Archive for: February, 2010

Friday Weird Science: Redder than a baboon's butt

Feb 12 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science

...can Sci use "butt" in her post title? I guess we're going to find out!
Courtesy of NCBI ROFL, who gave me the idea to Pubmed this thing. Ozkaya, E. "An unusual case of mercurial baboon syndrome: lasting seasonal attacks in a retired metalworker". Contact Dermatitis, 2008.
So what, you may ask, is baboon syndrome?
(Pics below NSFW. Really, it's Friday Weird Science, is this even a question by now?)

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The Real Internets

Feb 10 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Ok, Sci normally doesn't post twice in a day, but this came across her Twitter and she thought it was SO CUTE (If you don't know that Sci is on twitter...well...@scicurious, of course. You can also bug the Evil Monkey, @neurotopia). Sci LOVES Beaker, and feels bad that stuff always happens to him. He's the little clumsy first-year grad student in us all.

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Immunization for Addiction: the Cocaine Vaccine

Feb 10 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Physiology/Pharmacology

Every so often this cocaine vaccine issue rears its head again. I saw it again just the other day. The problem is, of course, the tendency of the media (ain't it always the media) to say something like "OMG THIS IS TEH CURE FOR EVERYTHING!" in response to one small study. And who knows, the cocaine vaccine may indeed be the cure for everything, but Sci needs to see some big trials before she gets her hopes up. As it is, the studies I have seen provide some interesting clues, but also provide some important warnings.
So, first question first: how the heck do you make a cocaine vaccine? Haney et al. "Cocaine-specific antibodies blunt the subjective effects of smoked cocaine in humans" Biological Psychiatry, 2009.

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Feb 08 2010 Published by under Natural Sciences

Since Sci wrote so recently about the preservation of somatic cells and gametes for species regulation, she thought it might be a good idea to run through some basic concepts. REALLY basic. Like the stuff you had in high school and forgot. That kind of basic. She was also inspired in this post by reading so recently about HeLa cells, and how they allowed scientists to make great strides in the deeper understanding of mitosis and the dysregulations that occur.
Why, you ask? Because basic is important, and because mitosis is PARTICULARLY important. Mitosis, when it happens, and how it happens is behind a lot of the things that concern many people today, things like aging and cancer, and who isn't concerned about those? And also, mitosis means lots of pretty pictures!
Sci wanted to cover mitosis from the original guy who started it all, Walther Flemming (yes, it's spelled 'Walther', though the English translation is Walter), but unfortunately all the best original documents are in German. Sci doesn't have too much German (ok, she doesn't have ANY), but if someone is willing to play translator for me (GrrlScientist? I know you're working on your German! :)) I'd love to play around with the original work!
As it is, we're just gonna go through it, with lots of pretty pictures and lots of pointing arrows. And a lot of explanations.
Your first picture: My-tosis
my tosis.jpg
(Sci-s toses. Note the penguins and snowflakes in honor of this year's Snowpocalypse)

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8 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: Preserving the Species

Feb 05 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science

As I'm sure most of you are aware, the human species isn't really in immediate danger from dying out due to lack of mating partners (other reasons, I leave up to you). And after all, if all else fails, a trip to a sperm bank can often be arranged. But what about those rare animals growing steadily rarer from the encroachment of humans on their habitat? Well this is when you need to lend a hand. It's time to preserve some...eland semen. Nel-Themaat et al. "Isolation, culture and characterisation of somatic cells derived from semen and milk of endangered sheep and eland antelope" Reproduction, fertility, and development, 2007.

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Wednesday Pickings

Feb 03 2010 Published by under Blog Carnivals

First Neurotopia was picked for the top 30 Science blogs by the Times Online!!! Sci is very flattered and pleased for our mention:

Punchy and irreverent views on research and medical education from US postgrads/postdocs in neuroscience and physiology -- and has Friday Weird Science specials on the science of sex.

W00t. Also, big congratulations go out to other awesome mentions, including Laelaps, Not Exactly Rocket Science, PZ, Bad Astronomy, Bora, Revere, The Intersection, Lay Science, the Loom, Mind Hacks, and Respectful Insolence. Sci feels like we are now playing in the big leagues or something!
And PZ posted a thing on masturbating elephants. It's kind of crazy.

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Book Review: Vampire Forensics

Feb 01 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Sci is thinking she might like this new things Scienceblogs has entered into with National Geographic, for the express reason that it means that she gets access to all the hot new books before ANYONE ELSE!!
And lo and behold, Sci's first example of this awesomeness arrived on Thursday, when she received Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the origin of an enduring legend in the mail. Cool, right? Sci thought so.
I figured this was going to be a neat kind of book, the real history of the vampire legend, and luckily I had a long plane ride coming up that was the perfect time for sticking my nose in a book and pretending that I am not packed into a flying sardine can. And so it went. And here it goes.
Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origin of an Enduring Legend
vampire forensics.png

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