Archive for: October, 2010

Donor's Choose, coming to an end soon!

Oct 31 2010 Published by under Activism

Sci has been nothing but impressed with how great everyone has been donating to Donor's Choose!! There are so many wonderful science projects that have been funded and it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

And now, there are only a few more days LEFT! The contest and drive ends on November 9, so please do donate if you haven't already! And remember, to two random donors, Sci will give her brand new SCICURIOUS MERCHANDISE!!! You know you wanna win some Sci Swag!

There are lots of projects that still need your help, including students who need frogs for dissection, owl pellets for dissection (SO much fun!), skeletons for their classroom, and a fake body with organs (which I remember thinking was SO COOL when I was a kid).

So please do what you can. Only $5 is necessary (and you may win an awesome piece of Sci Stuff!

No responses yet

Carnal Carnival! Show me your big O.

Oct 30 2010 Published by under Blog Carnivals, Uncategorized


It is time to start recruiting for the next edition of the Carnal Carnival!!! This latest one will be hosted by Yours Truly, and will be dedicated to something near and dear to all of us...


Of course. 🙂

So find a funny orgasm paper! Orgasms in other species! The physiology of orgasm! The promotion of orgasm through various pharmaceutical methods! The psychology of orgasm!


The carnival will go up on 11/22! So send me your posts and let's have a little bit of innocent fun.

No responses yet


Oct 29 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

If you head to the Scientopia front page today, you'll notice something about our recent posts...MAD SCIENCE!! Scientopia decided to go with a MAD SCIENCE theme this year.

And so today we are posting on MAD SCIENCE, the crazies of science, the things that make us FEEL like Mad Scientists, and other things which are mad and scientific. In a good way.

So far we have:

SCI! My Friday Weird Science Mad Science Edition
Zuska: MAD SCIENCE!! or Atoms for Peace and Fun with TRIGA.
WHIZBang: Psychedlic God Particles.
Book of Trogool: MAD LIBRARY SCIENCE! The Story ofMelvil Dui
Prof-Like Substance: Something Scary this way comes in the life of a TT professor.
Adventures in Ethics and Science: On being bloody minded and neighbors, ergot, and zombies (one of these things is not like the others?).

Check 'em out, and maybe more shall come!


2 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: HALLOWEEN MAD SCIENCE EDITION. The Zombiefying Parasite!

Oct 29 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized


I'm always a little disappointed when Halloween falls on such a prosaic night as a Sunday night. Also, in this new, urban environment, I'll admit I don't have the first idea of how to handle trick or treaters.

So you are getting Halloween TODAY!

Here, Sci got you candy!

And now, your ZOMBIE PARASITE:

No no, not the kitten. It's IN the kitten. Berdoy, Webster, and MacDonald, "Fatal attraction in rats infected with Toxoplasma gondii." Proceedings of the Biological Academy of Sciences, 2000.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Grad Student Eating in Style: LAST 48 hours for submission!

Oct 28 2010 Published by under Blog Carnivals

Last chance, people! The gates will close on the one, the only Grad Student Eating in Style Carnival on Saturday, October 30th! So send me your recipes, your price breakdowns, and let's show them all that there's more to grad life than Ramen (though Ramen will, of course, get it's own category).

Send in your recipes, leave them in the comments! Sci will include them all in the Carnival, which goes up Monday. Let's show 'em what we can do!

7 responses so far

Hyposexual Desire Disorder, the media, and THE BRAIN.

There's a story that's been flying around the internet (I saw the first bits this morning), that a group of scientists have found changes in brain activity associated with hyposexual desire disorder. Dr Petra and Maria Wolters and I got to chatting about it on Twitter, and wanting to find out what to REALLY think, we all went in search of the paper.

And this is where I got something that got my goat SO BAD.

The paper ISN'T OUT YET. The paper ISN'T WRITTEN YET. THERE IS NO PAPER. What there is, as far as I can tell, is an abstract presented at a very recent meeting.


Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Depressed mice, gene therapy, and p11

Reader David sent me this paper the other day, and asked if I could blog about it. I said ok, maybe, and then I read...

..."Gene therapy"...


Sounds very cool, doesn't it? Sounds like the FUTURE! Where's my JETPACK!!!?!?!

But of course "gene therapy" is kind of a buzzword. A lot of people throw it around, but it seems like a lot of people don't know what it really MEANS, and what it can be used for.

But it turns out, it can be used for quite a lot! And it may not be quite so far in the future. After all, they're marketing jetpacks. Alexander et al. "Reversal of Depressed Behaviors in Mice by p11 Gene Therapy in the Nucleus Accumbens" Science Translational Medicine, 2010.

Continue Reading »

8 responses so far

Announcing SfN 2010 Neurobloggers!

Oct 26 2010 Published by under Academia

Make sure you check them out! And even if you didn't make the list, SfN notes that you are totally free and encouraged to blog or tweet the meeting!

Theme A: Development (Twitter @jsnsndr) (Twitter @geneticexpns)

Theme B: Neural Excitability, Synapses, Glia: Cellular Mechanisms (Twitter @hillaryjoy) (Q[science]ultd)

Theme C: Disorders of the Nervous System (alc2145) (Twitter @houseofmind)

Theme D: Sensory and Motor Systems (Twitter @Pascallisch) (The Neuro Dilettante - Twitter @neurodilettante) (Twitter @davederiso)

Theme E: Homeostatic and Neuroendocrine Systems (Twitter @Beastlyvaulter)

Theme F: Cognition and Behavior (Twitter @aechase) (Twitter @stanfordneuro)

Theme H: History, Teaching, Public Awareness, and Societal Impacts in Neuroscience (Twitter @thekhawaja)

One response so far

Momentary Break...AND WE'RE BACK

Oct 26 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Hey all.

So Sci's now not-so-trusty laptop has crashed and burned for the final time, and is getting some surgery involving a replacement hard-drive. Assuming it works (and the hard-drive isn't DOA), I will RETURN! And if it doesn't...well, we shouldn't go there.


WOOOOO!!!! I shall resume the science blogging anon!

One response so far

Fat rat fathers and pre-diabetic daughters

Oct 25 2010 Published by under Physiology/Pharmacology, Uncategorized

You guys, there is SO much science out there. SO MUCH. Grrl and I agree, so much to blog, so little time. Anyway, I found this great paper in the latest Table of Contents for Nature, and went "ooooh, must blog!" And then SciAm beat me to it. No fair, I bet they had it with embargo and all. 🙂

Anyway, this article also appeared in various other places, and it, and articles like it, have received a certain amount of unfortunate attention due to the nature of the coverage. I do not deny that reposting the press release (or repurposing the press release without reading the article) is a bit lazy. On the other hand, I feel like this is not just the fault of main stream media or Lab Spaces. I feel like Dr. Isis said it very well when she stated:

One thing that has become abundantly clear to me in the last 24 hours, however, is that neither scientists nor journalists should rely on the university as a source of information.

She is very right. These press releases are not written by the scientists (often they are barely signed off by the scientists), they are written by the university's PR dept, who knows about as much as anyone else who is not a scientist about what the data actually SAYS. Rather than blaming journalists about what got written about their work, perhaps scientists should first take a look at the press release.

But anyway. Sci's not going to get further into that fray. I hate frays. But I LOVE SCIENCE. And I liked this article. So. Here's the press release, if you want to read it.

And HERE is the paper: Ng et al. "Chronic high-fat diet in fathers programs beta-cell dysfunction in female rat offspring". Nature, 2010.


Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Older posts »