TS Picks: February 18, 2015

Age and innovation; libido drugs for women lacking; why sex?

Tracy Vence
Feb 18, 2015

Chlosyne lacinia butterflies mating on a flowerWIKIMEDIA, JOSÉ REYNALDO DA FONSECA

Selections from The Scientist’s reading list

  • Examining new ideas published in the literature since 1946, Mikko Packalen of the University of Waterloo and Stanford University’s Jay Bhattacharya found that “papers published in biomedicine by younger researchers are more likely to build on new ideas,” they wrote in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper published last month. But whether younger investigators are more innovative is not so cut-and-dried. “One reading of the results is that we quantified something that a lot of people thought was true: that young guys are innovative but they also need some mentorship,” Packalen told Nature.
  • “The push and pull between the sexes results in some of evolution’s more creative accomplishments.” — Wired, February 16 (See “The Sex Paradox,” The Scientist, July 2014.)
  • NPR’s Shots takes a look at the lack of Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs to treat low sexual desire in women. “Men have a number of treatment options for sexual dysfunction,” Cindy Whitehead, CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals, one company working to develop such a drug for women. “We haven’t yet gotten to one for women’s most common dysfunction.” Whitehead spoke with The Scientist last July about its failures to obtain the agency’s approval for its lead candidate, flibanserin. (See “That Loving Feeling,” The Scientist, July 2014.)