For many reasons, plenty of which will make your blood pressure escalate to dangerous rage-stroke-zone levels, scientific researchers often default to male subjects for their studies. Hopefully some cold, hard cash can help change that.
The Verge reports that the National Institutes of Health just announced it would be doling out $10 million to 82 different researchers, all of whom agreed to keep an eye on the impact of gender in the results of their preclinical studies. It does take dollar dollar bills to do that kind of work—you need a bigger pool of subjects, which requires bigger budgets.
It's all part of a long-term plan (outlined here) to make accounting for sex differences a prerequisite for federal funding. And the implications are big. For instance, women often experience heart attacks differently, which means they take longer to detect. More research, said NIH associate director for research on women's health Janine Clayton, could help improve response. And before you ask But What About the Menz, consider this:
One such instance is traumatic brain injury — women tend to recover faster than men. For some reason, women's brains seem to have a protective benefit that researchers don't understand. So "imagine if we knew more," Clayton said, "and could take lessons learned from the female brain to help men and boys recover faster."
You're welcome in advance, gents.
Photo via A and N photography/Shutterstock.