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Performing oral sex may increase the chance of cancer in men
A new study links multiple sex partners and smoking to head and neck, or oropharyngeal, cancer.
The most commonly transmitted STD in the U.S. is human papillomavirus (HPV), and the incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer — head and neck cancer — has more than doubled over the last 20 years. The oncogenic oral HPV virus occurs in 3.5% of adults, but it's now estimated to be present in 8.5% of men. It causes about 70% of all oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OPC), and while the chances of developing the disease are low — about .7% — experts predict that by 2020 oropharyngeal cancer will be more prevalent in the U.S. than cervical cancer. And a new study has found that men who've had oral sex with 5 or more partners and are cigarette smokers have a far greater chance of having an HPV-OPC infection than the general population: 14.9%.
The study, published in October in Oxford's Annals of Oncology, found that men with just one of these factors — either having oral sex with multiple partners or being a smoker — still had an elevated risk of having HPV-OPC, 7.3%, though the study considers this a “medium" level. The study says having 2-4 partners is less risky. Regardless of other studied risk factors, “oncogenic oral HPV prevalence was 'low' among those with only ≤1 lifetime oral sexual partner (women = 0.7% and men = 1.7%)."
The study analyzed 2009-2014 data from 13, 089 people, aged 20–69, collected in three U.S. studies:
If you're sexually active, what are you to do with this worrying information? The CDC offers this authoritative, though unhelpful, statement about STDs in general: The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Still, they do provide some guidelines for infection-averse lovers about avoiding the spread of STDs including human papillomavirus.
For oral sex on the penis:
For oral sex on the vagina or anus:
A cave in France contains man’s earliest-known structures that had to be built by Neanderthals who were believed to be incapable of such things.
In a French cave deep underground, scientists have discovered what appear to be 176,000-year-old man-made structures. That's 150,000 years earlier than any that have been discovered anywhere before. And they could only have been built by Neanderthals, people who were never before considered capable of such a thing.
Water may be far more abundant on the lunar surface than previously thought.
- Scientists have long thought that water exists on the lunar surface, but it wasn't until 2018 that ice was first discovered on the moon.
- A study published Monday used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy to confirm the presence of molecular water..
- A second study suggests that shadowy regions on the lunar surface may also contain more ice than previously thought.
Credits: NASA/Daniel Rutter<p>Still, it's not as if the moon is dripping wet. The observations suggest that a cubic meter of the lunar surface (in the Clavius crater site, at least) contains water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million. That's roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water. In comparison, the same plot of land in the Sahara desert contains about 100 times more water.</p><p>But a second study suggests other parts of the lunar surface also contain water — and potentially lots of it. Also publishing their findings in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1198-9#_blank" target="_blank">Nature Astronomy</a> on Monday, the researchers used the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to study "cold traps" near the moon's polar regions. These areas of the lunar surface are permanently covered in shadows. In fact, about 0.15 percent of the lunar surface is permanently shadowed, and it's here that water could remain frozen for millions of years.</p><p>Some of these permanently shadowed regions are huge, extending more than a kilometer wide. But others span just 1 cm. These smaller "micro cold traps" are much more abundant than previously thought, and they're spread out across more regions of the lunar surface, according to the new research.</p>
Credit: dottedyeti via AdobeStock<p>Still, the second study didn't confirm that ice is embedded in micro cold traps. But if there is, it would mean that water would be much more accessible to astronauts, considering they wouldn't have to travel into deep, shadowy craters to extract water.</p><p>Greater accessibility to water would not only make it easier for astronauts to get drinking water, but could also enable them to generate rocket fuel and power.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers," said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist in the advanced exploration systems division for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, in a statement. "If we can use the resources at the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries."</p>