Archive for: November, 2011

Grad Student Eating in Style: Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

Nov 30 2011 Published by under Grad Student Eating in Style!

Sci recently got a slow cooker (aka a crockpot, aka whatever else you call those things). I've been wanting one for ages, it seems like a fabulous way to eat cheap and healthy, not to mention one that is suitable for the academic lifestyle (chuck stuff in the pot, go to lab for 8 hours, and then you HAVE to go home because you left the crockpot on! Not only that, it makes LARGE quantities that a hungry grad student/postdoc can eat off of for a week. Wins all around).

And the first thing I wanted to try? Hot and sour soup. I LOVE hot and sour soup in a way that's almost frightening. It brings back fond memories for me, and is wonderful for chasing away the cold of winter nights. This version is vegan (because I found it in a vegetarian/vegan slow cooker book, is why), and reminds me oh so much of fond memories as a kid. I recommend adding more chili paste than listed if you're used to the real stuff.

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Friday Weird Science: Clomipramine, yawning, and...orgasm!?

Nov 25 2011 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

I was going to start with a brief Storify on this, but Storify is not being kind today. 🙁 Instead we start with one prophetic tweet:

So a) is this true? Can people on clomipramine REALLY experience orgasms while yawning? And b) how the HECK does that work?

I did a little digging, and I've got your answers. Well some of them anyway.

Unusual side effects of clomipramine associated with yawning.
McLean, J. D.; Forsythe, R. G.; Kapkin, I. A.
The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry / La Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, Vol 28(7), Nov 1983, 569-570.

And who knows, if you get bored reading this and you're on Clomipramine, fun times could be headed your way!


(Yawn with your dirty self! Source)

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FINAL #sfn11 Neuroblogging: Hypoglycemia and Brain Function!

Nov 21 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging

Ok, really, this is the last neuroblogging post! All together I put up 11 science posts on various awesome posters and presentations at SfN, as well as 5 or so other posts on life at the conference, how to handle it, and what you might get out of it. I think it was a pretty good year! And last, but not least, we have a final SfN post on hypoglycemia and brain function, with ties to diabetes, Alzheimer's, and more! Check it out, and post questions or comments here or there.

And of course, I have a question: what did you get out of Sci's Neuroblogging? Are there things you would have liked to see more of? Less? What topics did you find the most accessible and what sent your brain reeling (which might not be a good thing)? Let Sci know in the comments!! You all know I do my best to provide you with only the hottest science!

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SfN Neuroblogging: The Packing List

Nov 19 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging

We're home from the conference, and it's time for some reflection. Today's? Packing.

Every time Sci goes to a conference, I end up getting asked for stuff. Chances are, I usually have it. I've got a long history of packing for conferences and other kinds of travel, and I've become kind of a master. I'm not talking rolling your clothes, bringing the small toiletries, etc, etc. Nope, these are the other little things, the little things that make hard, long conference days a little easier and a little better. Obviously, today it's too late to pack for SfN! But for next year or for other conference goers, here's a list, in no particular order, of the little things that can make travel nice. 🙂

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Final SfN Neuroblogging Repost: SEGWAYS for Neuroscience!

Nov 18 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging

I have to reblog this to prove to @mocost that I thought of it FIRST. 🙂 Today's repost is adapted from the SfN conference in Chicago in 2009.

Sci is still in SFN recovery, so we're having no Friday Weird Science this week. Recovery from the science hangover (located primarily in the Academic Gyrus of the Scientific Lobe. (right below the Central Sulcus of Nerd). Recovery efforts usually involve attempting to make up for a SERIOUS lack of sleep, and a total lack of healthful eating. I have spent the last four days with a heartfelt salad craving.
*lust*

Seriously. While DC is much better for catching healthier and cheaper eats (got some lovely summer rolls in Chinatown and there was a crepe station in the conference center) than when SfN was in Chicago, I was sad to find that the conference center had few salads, and absolutely NO soup. By the end of the week, my voice was so dreadfully crushed from yelling on the poster floor, yelling in the hallways, yelling in the bars, just...yelling...that all I wanted was a nice cup of soup before my poster. Something chicken based to soothe my poor aching throat and prepare me for the trial ahead. And verily, I wandered lo many minutes around the conference center, and there was NOT A SOUP TO BE HAD. WTF. I mean, you'd think that'd be one of the easier "fast" foods (certainly more so than the crepe station I saw!).

However, massive kudos go to the SfN organizers for WIRELESS!!! WIRELESS on the poster floor! It was so nice to be able to tweet the cool stuff I was seeing. Other kudos go out to Cell Press for giving out awesome coloring books of the parts of the cell, Elsevier for giving out brain hats (to the people I saw wearing those OUTSIDE the conference center...you are much braver than I), and Neuroscience Associates for the nice 2012 calendar.

Anyway, Sci often has ideas while at conferences, and these usually occur whilst I am on my way to the conference on the shuttle, or even more often, while I'm trudging dazedly across the poster floor, completely at a loss to contemplate WHY two closely related topic fields are at poster row C and poster row WW, respectively. Not fair.

So Sci was trudging, and dodging and weaving around all the SFN n00bs, who somehow feel it is totally ok to stop in the middle of the walkway and gape at your booklet, causing people who KNOW where they are going to have to make emergency detours. Seriously, kids, you are stopping in the middle of what is essentially a crowded busy street in a temporary neuroscience town of 30,000 people. You get THREE poster sessions to figure out the difference between row A, G, and DD, and if you cannot seem to keep moving by then, Sci's bowling you over, and throwing some elbows in her wake. If you really are lost, for the love of neurons, pull over!!

And as I dodged and wove, and contemplated how much my feet hurt and whether Starbucks in the convention center charges more than their national prices for a latte, I had the solution.

Segways.

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#womanspace. You Trollin', Nature?

Nov 17 2011 Published by under Activism

I will admit, Sci's #sfn11 science hangover is massive. I spent the last five days surrounded by science, getting little sleep, crappy food, and working out my liver heavily (always difficult on me, Sci has the liver of a chihuahua). Today all I really wanted to do was finish up the Neuroblogging, lie around in my pjs, and work on two paper drafts and a grant (even when we take the day off, we work from home. Life in academia, my friends. Behold the glamor of my paper drafts and pjs).

All was going well and then my twitter feed filled up with the #womanspace. Dr. Anne Jefferson (of the really wonderfully accessible Highly Allocthonous geology blog) clued me in as well.

What is #womanspace? It's a response to a piece published back in September in Nature. When I went to read the original piece, most of what I saw was some inept blathering on the subject of shopping, and how two old guy scientists are apparently too hopeless to buy clothing for a child. They tried to relate it to physics somehow, something about women accessing alternate universes to achieve shopping-fu. From what I could tell, the piece lacked logic, was badly written, and was generally just kind of crappy, and I couldn't get my hackles up about it.

Then I showed it to Mr. S. Spake Mr. S "that's more like a second rate blog post. Isn't Nature kind of a big deal though?"

And therein lies the problem.

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SfN Neuroblogging: PTSD, heart attacks, and numbers (not together)

Nov 17 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging

Yes, Sci's neuroblogging extends over time! There was just so much SCIENCE I couldn't keep it within the bounds of SfN. There will be one more science post coming at your eyeballs soon, as well as some reflections on the meeting. And if anyone wants to know how to build your own poster tube strap out of duct tape, I might think about putting together a tutorial (hot stuff, amirite?).

Over at Scientific American right now we have a PTSD study that is currently ongoing in twins, a model of number processing in children, and how heart attacks can change mouse behavior. Comment over here or over there with questions and ideas! And keep your eyes peeled for further neuroblogging to come!

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SfN Neuroblogging: BMI and the Brain, SERT and rats, and reading

Nov 15 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging

The SfN Neuroblogging posts are coming thick and fast! Make sure you head over to Scientific American and check out the latest posts from the Society for Neuroscience conference, including posts on grey matter and BMI, the serotonin transporter and animal models of depression, and how we process silently read text. Register to leave comments there, or start a conversation here! Keep the neuroscience flowing!

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SfN Neuroblogging: Dutiful Monkey Dads

Nov 14 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging

The latest post on Sunday's poster sessions is up at Scientific American, where I'm talking about glucose utilization in the male titi monkey, a very devoted monkey daddy. Go and check it out!

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SfN Neuroblogging: Stress responses in new neurons

Nov 14 2011 Published by under SFN Neuroblogging, Uncategorized

Sci is on a roll today you guys! Behold the first of Sunday's SfN Neuroblogging, on a poster which examined glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor responses to behavioral stress in week old baby neurons. Check it out over at Scientific American, and if you want to chat about it there or here, live it up!

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