Archive for: September, 2010

I'm on a Podcast. HYAH!

Sep 21 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Sci is back, along with Jason, Christie, Travis, and Peter, for the Obesity Panacea podcast!!

Check it out as we talk about field work, and some of the stuff in the science blogsphere.

3 responses so far

Oxytocin and Parenting: Not just for voles anymore!

Sep 20 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Neuroscience, Uncategorized

Sci saw this paper. She's going to start with some caveats. She thinks the paper is cool. BUT, it appears to be one of those papers that is HIGHLY subject to overinterpretation and possible panic.

So Don't Panic.

And now we're going to talk about oxytocin. And parenting. In humans. It ain't just for voles anymore. Gordon et al. "oxytocin and the development of parenting in humans" Biological Psychiatry, 2010.

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4 responses so far

Grad Student Eating in Style: Okonomiyaki

Sep 18 2010 Published by under Grad Student Eating in Style!

Firstly, I'd like everyone to note that there is now a specific category for Grad Student Eating in Style! Hopefully I will get a few more recipes in there soon.

Every time I tell someone I'm making Okonomiyaki, they ALWAYS look at me with an eyebrow up and say "what's THAT"?

Except for MicroDoc, who taught me the recipe. She says "mmm, I am coming over for dinner then?"

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake from Japan. It's super easy to make (at least, by my recipe, which isn't what everyone else does), really tasty, filling, and a fun thing to make together with friends.

You will need:
2 eggs
2 cups flour (I use whole grain, but most people use regular)
1 cup of water
Shredded cabbage
Shredded imitation crab meat (optional)
Tonkatsu Sauce (I'll cover this in a minute)
Mayonnaise (optional)
Pan spray
Fish flakes (optional)

Take the two eggs and the flour and the water. Beat them together until you've got a nice smooth batter. Mix in your shredded cabbage, a good few handfuls (this one is really something you throw together, I really like more cabbage, but opinions vary). Spray down a small nonstick frying pan, and put a small glop of your dough in there (I like my stove med to med-high). Flatten out your glop with a spatula (use a plastic one if you have one, the metal ones get REALLY goopy). Add your crap meat on top. Make like a pancake, flipping over until it's all done and nice and brown.

Serve with Tonkatsu sauce and mayonnaise.

NOTE: DO NOT let your pancake get too thick! You'll have the worst time getting it to cook all the way through.

Final result will look like this:

Now: Tonkatsu sauce. This is a veggie and fruit based sauce that is kind of thick, and completely delicious.

Price Breakdown for the Hungry Grad Student:
(someone pointed out to me by email that prices are highly relative, and the dude is probably right. That said, I can still do something approximate, to give you an idea as to how much this makes for a rough price.)
Eggs: $2.00
Flour: $2.99 for a large amount
Cabbage (pre-shredded): $2.69 or so for a bag of the stuff. You get enough to make two full batches of this easy.
Fake crab meat: $1.74
Tonkatsu sauce: $4.69, but you'll use it forever
Mayonnaise: $2.99 for a bunch of it (I always skip the mayo)
Pan spray: $3.99 (you'll use it forever)

Total: $21.09, less if you skip the mayo. The recipe serves 4 pancakes, but if you buy everything fresh you will have enough for two recipes worth, so that's $21.09 for 8 cakes. Not so bad!

8 responses so far


Sep 17 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

WE ARE BACK! We are now officially back to, server change is totally done, and all the feeds are FIXED! Three cheers for Mark, our intrepid Web guy who probably never sleeps.

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Friday Weird Science: The Vomit Comet

Sep 17 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

Sci fully intended to slide this post in for the Carnal Carnival JUST before the deadline, but events conspired against her, and against Friday Weird Science in general!  It was too sad.

And so Friday Weird Science goes up late today as Sci scrambles to catch up on life.  But it's still about vomit.  Because vomit is awesome. 🙂

In addition, today's paper provided to you via the awesomeness of Mary Roach and her extensive bibliography in her new book "packing for Mars". Schlegel et al. "Orthostatic intolerance and motion sickness after parabolic flight" Journal of Applied Physiology, 2000.

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6 responses so far

Grad Student Cooking in Style Carnival!

Sep 16 2010 Published by under Academia, Synaptic Misfires

YAY! Stuff is already coming in for the Grad Student Food Carnival, and some of them look...really good. I might have to make some of these...

Anyway, this is a reminder to send them in, I will publish them on November First, so your deadline is Saturday, October 30th! And this is also a reminder to please include price BREAKDOWNS of how much things should cost. The point is that it's cheap, you know. 🙂

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Running Rats and Cocaine

You all may recall that I posted recently about cocaine escalation in rats. Drugmonkey has also been posting some interesting stuff about addiction and...EXERCISE. And of course, Sci can't see that and leave it alone. So I'm going back to a paper that really galvanized the idea of exercise in treating addiction. Cosgrove, Hunter, Carroll. "Wheel-running attenuates intravenous cocaine self-administration in rats: Sex differences". Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 2002.

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6 responses so far

Science Enemies

Sep 14 2010 Published by under Academia, Uncategorized

Dr. Becca posted something hilarious about her Science Enemy, who actually BROUGHT A RULER to measure her error bars. That's some serious crazy right there. Drugmonkey agreed with the crazy, but also mentioned that help felt these kind of rivalries help to move science forward.

Sci has her own Science Enemy, but more importantly her old LAB has a couple of Science Enemies. And I think I agree with DM that it really does help advance the science. Because of things these people have published, my lab got its feathers ruffled, went off, and said "FINE, well WE will do that experiment and we will SO SHOW YOU!". And sure enough, we did, and out of that came more experiments, and more knowledge about the brain.

But there is another side to this issue, and that's the side where your Science Enemy glares contemplatively at your poster, gets their army of post-docs on the problem, and...scoops you in a journal. In this case it was in a journal where we had submitted the same work and been REJECTED. Ouch. But science did advance. It just ...wasn't happy for everyone.

Sci would like to say that, even with the point I just mentioned, Science Enemies are good things to have. They keep you on your toes, make you evaluate your work that much more carefully, make you scan the literature that much harder for the key to your new hypothesis. And of course Science Enemies make for some great stories.

Our lab's favorite was the one where the Huge, Tall Science Enemy Loomed over my shorter PI, waved his long arms expansively (whacking two of the other members of our lab in the process, we had formed up around our boss like his posse), and SHRIEKED loud enough to make everyone in that row at SfN turn around "I do not think you are STUPID, I JUST THINK YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!!"

Oh, it is ON.


4 responses so far

Grad Student Eating in Style: THE CARNIVAL?!

The things that Sci thinks of when she hasn't had enough coffee...

So here it is. Sci often trades recipes with people. Cheap, easy ones mostly, the cheaper the better. She has posted some of her own on this blog. And then one morning I thought, wouldn't it be GREAT if hungry grad students could find easy recipes that weren't horrible for you, were FAST, and were, above all things, CHEAP?! I mean, wouldn't this be great? Of course it would.

And then I thought: I SHALL WRITE A COOKBOOK.

And then I thought: nah...that's too much work. But I could host a CARNIVAL!!!

And so, I would like to host a carnival, let's say in...oh I don't know, how's November 1 for you all? I can post all of your recipes that you send me, and we can show that grad students don't have to STARVE! We can eat, and we can even eat a fairly balanced diet! It might be a great thing for others on budgets as well (like post-docs and science writers).

SO. Sci's got her apron on. She's got her spoon.

Let's do this thing! Send me your recipes!!!

1) Please include a full list of ingredients and full instructions.
2) Please include a PRICE BREAKDOWN for how much it costs, with a total yield. This being for hungry grad students, anything that costs more than say $20 to make really better make more than 6 servings, I'm thinking. Of course there are exceptions.
3) Please let me know whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
4) Calories counts a bonus, but not necessary.

Sci will be posting a few more of her recipes as we go. Anyone else excited? This could be fun! Spread the word!!

8 responses so far

"Who is Carl Sagan?"

Sep 12 2010 Published by under Activism, Uncategorized

Sci doesn't usually dip her toe in the water with regard to metabloviation on science outreach and science communication (though she does a lot of both outreach and communication). While I love to run with and develop and perform and output new ideas in science communication and outreach, I find the controversies and discussions surrounding it difficult to break into. I simply don't have the background, and thus any time I try to say anything, I usually end up looking stupid. Sci doesn't like looking stupid (sure, we should all have stupidity in science, but not the kind that makes you hang your head in shame), and so I generally don't like taking it on, though I follow the conversations with a great deal of interest.

But something happened to me today that I wanted other people, who might do more with the ideas around modern scientific communication, to hear about. Who knows? They may have already encountered something like this themselves.

And it started with the question above.

"Who is Carl Sagan?"

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38 responses so far

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