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A neuroscience blog that occasionally dabbles in evolution, academia, matters of aging, and ways to beat the tar out of each other. Sometimes all at once.

Evil Monkey
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  • July 9, 2010
  • 01:37 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Human Penis Bone

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today's post is some seriously OLD science. Old science and WEIRD science, coming to you courtesy of Mt. Sinai hospital in NYC, 1913.

And it's also the WEIRDEST conjunction of this:

And this:

That Sci has ever seen.

Gerster AG, Mandlebaum FS. "XI. On the Formation of Bone in the Human Penis." Annals of Surgery, 1913.

The pictures below are curiously safe for work. I suppose that picture up there wasn't. oops. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »

GERSTER, A., & MANDLEBAUM, F. (1913) ON THE FORMATION OF BONE IN THE HUMAN PENIS. Annals of Surgery, 57(6), 896-901. DOI: 10.1097/00000658-191306000-00012  

  • July 5, 2010
  • 12:52 AM

Prozac, Ritalin, Cognitive Enhancement, and the power of a snappy title

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Let it be known that Sci, like many a young, bright-eyed little scientist, tries to keep up on her reading. TRIES is the operative word, but every week Sci gets the Tables of Contents for all the major journals in her field (and all the major ones in her subdisciple) emailed straight to her for her perusal. She scans the title lists, searching for things that are cool in her field, cool to blog, or that might indicate a scoopage of her work (hey, it happens).

And it was in one of these peru........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2010
  • 06:31 AM

Zombies and Cannibalism: the spread of an epidemis

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia


Let's all pause and contemplate how awesome I look as a zombie. I DO love brains. Very much. OM NOM NOM.

So Sci was thinking about what to post for Zombie Day. She thought about wondering if dogs could sniff early stage zombie infection and thus help with quarantine. She thought about whether or not grocery stores would be a good place to hide, but Evil assured her that Costco is better (everything is better when you buy IN BULK!). She then thought about maybe finding........ Read more »

Rudolf VH, & Antonovics J. (2007) Disease transmission by cannibalism: rare event or common occurrence?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 274(1614), 1205-10. PMID: 17327205  

  • June 28, 2010
  • 01:19 AM

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Cell Cycle

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This is a paper in which Sci has a certain amount of personal investment. You see, Sci has a family member who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. And when I say suffer, I mean she suffers terribly. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where you own body attacks the lining of the membranes between your joints. The result is painful swelling and stiffness (arthritis) which usually affects the smaller joints first (like your fingers) and which can severely impair your quality of life. ........ Read more »

Kimio Nasu, Hitoshi Kohsaka, Yoshinori Nonomura, Yoshio Terada, Hiroshi Ito, Katsuiku Hirokawa, and Nobuyuki Miyasaka. (2000) Adenoviral Transfer of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Genes Suppresses Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Mice. Journal of Immunology, 7246-7252. info:/

  • June 25, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

Friday Weird Science: Snoring Problem? Have you considered a didgeridoo?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Thanks again to NCBI ROFL, who finds these hilarious things and posts their abstracts for all the world to see, and for Sci to giggle over and then run around trying to find hilarious pictures of didgeridoos.

So, let's talk about your snoring problem.

And then let's talk about your musical stylings on the didgeridoo.

Puhan, et al. "Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial" British Medical Journal, 2006.

And to get an ........ Read more »

  • June 23, 2010
  • 12:55 AM

Here there be dragon drool!!!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci was going to save this one for a Friday Weird Science, but it's just so awesome that she couldn't bring herself to save it. She had to blog it NOW! It's not neuroscience, but it's awesome. Also, there's dragons.

Not this kind:

(Anyone else think Dragon Age Origins is really awesome?! Well, Sci spends a lot of her time wondering why the ladies are so dang naked. You're climbing a high mountain pass in the winter! Your cleavage will suffer frostbite!!!)

It's this kind:

(Aieee!!!!)........ Read more »

Bull JJ, Jessop TS, Whiteley M. (2010) Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths. PLoS ONE, 5(6). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0011097

  • June 21, 2010
  • 12:47 AM

Stress and Anxiety, aka CRF and 5-HT2

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today's post comes to you from several tweets that Sci received way back in the mists of time (that is...two weeks ago. Three? Something like that). Sci got wind of this paper and has been meaning to blog it for a while, but other things get in the way, like other things will. And when those other things finally get out of the way, Sci sometimes finds that she's so SLEEPY she doesn't know if she can make it through any more dry, sciency prose (sciency prose, even at the best of times, is pat........ Read more »

Magalhaes, A., Holmes, K., Dale, L., Comps-Agrar, L., Lee, D., Yadav, P., Drysdale, L., Poulter, M., Roth, B., Pin, J.... (2010) CRF receptor 1 regulates anxiety behavior via sensitization of 5-HT2 receptor signaling. Nature Neuroscience, 13(5), 622-629. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2529  

  • June 18, 2010
  • 01:14 AM

Friday Weird Science: a tote for your scrote, a recepticle for your testicle.

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Many thanks to NCBI ROFL for providing this excellent gem of a paper. I was actually going to do another one that I found via their site, but then I saw this one and I HAD TO HAVE IT. And so much additional thanks goes to Jason of the Thoughtful Animal and twitter bud hectocotyli, who managed to find the paper, as Sci only has access to the stacks copy and was about to pull her hair out.

And it was all worth it, my friends! This is a paper of such hilarious awesome that Sci can barely conta........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2010
  • 01:27 AM

What does that MRI signal MEAN, anyway?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci was incredibly excited to see this paper come out. It's got lots of stuff going for it, and all its powers combined were enough to send Sci bouncing around in her seat and sending emails to Ed Yong saying "OMG COOL PAPER!!".

What's it got, you say? It's got the meaning of life, the universe, and that pesky MRI signal.

Lee et al. "Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring" Nature, 2010.

Ah, the pretty brain picture. But what does it........ Read more »

Lee, J., Durand, R., Gradinaru, V., Zhang, F., Goshen, I., Kim, D., Fenno, L., Ramakrishnan, C., & Deisseroth, K. (2010) Global and local fMRI signals driven by neurons defined optogenetically by type and wiring. Nature, 465(7299), 788-792. DOI: 10.1038/nature09108  

  • June 14, 2010
  • 01:22 AM

Dopamine and Reward Prediction: What your brain looks like on Rickroll

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Today Sci is going to blog a paper that she has been meaning to blog for a long time. It's one of those papers that people who do certain kinds of science snuggle with when they go to sleep at night.

(Sci and this paper)

But the real reason that Sci loves this paper is that it's the neurobiological equivilant of a RickRoll.

And the question behind this paper is: what is the mechanism behind reward prediction?

Schultz, Dayan, and Montague. "A neural substrate of prediction and reward" ........ Read more »

  • June 11, 2010
  • 01:09 AM

Friday Weird Science: FINALLY, a clitoris study!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci has constantly been annoyed that no one seems to have performed a real, thorough study on the sensitivity of the vagina. Or at least, it's beyond her pubmed-fu. If someone has done it, please let me know! I'd really like to cover it and I'm very annoyed that I cannot seem to find it. Sci is also annoyed by this because several studies have covered the sensitivity of the penis. It's just not fair.

But today, Sci was pubmedding furiously, and she FOUND SOMETHING. I am so excited.

........ Read more »

Foldes, P., & Buisson, O. (2009) The Clitoral Complex: A Dynamic Sonographic Study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(5), 1223-1231. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01231.x  

  • June 7, 2010
  • 12:47 AM

Is Mr. S more flexible than Sci? Cognitive flexibility and first-person shooter games.

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This post comes to you courtesy, actually, of Sci-Dad, who sent an email to Sci saying wasn't this cool. Sci then showed it to Mr. SiT, and he was very intrigued, and insisted she cover it. Sci kind of wanted to make cake balls. Maybe that will be tomorrow.



Colzato et al. "DOOM'd to switch: superior cognitive flexibility in players of first person shooter games" Frontiers in Psychology, 2010.

(First, a brief tribute to Mr. SiT's current favorite FPS "Battlefield:........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2010
  • 12:35 AM

Friday Weird Science: The Baby is Due, is it Time to Get It ON?!

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci, like everyone else around here, isn't immune to the sands of time. She's getting older, along with all of her friends, who are pairing up and settling down. This means two things:

1) Sci has been a bridesmaid SIX TIMES and counting so far. The tales she could tell...

2) Sci friends are having BABIES. LOTS AND LOTS OF BABIES. 400 BABIES!

(Sci is often accused of have GRATUITOUS AMOUNTS OF ENERGY. Also, she has to wonder if these guys had ever tried the energy gel called "Chocolate ........ Read more »

  • June 2, 2010
  • 01:57 AM

Bulimia and the Vaso-Vagal Reflex

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This is another post in Sci's investigation into the current studies being performed on eating disorders, particularly binge eating and bulimia. Usually I try to focus on the dysregulation of reward-related systems in these disorders, but this paper will be a little different.

Faris et al. "De-Stabilization of the Positive Vago-Vagal Reflex in Bulimia Nervosa" Physiology and Behavior, 2008.

It's kind of in the nature of an eating disorder that there aren't any really funny pictures or someth........ Read more »

FARIS, P., HOFBAUER, R., DAUGHTERS, R., VANDENLANGENBERG, E., IVERSEN, L., GOODALE, R., MAXWELL, R., ECKERT, E., & HARTMAN, B. (2008) De-stabilization of the positive vago-vagal reflex in bulimia nervosa. Physiology , 94(1), 136-153. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.11.036  

  • May 31, 2010
  • 01:12 AM

Cell Cycle p21, Depression, and Neurogenesis and in the Hippocampus

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

This is somewhat of a followup post. What's really cool about this paper (to Sci, anyway), is that it brings two different areas that she's been interested in into one cool glob of SCIENCE. And it helps to explain many of the questions that Sci got in response to two of the papers she has blogged about recently.

They are these:

1) The Incredible Healing Mouse: Bedelbeava et al. "Lack of p21 expression links cell cycle control and appendage regeneration in mice" Proceeding of the National Aca........ Read more »

Pechnick, R., Zonis, S., Wawrowsky, K., Pourmorady, J., & Chesnokova, V. (2008) p21Cip1 restricts neuronal proliferation in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(4), 1358-1363. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0711030105  

  • May 28, 2010
  • 01:10 AM

Friday Weird Science: College Student Regrets

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci happened to be Pubmedding the word "vomit"* today when she ran across this article. It's one of those articles that is weird because it's. So. Obvious.

Mallett et al. "Do We Learn from Our Mistakes? An Examination of the Impact of Negative Alcohol-Related Consequences on College Students' Drinking Patterns and Perceptions" J Stud Alcohol. 2006

That's right. The study of vomiting, hangovers, blackouts, and other stupid stuff you did in college.

(Including when you wore this shirt aroun........ Read more »

  • May 24, 2010
  • 12:51 AM

On Washing your Fruit: ADHD and Pesticides

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci was a little startled recently when she saw "the latest study" on ADHD splashed across the frontpage of Yahoo. You can see it here on Reuters.


(Run for the hills, indeed. Or maybe run AWAY from the hills, since they might have pesticides)

However, the story broke a good TWO DAYS in advance of the paper actually coming out, and so Sci was forced to possess her soul in patience until she had access.

But she's got it now! And let's take a look at this thing.

........ Read more »

  • May 19, 2010
  • 01:34 AM

The Neurogenesis theory of depression and a little guy called CREB

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci wishes she could begin this post with something clever. But she has a cold. Suffice it to say that this paper is cool and interesting. And also, as Sci has a cold, I expect all of you to read this post out loud to yourselves in suitably stuffy, gluey Sci-voices.


Gur et al. "cAMP Response Element-Binding Protein Deficiency Allows for Increased Neurogenesis and a Rapid Onset of Antidepressant Response" The Journal of Neuroscience, 2007.

(Yeah, yeah, the title is long and sca........ Read more »

  • May 17, 2010
  • 01:27 AM
  • 1,262 views your favorite color?

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Palmer and Schloss. "An ecological valence theory of human color preference" PNAS, 2010.

Sci will admit that she didn't really know all that much about color preference theory until she read this paper. And that until she read this paper...she thought a lot of it was silly.

Also, she doesn't have a favorite color. That might have something to do with it. Can someone have a favorite color palette instead?

Anyway, let's talk color preference theory. Read the rest of this post... | ........ Read more »

Palmer, S., & Schloss, K. (2010) An ecological valence theory of human color preference. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(19), 8877-8882. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906172107  

  • May 14, 2010
  • 01:39 AM

Friday Weird Science: We need your ID, kiss on the dotted line.

by Evil Monkey in Neurotopia

Sci watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie the other night. It's cute, and one of the things that she really enjoyed was watching Sherlock Holmes use his amazing power of deduction:

Sherlock Holmes: As to where I am, I was, admittedly, lost for a moment, between Charing Cross and Holborn, but I was saved by the bread shop on Southford Hill. The only baker to use a certain French glaze on their loaves - a Brittany sage. After that, the carriage forked left and right, and then a tell-tale bump at........ Read more »

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