At Home: Texting Behind the Reins
Lawmakers are cracking down on distracted drivers. And while many provinces have laws in place banning texting behind the wheel or using a cellphone without a hands-free device, there are some situations where the law’s application is questionable.
As the Toronto Sun reports, drivers of calèches?the horse-drawn carriages seen on Montreal streets?have sparked a controversy by freely texting behind the reins. Texting while driving is illegal in Quebec.
The calèche drivers? association insists that the law shouldn’t apply since ?the horse can see where It’s walking,? the association’s president told reporters. On the other hand, animal rights groups are concerned that inattentive drivers could cause injury to horses.
Normally, ?[calèche] drivers are required by law to respect the rules of the road? and can be ?ticketed for illegal parking,? for example. However, since calèches aren’t considered to be road vehicles, police aren’t applying the texting law to the drivers. They are ?considered to be no different than cyclists or pedestrians,? a police spokesperson told reporters.
Around the World: The Strength of Women
Women have suffered the label of ?the weaker sex? for many years. However, recent studies are suggesting that the tables should be turned. In terms of immunity, women appear to have a strong advantage over men?and scientific research at the genetic level backs this up.
As the Daily Telegraph reports, women are ?genetically programmed to better resist infections and cancer, and also have a back-up system for fighting disease.?
Researchers determined that microRNAs, which are ?short strands of RNA encoded on the [X] chromosome,? can threaten the immune system by ?silencing immunity genes? on the X chromosome. Because men possess just one X chromosome, they have a higher risk of becoming ill after the microRNAs silence its immunity genes.
However, women have two X chromosomes; this means that ?even when immunity genes are silenced on one the other can compensate.?
Traditionally, women live longer than men, a phenomenon seen in the rest of the mammalian world as well. From an evolutionary perspective, scientists believe that women needed stronger immune defences since their survival was more crucial to ?the survival of the species.?