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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:
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 »
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 perusals that I came across this article. And this article is on a subject that needs to be blogged. But this article also says a lot about the "selling" of a scientific paper to a high-ranking journal. Biological Psychiatry, the journal in which this paper was published, has a pretty decent impact factor (8.67), and in Sci's field, is considered to be a pretty hot publication venue.
But before I go into that, let's take a look at this paper:
Steiner et al. "Fluoxetine potentiates methylphenidate-induced gene regulation in addiction-related brain regions: Concerns for use of cognitive enhancers?" Biological Psychiatry, 2010.
Sci would like to start by noting that doing an image search for "cognitive enhancer" yields some surprisingly boring results. I was really hoping for something like this:
Oh well. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Steiner, H., Van Waes, V., & Marinelli, M. (2010) Fluoxetine Potentiates Methylphenidate-Induced Gene Regulation in Addiction-Related Brain Regions: Concerns for Use of Cognitive Enhancers?. Biological Psychiatry, 67(6), 592-594. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.10.004
OMG ZOMBIE POST!!!
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 a disease or mental problem that made people crave human flesh.
And then she went, holy crap that is AWESOME.
And then I abandoned that one paper I was going to write about wasps, which is ALSO awesome, but will have to happen another time.
Because we usually think of a zombie epidemic as being something that would occur via a viral or bacterial infection, which would then cause the victim to become undead and then go about seeking human flesh (or brains, but apparently the fixation on brains alone is a relatively new phenomenon in the zombie mythos).
But what about the cannibalism itself, the whole seeking after human flesh bit? What if a lust for human flesh could arise from...eating human flesh? As, say, in a scenario where starvation was forcing people to cannibalism, and thus the massive social taboos against cannibalism are relaxed? And then...all you'd need is a disease that spread VIA cannibalism. Like kuru, only this would involve MOAR BRAINZ.
So this post has two aspects to it, the prospect for spread, and the prospect of a way to eliminate the zombie menace.
Rudolf and Antonovics. "Disease transmission by cannibalism: rare event or common occurrence?" Proceedings of Biological Science, 2007.
I would also like to note that killing people and eating them apparently sounds a lot more scientific as "interspecific necrophagy". Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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
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. Symptoms can wax and wane, but right now there is no cure, and treatments (which include things like aspirin or harder pain killers, steroids, and other immunosuppressants) are often not very effective and have a large number of side effects.
About 1% of the population is affected, and while the disease isn't itself fatal, it does shorten your lifespan by about 5-10 years, and seriously affects quality of life. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis often can't work and daily living is often impaired. So even though it's not a large population of people, it's still very important to find better treatments and attempt to find a cure to improve the lives of those who suffer from the disease.
And so this paper looks at two different proteins that might be able to help the disease...by controlling cell division. In fact, one of them is the SAME protein that Sci wrote about a few weeks ago when she looked at the incredible healing mouse. Interestingly, that mouse apparently is used for some autoimmune disease studies like lupus. Hmmmm.
Nasu et al. "Adenoviral transfer of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitory genes suppresses collagen induced arthritis in mice" Journal of Immunology, 2000.
(Does anyone else always worry they are spelling "arthritis" wrong? It's one of those words that look wrong if you look at it too long)
Anyway, let me introduce to you...the arthritic mouse:
(ok, they don't really look like that, but it's cute!) Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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:/
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 idea of what this whole study must have sounded like:
(Dang, this guy is really good...)
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Puhan, M. (2006) Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 332(7536), 266-270. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.38705.470590.55
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:
I'm sure you all know that dragons have TERRIBLE breath, but what about that whole "poison" thing?
Bull et al."Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths" PLoS ONE, 2010. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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
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 pathetically dry. It's why Sci blogs for you. See how she cares).
Like right now, when Sci is SO SLEEPY she just wants to lie down next to the cat and sack out. Scicat is currently reclining in a truly relaxed manner on the floor and isn't making this any easier. But for the sake of stress, anxiety, depression, and a large glad of iced Moroccan mint green tea, SCI BLOGS ON.
(Sci's determination very much resembles that of the bottom biting bug pictured here. A friend of mine showed this to me about a year ago, and it may still remain the oddest thing I have ever seen on the internet. Sci also finds it hilarious that every time anyone in Japan apparently trains for ANYTHING, they must at some point sit under a waterfall, and always end by looking determined on the top of Mt. Fuji. It's like the Rocky Steps of Japan.)
Magalhaes, et al. "CRF receptor 1 regulates anxiety behavior via sensitization of 5-HT2 receptor signaling" Nature Neuroscience, 2010. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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
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 contain her giggles as she writes.
Let me introduce to you...the ball sling.
Just like that. 'Cept it's for a different pair of rocks.
Shafik, A. "Contraceptive efficacy of polyester-induced azoospermia in normal men." Contraception, 1992.
Hehehe. A ball sack for your ball sack. A recepticle for your testicle. A tote for your scrote! I could do this all day...
A sling for your thing. A thong for your dong. A sock for your cock...
Anyway, let me introduce to your a tote for your scrote, made out of the ever classy polyester.
(NSFW pics below the fold. As though that picture of polyester shirts wasn't full of enough horror). Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Shafik, A. (1992) Contraceptive efficacy of polyester-induced azoospermia in normal men. Contraception, 45(5), 439-451. DOI: 10.1016/0010-7824(92)90157-O
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 MEAN?
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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
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" Science, 1997. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
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.
Foldes and Buisson. "The Clitoral Complex: A Dynamic Sonographic Study" Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009.
YES! Not the whole thing, but it's a start.
I suppose you could say the pictures below are NFSW. But they're sonograms. So it could be anything, really, and most people won't know. If your boss comes up behind you, tell them you're looking at someone's baby pics. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
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.
OM NOM NOM
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: Bad Company 2". Ever wonder how he passes the lonely hours while Sci is slaving away for your benefit? Now you know.)
Disclaimer: Sci doesn't play video games. Neither is she a cognitive psychologist. Any errors in this post related to gaming may be firmly blamed on Mr. SiT, who read this thing first, and any errors in cognitive psychology can be firmly placed on Sci's limited experience.)
Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Colzato, L. (2010) DOOM'd to switch: superior cognitive flexibility in players of first person shooter games. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00008
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 Outrage". It may or may not be my favorite)
And of course with all these babies comes lots of information about babies and pregnancy. Sci has now learned about conception timing, morning sickness, the things being pregnant does to your bladder, the things having babies does to your sleep, the many amazing colors babies can produce substances in, etc, etc. And she heard one "fact" that made her ears perk up. It was this one:
Having sex and achieving orgasm when you're due can help induce labor.
And her first thought was...well...can it?
(Sci saw this once with someone who was pregnant with twins. It was massively cool to watch her stomach and see an arm or a nose or a hand slide by.)
Tan et al. "Coitus and orgasm at term: effect on spontaneous labour and pregnancy outcome" Singapore Medical Journal, 2009. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Tan PC, Yow CM, & Omar SZ. (2009) Coitus and orgasm at term: effect on spontaneous labour and pregnancy outcome. Singapore medical journal, 50(11), 1062-7. PMID: 19960160
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 something that Sci can put in here.
So before we go forward, here's a kitten.
(ahhhhh.) Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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
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 Academy of Sciences, 2010.
2) The neurogenesis theory of depression and a little guy called CREB: 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.
And NOW, behold their MUTANT OFFSPRING:
Pechnick et al. "p21 restricts neuronal proliferation in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus" PNAS, 2008.
Well ok, technically it isn't a mutant offspring, because this paper was BEFORE the first paper and after the second. So I guess it's a stepchild. Or a sibling. Or just the results of how Sci was searching PubMed that day.
Let's start with some background. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... 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
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 around because you wanted to be as cool as this guy)
Actually, this paper does have some interesting correlations for people who study alcoholism and binge drinking, but for the moment, it's about drunk college students. We'll get to the rest of it at the end.
*What, like you don't Pubmed "'vomit"' or "clitoris" or "ejaculation" all the time?! Admit it, you do. And then you giggle. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Mallett KA, Lee CM, Neighbors C, Larimer ME, & Turrisi R. (2006) Do we learn from our mistakes? An examination of the impact of negative alcohol-related consequences on college students' drinking patterns and perceptions. Journal of studies on alcohol, 67(2), 269-76. PMID: 16562409
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.
PESTICIDES TIED TO ADHD.
(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.
But first, I want us to all breathe in together and say: "Correlation is not causation"
Say it with me: "Correlation is not causation"
(Behold Sci contemplating the science of the universe)
All right, here we go.
Bouchard, et al. "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides" Pediatrics, 2010. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Bouchard, M., Bellinger, D., Wright, R., & Weisskopf, M. (2010) Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides. PEDIATRICS. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-3058
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 scary. Worry not, Sci will 'splain.)
And this paper is especially good because it allows Sci to write a post on a topic she's been meaning to get to even since she did a depression series way back when: the neurogenesis theory of antidepressant responses.
So here we go. And a new neuron is born.
(From Bumpy Brains. Sci thinks the rendition of diapers as glia is hilarious.) Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Gur, T., Conti, A., Holden, J., Bechtholt, A., Hill, T., Lucki, I., Malberg, J., & Blendy, J. (2007) cAMP Response Element-Binding Protein Deficiency Allows for Increased Neurogenesis and a Rapid Onset of Antidepressant Response. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(29), 7860-7868. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2051-07.2007
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 the comments on 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
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 the Fleet conduit. And as to who you are, that took every ounce of my not-inconsiderable experience. The letters on your desk were addressed to a Sir Thomas Rothman, Lord Chief Justice, that would be the official title. Who you *really* are is, of course, another matter entirely. Judging by the sacred ox on your ring, you're the secret head of the Temple of the Four Orders in whose headquarters we now sit, located on the northwest corner of St. James Square, I think. As to the mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered... to blindfold me at all.
And then of course there's this:;
(An excellent reason to enjoy watching a movie if ever I saw one)
And then of course, there was the cool historical methods Holmes and Watson used in their forensic studies. None of the normal fingerprint stuff, though. And it's too bad, fingerprints make great identifiers.
As I'm sure most of you already know, no two people's finger prints are identical. This means that you can identify someone by their finger print (usually the thumb). It also means that a lot of stories talk about robbers who sanded off their fingertips to make them more sensitive and prevent fingerprinting. Which seems pretty cool, though painful and probably rather ineffective.
So Sci always thought that the fringerprints were the only easily accessible thing about people that could be used for identification.
But what about other parts?
What about the lips?
This Friday Weird Science comes to you courtesy of reader Tony, who saw this and thought of Sci!
Tsuchihashi, Y. "Studies on personal identification by means of lip prints" Forensic Science, 1974. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Tsuchihashi, Y. (1974) Studies on personal identification by means of lip prints. Forensic Science, 233-248. DOI: 10.1016/0300-9432(74)90034-X
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