbians and bisexual girls between the ages of 12 and 17 smoke regularly. Surprisingly, the high rates were not found in gay or bisexual boys, who were no more likely to smoke than straight boys. (New Scientist)


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