Don’t Ask Me What This Means
| Peter Klein |
In 1999, a group of researchers including [endocrinologist Erma] Drobnis were working on a study comparing semen quality across major metropolitan areas, suspecting that sperm counts were dropping worldwide. They selected New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles for their study. But reviewers of the grant application recommended adding add another, more rural town. They selected Columbia [Missouri].
Researchers believed that including Columbia would serve as a baseline by which to judge the other cities. More rural settings, so the theory goes, tend to have fewer toxic pollutants such as smog in the air that impact reproductive health.
So researchers were caught off-guard when the Columbia sperm samples turned out to be significantly lower than samples from three other cities.
Here’s the story from the local paper. I’m eagerly awaiting the witty comments.