Did you know that until recently, almost all scientific testing was performed on male animals? This was the case even when the studies investigated disorders that seemed to occur most commonly in women. Steps have been taken recently to address this imbalance. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now requires that testing be performed on both male and female animals in order to provide a better idea of how sex works as a biological variable.
Psychology and neuroscience professor Debra Bangasser explains this development and its significance in a recent issue of Scientific American Mind. She took some time to talk to us about the piece, the related work happening in her lab, and why the new NIH requirement has the potential to make a big change.