More of us are getting C-sections than ever, but do we want them?

Do women want the C-sections they’re getting?; iPad apps for pets; a new experimental drug for HIV; the most viral links of 2010; and a new test for Alzheimer’s disease


The proportion of women in the developed world that give birth by Cesarean has been steadily rising since the 1980s. Now, a new study suggests that this may not be because women are asking to have them. While a whopping 32.9 percent of American women who gave birth in 2007 had a C-section, only 15.6 percent said they would prefer to give birth this way, rather than vaginal delivery. The common thinking on the increase in C-sections is that they’re occurring because women are requesting them, but researchers say this new data suggests there may be other factors at play.

We all know there’s an iPad and iPhone app for every man, woman and child, but pets? That’s right, there are now Apple apps for both dogs and cats. Felines are apparently crazy for The Cat Game, which features a digital mouse that darts around the screen of the iPad. Dogs are more amused by that dog whistle app; the high-pitched sound sends them into a tizzy. Pretty soon Whiskers and Rover will want their own device – it’s a technological development that’s sure to take pet spoiling to whole new level.

A new experimental HIV drug can stall early infection by up to 95 percent. The drug, called VIR-576, acts to prevent the virus from spreading to other immune cells by blocking the space where the HIV would “anchor” itself. The German scientists who created it are hoping it will lead to the development of a new class of drugs that will also be used to treat other dangerous infections.

What’s this? A fun year-end list to amuse you on this Christmas Eve Friday! The website Buzzfeed aggregates the most viral videos and web posts from around the Internet, and they’ve released their top 50 viral posts of 2010. You’ll never guess what’s number one.

A team of UK experts say they may have found a way to being treating Alzheimer’s years before symptoms appear. Right now the condition is usually only treated once it is fairly advanced, as this is when patients begin showing symptoms and the disease can be diagnosed. Now, scientists have found that a lumbar puncture test combined with a brain scan can reveal early indicators of the disease, including shrinkage of the brain and lower levels of a particular protein. It’s too early to say how well these tests work, but scientists are hopeful they may allow treatment to start earlier, thus delaying the onset of the disease’s debilitating symptoms.