Differences Between Cognition & Memory Of Males And Females Linked To Two Genes

Peter Giese of the Institue of Psychiatry at King’s College London, University of London has been studying the differences between male and female memory. According to this Telegraph news piece, he’s identified two sex based genes in males but not females which function in cognitive and memory functions.

“The researchers used mice to study the role that certain genes play in how long term memories are made in males and females. Using a series of tests such as a maze they were able to show that male mice were faster at making the spatial memories that allowed them to learn a route out of the maze.

…Giese and his team then bred mice that lacked two key genes and found that the males were no longer able to learn the route out of a maze. The females, however, were unaffected by the loss of these genes.”

Unfortunately, Richard Gray, the man who wrote up this news piece failed to identify where and when this research was published, or originated from. I’ve noticed that this is a growing trend in science reporting, where the journalist dumbs down the piece so much that they leave out critical information like whether or not the results were published in a peer-review journal or just anounced by Giese. The Telegraph is especially guilty of this lapse in ethical standards. They consistently leave out citing the sources of information in their reports.

In all honesty, I’d really like to know whether or not Gray just interviewed Giese or also read and translated his paper. It is not explicity indicated in the Telegraph paper. From what I can tell, he only interviewed Giese. I could email Dr. Giese and ask him, myself, but that defeats the whole purpose of reporting science. Doesn’t news coverage of science function to give us an overview of the facts, as well as a primary source where we can investigate the facts for ourselves?

2 thoughts on “Differences Between Cognition & Memory Of Males And Females Linked To Two Genes

  1. There’s some stuff, but nothing much about this finding, at:

    Mol Interv. 2007 Oct ;7 (5):246-248 17932412 (P,S,E,B,D)
    Novel Insights into the Beneficial and Detrimental Actions of Cdk5.

    and this, describing his work in general

    A Polymorphism in CALHM1 Influences Ca2+ Homeostasis, Aβ Levels, and Alzheimer’s Disease Risk .
    Cell , Volume 133 , Issue 7 , Pages 1149 – 1161
    U . Dreses-Werringloer , J . Lambert , V . Vingtdeux , H . Zhao , H . Vais , A . Siebert , A . Jain , J . Koppel , A . Rovelet-Lecrux , D . Hannequin

    Endgame at:

    The Daily Telegraph is a yellow rag, but for some strange reason has some of the best British science correspondents; so does The Economist; check it out.

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