Archive for: August, 2011

Friday Weird Science: For a highly symmetrical butt, you might want to consider soccer instead of tennis.

Aug 05 2011 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Ah, the things that people will research. I have to say this kind of research could either really awkward, or really thrilling, depending.

So now, my friends, it is time to stare at some butts. Some very, very athletic butts. Stare carefully now, you're looking for SCIENCE.

Sanchis-Moysi et al. "Iliopsoas and Gluteal Muscles Are Asymmetric in Tennis Players but Not in Soccer Players" PLoS ONE, 2011.

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Guest Bloggers Old and New!

Aug 03 2011 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Ok, I've been out of town and then STUFF. And MOAR STUFF. The net result of this is that I totally neglected to tell everyone about the major awesome people we've been having at the guest blog!!! *clutches pearls*

Anyway, for those of you who do not gaze with rapt attention at the guest blog (and you should) here is what you've missed:

1) Dr. Rubidium, the ever fabulous, who gave us some KILLER posts on that KY lube that comes in his and hers varieties, as well as the opinions on cocaine and a super awesome post on how to create eu de rotting body to survive the zombie apocalypse (relevant, really, you NEVER KNOW).

2) David Johnson, who brought the awesome with a good take down of crappy trends in fMRI, and two FANTASTIC and HIGHLY ENERGETIC posts on caffeine!


3) Our newest arrival, Sociological Images! Gwen's gonna challenge your sociological assumptions.

Check them out!!

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SciAm Chemistry Day!

Aug 02 2011 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Sci is at SciAm today for Chemistry day, today finally talking about LSD, the drug only as good as its receptors (aren't they all).

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Don't put down the Fritos: Salt cravings and your crack habit.

One of the interesting things about being a scientist is reading how science is interpreted in the mainstream media, and then comparing the headlines back to the science that was, you know, actually done. When I was a young, and highly naive little scientist, I would read the headlines and go "oh, wow, they found that brain structure and hormone use are correlated in women and makes them behave differently. They must have done all of that stuff in the study".

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. No, no they didn't. At first I was often surprised to find that the media would put all the hypotheses and suggestions in the discussion of the article in as fact, and it turns out that the people doing the study wouldn't have done ANY of those bits AT ALL.

Now, I am not as young (sniff), and I am slightly less naive. So when I saw headlines like "Salt Appetite Is Linked to Drug Addiction, Research Finds", "Cocaine Addiction Uses Same Brain Paths as Salt Cravings", "Appetite for salt linked to drug addiction", I know that you can't ASSUME that they tested the actual drug addiction propensities implies in the studies.

So when you see headlines like this...don't put down the Fritos. Put down the Fritos because those things are gross and probably terrible for you, sure (have you SEEN the fat content on those things?!), but not because they make you a crack junkie.

Liedtke, et al. "Relation of addiction genes to hypothalamic gene changes subserving genesis and gratiļ¬cation of a classic instinct, sodium appetite" PNAS, 2011.

This does not mean this is a bad paper. On the contrary, it's a fine paper. But it does mean, yet again, that you shouldn't believe everything you read.

For starters: "salt appetite" doesn't just mean that you prefer butter style popcorn to kettle corn.

(And finally a small rant. ", research finds"? ", research finds"?!?! Who the heck thinks that's good sentence structure or in anyway improves the headline?!!? I see this all the time and it always makes me cringe a little. Argh)

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