Archive for: May, 2009

The Tussin, The Tussin

May 19 2009 Published by under Addiction

Notorious was having a little conversation with some friends, and someone asked a strange question: why would one want to abuse over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Robitussin? OTC cold medication abuse is pretty common and the subject of considerable comment in pop culture -- not the least of which are a great song by MC Chris ("The Tussin") and one of the funniest clips in the show South Park ever (below the fold). The question wasn't so much about why those crazy kids do what they do, but rather what is the pharmacological mechanisms behind its effects?

So I wanted to write a little post to clarify the abuse potential of OTC cold medications and also talk about the possible medical complications associated with them.

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5 responses so far


May 19 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

Hi all! I wanted to take a moment say hello, and say how honored I am to join Sci and Evil here at Neurotopia. Some of you may know me as Jake Young formerly of the Pure Pedantry blog. Some of you, I may be writing to for the first time.
In either case, I am looking forward to talking about some fun neuroscience with all of you. Posting will be kind of sporadic because work is rough, but hopefully we will have a chance to really delve into neuroscience and medicine.

A note about the pseudonym: yes, I know that you know who I am. Yes, I am comfortable with that being an open secret. I decided to take a pseudonym cuz all these cool kids are over here were doing it, and by Jove a man's got to fit in somehow.
For those of you who don't know, LTP stands for long-term potentiation. It is an important molecular process of memory formation that I will hopefully have a lot to say about in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I will put up my first post in a second.

One response so far

I told you something was coming!

May 19 2009 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Du-nuh. Du-nuh. Du-nuhDu-nuhDu-nuhDu-nuhDunuhDunuhDunuhDunuhDunuhDunuhDnuhDunuh....

Ok ok.
Not that.
I would like you all to welcome, in the house tonight...NotoriousLTP!

NotoriousLTP comes to you live from his former digs at Pure Pedantry. Notorious to the LTP is a MD/PhD student in New York He decided he was tired of all that solo blogging shiz, and is joining us here, where he's going to help us blog about all that is cool in physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience. It's gonna be real.

But let's get something clear right here, right now. His rapping SUX. His badass thuggery is entirely of a scientific nature, so you can look forward to some serious bloggin', some serious opinions, and other such serious stuff. Seriously.

2 responses so far

Something...Is Coming

May 18 2009 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

It might be wicked.

Keep your eyes peeled.

9 responses so far

Someone's got a case of the Mondays

May 18 2009 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

I think it's this guy. That grey, rubbery face needs another cup of coffee.

So, today Sci was going to blog about ethanol. It was, in fact, going to be probably a double post, the first on the pharm and the second on the addiction issues. And of course, leigh was there BEFORE ME. (Shakes fist). Luckily for me, however, she DIDN'T go into the whole alcohol addiction thing! It's a great post on pharmacology, and you should check it out, but you should ALSO wait, with baited breath, for my post on alcohol addiction and how we currently think it works (currently).
Other things have caught my attention on the internet this week First of all, hat tip to the awesome GrrlScientist for pointing me toward this awesome website. It's called And it answers all the little questions you always wanted to know: how does one successfully nail Jell-O to a vertical surface? How much candy can REALLY fill a pillowcase, and how many houses would you have to visit? How many condoms can fit on a penis (do NOT try this at home)? And so forth. My personal favorite is the question of whether or not Viagra will help keep your flowers fresh (though I'm sure you probably have better things to be doing with your Viagra prescription).

Finally, I direct you to Deep Sea News. They are having a SEX WEEK!!! I might have to submit my Friday Weird Science, though I hear they're more interested in those of the spineless variety. Still, it's going to be some hot stuff!

2 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: Beware the dangerous tie

May 15 2009 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Today's weird science comes to you courtesy of reader and friend of the blog Tony! Hi Tony! 🙂
Oh sure, those ties. They LOOK so innocent. Do not be fooled.

Much more dangerous than they appear. Dixon, M. "Neck ties as vectors for nococomial infection" Intensive Care Medicine, 2000.

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23 responses so far

Basking in the Dopamine Glow

May 14 2009 Published by under Neuroscience

Sometimes, the world gets Sci down a little. Perhaps it's being a whole YEAR old. That's very old indeed in bloggy years. Ok, it's not as old as the ancients who started back in '04. They're REALLY old. So maybe Sci is just entering blog middle age.
Be that as it may, Sci need to raise her spirits. And she's going to do it in the only way Sci CAN: with chocolate, and with one hell of an amazing paper.

Chocolove's Crystallized Ginger in Dark Chocolate Bar. This is Sci's favorite chocolate. Easy to get, rich, dark, and makes you feel kind of healthy while you're eating it. After all, both dark chocolate and ginger are supposed to be good for you! But really, the dark chocolate on this is lovely and rich, and the crystallized ginger adds both the sweetness and the spice. Lovely. Sci has also been known to enjoy the dark chocolate with raspberries in it.
And now, here's your paper! I warn you, this one is technical. Explanations ahead. Possibly also drawings. Which may be very bad. We all know how much I suck at art... Gubernator et al. "Flourescent flase neurotransmitters visualize dopamine release from individual presynaptic terminals" Science, 2009.

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16 responses so far

Happy Blogiversary to Me...

May 13 2009 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Today is the day. Today, one year ago, the very first post went up at Sci's old place.

*sniff* (single, nostalgic tear)

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19 responses so far

Book Review: Jonah Lehrer and How we Decide

May 12 2009 Published by under Neuroscience

A few weeks ago, Sci was lucky enough to receive the latest book from Jonah Lehrer, How We Decide, in the mail! Well, ok, Sci is receiving a LOT of things in the mail. Ever since I went on and on about how much I love getting free books...I get a lot of free books. A lot of heavy science books. Now, don't get me wrong, Sci loves reading science. But it can get to be...a bit much. Perhaps someday Sci will share with all of you (who I am sure are all PANTING to know) the list of books that Sci is reading which are not science-related. But the science books, the piles of science books, how they do beckon.
But anyway, ONWARD.

Sci was really thrilled to get a copy of Jonah's book, she'd been lusting after one for a while. All I have to do now is come across a copy of "Proust was a Neuroscientist" and I'll have the complete Jonah set! (*cough cough Jonahsendmeacopyofyourbook cough cough*)

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3 responses so far

The Letters to Our Daughters Project

May 11 2009 Published by under Activism

Sci here, reporting in from sunburn hell. This is what I get for doing my speed workouts without reapplication of sunblock. Be good little runners, peeps! Slather on the SPF 30! We shall not suffer both runner's knee AND moles for removal.
Also, aloe is great. May not medically DO anything, but it feels lovely...

As an aside, Encephalon is up! Check us out (Two entries, ya'll!) at Sharp Brains!
Anyway, today I want to direct all of you who are not already reading it (though I'm sure you are) to Dr. Isis' Letters to our Daughters project. It's a fantastic scheme of hers to give us lady scientists some equally lady scientist mentors.

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