Archive for: February, 2010


Feb 27 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

So the first ever Research Blogging Award Nominees are up! There are some great nominees up there for lots of topics, but Sci doesn't want to tell you who to vote for because that would be biased and evil.
Oh, I'll do it once.
Vote for me!!
Research Blogging Awards 2010 FinalistResearch Blogging Awards 2010 Finalist
Neurotopia is nominated in the neuroscience category (I can't believe we weren't nominated for funniest...maybe next year. I can be funnier!!! *does dance*), and we're up against some pretty stiff competition! So even if we don't win, I can say it's great to be nominated with such prestigious neuroblogs!!!
Makes Sci feel famous.

3 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: Doing your Kegels to Improve your Orgasms

Feb 26 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Many of you may have heard from your doctor that doing Kegels is a good thing. It's certainly good for keeping your pelvic floor strong, to prevent problems like uterine prolapse following birth. It's also very good for keeping your bladder good and functional later in life. So do your Kegels, ladies.
However, Sci has always heard through the grapevine that Kegels were also good for...other things.
Well, are they? Lowenstein et al. "Can stronger pelvic muscle floor improve sexual function?" International Urogynecology Journal Including Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, 2010.

(BEST MASHUP EVER. I always knew Raphael was a Samantha.)

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5 responses so far

On Animal Research

Feb 25 2010 Published by under Activism

Recently, one of my beloved SciBlings, Janet, was one of the speakers at a UCLA Dialogue on the ethics of animals in research. Although I was more than a little afraid for her (of course her name, address, email, and phone were instantly posted all over the activists websites), but Sci's fears turned out unfounded and the dialogue apparently went off very well. You can see a full video here. Everyone remained respectful, the session was carefully moderated and educational for everyone.
Well, almost everyone.
Fast forward to last night, when I found out that one of the speakers, Dario Ringach, a neurobiologist, was being harassed again. Again. Harassment before got so bad that he stopped performing primate research in 2006. But he came out to speak, in a respectful dialogue about animals in research. He's a brave man. And for his reward for his respect and his willingness to engage, he got this:

As the pictures indicate, neighbors came out from many of the near-by houses, took leaflets and talked to activists about how much they hate their neighbor Dario for doing "hellish primate experimentation." One, in fact, gave an activist the name of the school one of his offspring attends! Activists plan on legally leafleting the school in order to educate fellow students what their classmate's father does for a living.

(via Orac)
They're going to target his children. What they are doing is technically legal. They are going to frighten the crap out of his kids, possibly make them lose their friends, all because their DAD used to do primate research and SPOKE UP IN A DIALOGUE. Nice people. They've already done it before, banging on the windows of the house at night and scaring Dr. Ringach's wife and kids. Ringach already has to have a hired guard outside of his house. This sort of thing makes Sci so angry that she's almost incoherent. The very hypocrisy of it all makes me livid.

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30 responses so far

Basic Set: Female Reproduction 3, Oral Contraceptives

Feb 24 2010 Published by under Basic Science Posts

Continuing in our vein of basic science posts on female reproduction, we're going to take a bit of an aside (and this is VERY relevant for the paper that Sci wanted to blog about that needed so much background). We've covered the basic anatomy, the hormones, and the monthly cycle. But what about...when you don't want to ovulate?

What about oral contraceptives?

Of course, they aren't all oral anymore. Now we've got the patch and the ring, and I'm sure pretty soon we'll some sort of nasal insert (maybe something that looks like a nose ring?) for those who cannot be bothered with either a patch or a ring, let alone a pill.

So what about these?
the Pill

the Patch

(I do seriously hope they make the patch in darker tones than that. I do not think it would be hard to make a patch that actually matches your skin tone, so I really hope they market them)

the Ring


(on the other hand, if you wanna make me a birth control absorbed through the skin that can be worn as a RING, and make it to look like the One Ring, I WILL wear it. Drug companies, take note.)

So, remember this?

Of course you do! Excellent. Let's go.

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16 responses so far


Feb 23 2010 Published by under Academia

Duh nuh...
Duh nuh, duh nuh....
Duh nuh, duh nuh, Duh nuh, duh nuh, Duh nuh, duh nuh, Duhnuh, duhnuh, Duhnuh, duhnuh...

YES! It's out. Finally. After a great deal of toil and a certain amount of lateness. Also stress. And there was very little sleep.
You can buy it HERE!
Buy one for yourself! Buy for your friends! Buy one for that poor starving grad student in the lab down the hall to read when they are in the lab super late at night (also, buy them a sandwich to go with it).
It's not even that expensive! You might be able to give TWO grad students an interesting evening waiting for their experiments to finish.
YAY! It is out! And Sci's work is done. And she was rather proud to hold the very first copy in her tired, grubby little paws. We've got some fun stuff in there (hyenas and boobies and beer!) and some contemplative stuff in there (animal research and academia and much much more). And here's hoping I didn't massively screw something up! But you'll have to buy it and read it in order to tell me so. 🙂

13 responses so far

Odds and Ends

Feb 23 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

1) There is something happening. News at noon! High noon. Be prepared!!
Duh nuh...
2) PZ Myers put up a video on the cocksure female hyena. I love the dramatic music and the flashing of clouds across the sky. *deep, British, threatening voice* "Some females want to beat males at their own game...and they take them on, every step of the way..."
Ok, I gotta post it...

There are way too many quotes in here. "There's no smell quite like this". The Jazz music in the mating really makes it.
Duh nuh...
3) Aetiology is having her students post on infectious causes of chronic disease. There are already some interesting posts up on Polio, the Hygeine Hypothesis, and Nasopharyngeal cancers. Check it out!
Duh nuh...
Duh nuh....
Stay tuned....

2 responses so far

Basic Set: Female Reproduction Part 2, get out your iPads

Feb 22 2010 Published by under Basic Science Posts

Extra points to you all who will read the menstrual cycle post on your iPad.

Welcome to part two of Female Reproduction, the hormones and menstrual cycle. Part one covered the basic anatomy, and today we're doing...the menstrual cycle. Here is the picture you're going to need:

It's a lot, Sci will admit. But the glorious thing is how is all entertwines and fits together so beautifully! The whole thing just comes together in perfect synchronicity. Brilliant.

The Hormones

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13 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: Sex Therapists and the Expectations

Feb 19 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science

We hereby take a break from the female reproductive cycle to ask:
How's your sex life?
How do you FEEL about your sex life?

More importantly, how does your SEX THERAPIST feel about your sex life? Corty EW, Guardiani JM. "Canadian and American sex therapists' perceptions of normal and abnormal ejaculatory latencies: how long should intercourse last?" Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2008.

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25 responses so far

Basics Set: Female Reproduction, Part 1

Feb 17 2010 Published by under Basic Science Posts

Sci was handed a paper a few days ago, on the concept of evolutionary psychology (or physiology, possibly) and mate choice due to things like birth control. She thought she'd blog it. And then she realized that, to blog it successfully, she was going to have to do some MAJOR background. And then she had an idea!

It's time for another series, y'all.
And so, without further ado: the female reproduction series.
This series is going to be broken up into a couple of section. Today's will be the basic anatomy. Then we'll be covering the female cycle in all its glory and all its hormones, and then on to the basics of fertilization and possibly pregnancy. It's gonna be a good time. Except for the fact that a lot of the hormones don't have very good names. But that's ok.
Let's do it ladies. (Pics probably NSFW, even though it's straight up anatomy, some people probably shouldn't be staring at vaginas during work hours.)

(This woman can DANCE. And you gotta love a woman with some good curves. /Beyonce worship)

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14 responses so far

Are you celebrating yet??

Feb 15 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

There are three points that are Important in this post:
1) Today is the Best Day of the Year. Not yesterday. Yesterday was just Valentine's Day. TODAY is the day that all the Valentine's Day chocolate goes on sale. I hope that you are all celebrating appropriately. I assure you Sci is doing her best. Those little mini-Snickers are SO MINE. Also Reese's. Also possibly things with cherries in them. And truffles. LOTS of truffles.
2) Over the weekend, Neurotopia passed 1,000,000 hits!!! We're a little blog, and so we are very proud of hitting our big mile marker! It's an even better excuse to go buy chocolate.
3) However, Sci's computer...has a virus. A big one. It has put pr0ns all over her computer (srsly, I have no idea how I got it, but I blame taking off the moderate safe search to find images of "baboon syndrome". The things I do for you people...). Until the dang thing is reformatted and reinstalled, she is...helpless. It's a measure of how addicted to the internet Sci is that she has been CLIMBING THE WALLS all day without her computer. Grrr. Here's hoping it's fixed soon, and Sci will then return, triumphant over the pr0ns. But it's still a good excuse to go and buy some chocolate. For comfort purposes, of course.

5 responses so far

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