148 posts · 149,334 views
We know that a lot of organisms, from humans to bacteria to birds to bees, have lots of sex. But what has mystified scientists for years is WHY. I mean, it's fun and all (unless you're a poor beetle girl stuck with this), but what purpose does it serve? On the face of it, in fact, sex seems to be pretty BAD for about half of the population: the women. For example, there's a lizard out there than can reproduce both asexually and sexually. When it reproduces asexually, it producing nothing bu........ Read more »
Think of a copper tea kettle (I'm cold, tea is warm...). When you think about it, where is it? It's in a kitchen, right? Possibly on a stove. It's definitely in a context where you would expect it to be. Now take that tea kettle, and put it in your mind somewhere like...a desert. Surrounded by sand and sky. Now you're not thinking of tea anymore. But doesn't the copper gleam a little better? It might be out of context, but the tea kettle looks really...pretty!
Ok, maybe you don't fol........ Read more »
Ulrich Kirk. (2008) The Neural Basis of Object-Context Relationships on Aesthetic Judgment. PLoS ONE, 3(11). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003754
First of all, I just want to say that I am in a wonderful mood today. This day would have to totally kick puppies to ruin my mood. The only dark spot is Prop 8 in California.
But there is something else to make me happy! Check this out! I absolutely wanted one of these when I was a kid. Heck, I still want one.
ANYWAY. Welcome to option number 2 for Things I could Present at Journal Club! I welcome input! This is kind of due...um, ok, tomorrow. And I have to turn in my choice today.
I........ Read more »
L. E. Williams, & J. A. Bargh. (2008) Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth. Science, 322(5901), 606-607. DOI: 10.1126/science.1162548
Ok, I'll admit, this post is kind of stolen from the fabulous Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science, who just won the Association of British Science Writers' Best Newcomer award! Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Ed. :)
Well, the post isn't stolen, but the subject is. And it's actually been a little disappointing. When I first scanned the title, I thought it said "echinoderm", rather than "echidna", and I thought "Starfish sex!!! w00t1!!!" But no. Instead of talking about t........ Read more »
Morrow, G., & Nicol, S. (2009) Cool Sex? Hibernation and Reproduction Overlap in the Echidna. PLoS ONE, 4(6). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006070
OMG, teh blags aspoloded! And it's all revolving around Dr. Isis. I urge everyone to check out Bora's post, it generated some great discussion and it appears that people are friendly again. And Bora said nice things about me, which I always urge people to read. :)
It's that time again! What time is it? It's time for Sci to give Journal Club. I know, it just happened. But I'm a relatively senior grad student, and our Journal Club is very small, so it happens fairly often. And so, I nee........ Read more »
E. Stice, S. Spoor, C. Bohon, & D. M. Small. (2008) Relation Between Obesity and Blunted Striatal Response to Food Is Moderated by TaqIA A1 Allele. Science, 322(5900), 449-452. DOI: 10.1126/science.1161550
Anyone who read my previous blog will probably know that I've got a couple of big interests: blows to the head, diabetes, sex (who doesn't?). I've also got a really big interest in both psychiatric disorders such as depression and ADHD, and what scientists like to formally call "drugs of abuse" (it just sounds better than saying "yeah, I study crack"). And this paper combines both psychiatric disorders AND cocaine! Depression on cocaine, it's life really sucking in fast forward.
Levin et al........ Read more »
F LEVIN, A BISAGA, W RABY, E AHARONOVICH, E RUBIN, J MARIANI, D BROOKS, F GARAWI, & E NUNES. (2008) Effects of major depressive disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on the outcome of treatment for cocaine dependence. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 34(1), 80-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2006.11.012
Does anyone else find "priapism" a horrifically difficult thing to pronouce? This may partially be because it's so...entertaining. Well, ok, it's entertaining for me. I imagine it leaves most guys wincing.
Tran et al. "Priapism, ecstasy, and marijuana: is there a connection?" Advances in Urology, 2008.
So, who knows what priapism is? Anyone? (counts show of hands). Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...... Read more »
Quan T. Tran, Robyn A. Wallace, & Esther H. A. Sim. (2008) Priapism, Ecstasy, and Marijuana: Is There a Connection?. Advances in Urology, 1-4. DOI: 10.1155/2008/193694
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down. Well, ok, I also celebrate a series of personal holidays on the day after Valentine's, the day after Easter, the day after Halloween, and the day after Christmas. Why hinge your emotions on the uncertainty of a holiday when you have the certainty of all the chocolate going on sale the day after? Day after holidays are beautiful things and I encourage you all to celebrate with me (though I warn you, stay AWAY from the Russel Stover "european" ch........ Read more »
Jonathan P Roiser, Jamey Levy, Stephen J Fromm, Hongye Wang, Gregor Hasler, Barbara J Sahakian, & Wayne C Drevets. (2007) The Effect of Acute Tryptophan Depletion on the Neural Correlates of Emotional Processing in Healthy Volunteers. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(8), 1992-2006. DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301581
Sigh. These friday weird science titles just keep getting worse and worse! But there's really no other way to put this paper. And it kind of carries on the depression theme I've had going for the past few weeks. Well, kind of.
Gallup et al. "Does semen have antidepressant properties?" Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2002.
Now, I saw the title of this paper and went "you're KIDDING. They want women to take...WHAT?!" I had this strange image of what the marketing department for "semen pills........ Read more »
As all y'all know by now, I'm an experienced caffeine junkie. Currently, I'm trying to forgo it again (this Diet Coke right here is merely an aberration, do not look at the caffeine behind the curtain...). But really, it's everywhere around us. Somehow I don't think it was QUITE so prevalent until the age of Starbucks. but it seems like now you can't go anywhere without running into a coffee shop or three. In some cities there is literally one on every street corner. And with the crazy live........ Read more »
Olga Björklund, Johan Kahlström, Peter Salmi, & Bertil B. Fredholm. (2008) Perinatal Caffeine, Acting on Maternal Adenosine A1 Receptors, Causes Long-Lasting Behavioral Changes in Mouse Offspring. PLoS ONE, 3(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003977
Not only are these things you shouldn't do for kicks, but things that you should NEVER EVER have your friends do to you at a bachelor party. Those people are not your friends.
You'd think that, no matter how drunk you were, you wouldn't agree when someone said "Hey, let's see if we can fit this in your penis..."
Quin, G, McCarthy. G. "Self insertion of urethal foreign bodies". Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine, 2000 May; 17(3): 231.
Oof. Really, I'm a girl and I'm crossing my leg........ Read more »
No, not where ARE you when you think of yourself. Where does it happen? What part of the brain? This question has become very important to the world of cognitive neuroscience recently. We used to think of self-reflection as taking place only in the prefrontal cortex. This would mean that only animals with a well-developed prefrontal cortex would be capable of self-reflection. However, another brain area has recently been implicated in self-reflection, the insula.
The insula is hot in neur........ Read more »
Gemma Modinos, Johan Ormel, & André Aleman. (2009) Activation of Anterior Insula during Self-Reflection. PLoS ONE, 4(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004618
So I was GOING to do a post on Fournier's gangrene, but considering the way it completely grossed out everyone I showed it to, perhaps it's not such a good idea. I'd hate for you all to run screaming. So we're not doing it. If you're REALLY curious, you can look it up, but I am not responsible for any emotional scarring you may suffer having seen the pictures.
And anyway, I found something better to appeal to all of your dirty minds. Courtesy of Coturnix, who I think got it from Pharyngula ........ Read more »
Schultz WW, van Andel P, Sabelis I, Mooyaart E. (1999) Magnetic resonance imaging of male and female genitals during coitus and female sexual arousal. British Medical Journal.
Sci's going to go ahead and admit, the last few weeks have been a little...brutal. Ok, maybe a LOT brutal. Grad school can be tough at times, and involve days that leave Scicurious wiped. But the posts must go on! And so, today your tough little grad student (YTLGS) is fortifying herself with the best cures imaginable, moose munch and liquor, to bring you today's post.
(By the way, being poor, Sci accepts gifts to her blogging muse in the form of Moose Munch, dark chocolate of any kind, ........ Read more »
Mikael Landén, Helena Erlandsson, Finn Bengtsson, Björn Andersch, & Elias Eriksson. (2008) Short Onset of Action of a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor When Used to Reduce Premenstrual Irritability. Neuropsychopharmacology, 34(3), 585-592. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2008.86
As some of you may know, Sci is a runner. Sci is not a cyclist. She tried. She did. It just...it hurts your BUTT!! Seriously. Nice to go fast, but... Also, Sci hears a little about runners getting hit by cars, but she hears a LOT about cyclists getting hit. Not very encouraging.
And here's another thing that might make you think twice about entering the Tour Du France: Priapism.
De Rose, et al. "Aterial priapism and cycling: a new worrisome reality?" Urology, 2001.
(In Sci's opinio........ Read more »
De Rose, A. (2001) Arterial priapism and cycling: a new worrisome reality?. Urology, 58(3), 462. DOI: 10.1016/S0090-4295(01)01163-3
I love when I can talk about science while using words like "testicles" and "cocks". I really should have gone into something like urology, only then I know people would probably be all serious about it. And where's the fun in that?
Anyway, today's Weird Science comes to you courtesy of Monica, an awesome reader of the blog at Purdue. Monica found this study courtesy of Dr. John Anderson's Endocrinology class (Bio 559) at Purdue, which she says was amazingly awesome. I personally think an........ Read more »
Berthold, AA. (1944) The transplantation of testes. Bulletin of the history of medicine, 399-401.
Or perhaps I should call this "Friday Weird Science...NOT!" Seriously, I'm pissed. Because when Scicurious sees a headline like this:
The Stink in Farts Controls Blood Pressure
she thinks "SWEET! This will be awesome!" and starts hunting around for the paper. The original article itself was less promising than hoped, but wishful thinking was going strong here. And imagine her surprise and dismay when the real title of the article turned out to be THIS:
H2S as a Physiologic Vasorelaxant:........ Read more »
G. Yang, L. Wu, B. Jiang, W. Yang, J. Qi, K. Cao, Q. Meng, A. K. Mustafa, W. Mu, S. Zhang.... (2008) H2S as a Physiologic Vasorelaxant: Hypertension in Mice with Deletion of Cystathionine -Lyase. Science, 322(5901), 587-590. DOI: 10.1126/science.1162667
This is actually a Friday Weird Science repost from the old blog. I've had a few requests to do something on condom breakage, though, in the words of Dr. Pal "I think a lot of the time when "the condom broke" they really mean it was in the dresser drawer." It's true, I've never actually heard of a condom busting WIDE OPEN in the middle of sexual intercourse. Condom slippage, I've heard of.
But condoms do break, the question is: why?
White, Hill, Bodemeier. "Male condoms that break in use........ Read more »
WHITE, N., HILL, D., & BODEMEIER, S. (2008) Male condoms that break in use do so mostly by a “blunt puncture” mechanism☆. Contraception, 77(5), 360-365. DOI: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.01.014
For Friday Weird Science, there is really nothing better than a good case report. And you guys are getting a GOOD one this week. Partially because it's really good, and partially because I have just returned from the bachelorette party of a dear friend. So you now get to meet FUN Scicurious! And see how devoted Sci is? She's so devoted she's blogging to you in a dubious mental state! It's because I care. And because, though last week I got to say "vagina", this week I get to say "penis". ........ Read more »
Namba, Y, Sugiyama, N, Yamashita, S, Tokuyama, E, Hasegawa, K, Kimata, Y. (2008) Phantom erectile penis after sex reassignment surgery. Acta Medica Okayama, 62(3), 213-216. DOI: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.go.libproxy.wfubmc.edu/pubmed/18596839?ordinalpos
First of all, a quick reminder to please take my survey on condom breakage! I may have to make another survey eventually, I am now realizing a whole bunch of questions I missed. But please take it! I'm going to try my best to present the data on Friday.
So here's Sci, pondering away about what to present for her Journal Club presentation next week, when BEHOLD! Dr. Pal drops this little article right in my inbox. Right on cue, Dr. Pal. Unfortunately, I'm not the first to get to this art........ Read more »
Volkow, et al. (2009) Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain. Journal of the American Medical Association, 301(11), 1148-1154. DOI: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/301/11/1148
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