The Italian Almanac

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Females Are Stronger

Female cells are more resistant to disease than male ones and survive longer under environmental and pharmacological stress, Italy's Higher health Institute (ISS) claims in a new study. The study, carried out with the University of Sassari in Sardinia and presented at a gender health conference in Rome, found that male cells had a "stereotyped' nature and were less able to adapt than female cells which have "great plasticity".

Female cells "are able to re-orient themselves and change form without losing their energy and vitality," said ISS Drugs Department Director Stefano Vella. "To ward off death they indulge in a sort of cannibalism, eating some of their components to glean energy to survive". ISS Director Monica Bettoni said: "All this shows that the results of studies on men cannot automatically be used for women too. Male cells evolve towards a programmed death whilst female ones move towards ageing".

The one-year ISS study involved 500 researchers in three central Italian regions looking at gender differences in metabolic diseases, the role of sex hormones in immune responses, endocrine processes in workplace stress and adverse reactions to drugs.