Archive for: July, 2013

Can you smell garlic in your amniotic fluid?

Jul 31 2013 Published by under Physiology/Pharmacology

...this is a question that I have to imagine most of us have never really asked. But the next time you smell someone's amniotic fluid (why wouldn't you?), make sure to check and see if they've had garlic.

Mennella et al. "Garlic ingection by pregnant women alters the odor of amniontic fluid". Chemical Senses, 2013.


Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Friday Weird Science: the science of speed-eating

Jul 26 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

With every 4th of July, there are various 4th of July traditions. Fireworks. Barbeques. Concerts. And, of course speed-eating.

What, you guys don't attempt to pour down 24 hotdogs in 10 minutes?! Where is your PATRIOTISM?!



Regardless of what this may or may not say about our country, hearing about these things makes you wonder: how do they DO it?

Levine et al. "Competitive Speed Eating: Truth and Consequences" AJR, 2007.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Care to Split a Liver? Important Findings for Transplants

Jul 24 2013 Published by under Health Care/Medicine, Uncategorized

When you need a new liver, it's a matter of life and death. While some people can receive part of a liver from a living donor match (the liver is part of the body that can regenerate, but the procedure is still very difficult), most people who need new livers have to be placed on a waiting list for an organ donor liver to become available from a cadaver. When a liver is in the right place at the right time, it goes to the person at the top of the list.

However, you run into problems when the person who needs to receive a liver is a baby or a child. After all, they can't fit a full adult sized liver. Instead, babies and children on the wait list receive a part of a liver, which then will hopefully grow once it's inside. But where do you get liver PARTS? Most adults who are on a liver list will be given a whole liver. And most children and babies who are on a liver list...will also get a whole liver. They will get the part they need and the rest will not be used.

But it turns out, adult liver recipients may not NEED a whole liver to function. And if you can split a liver, you can save two lives instead of one.

Doyle et al. "Outcomes with Split Liver Transplantation Are Equivalent to Those with Whole Organ Transplantation" Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2013.

(A liver. Source)

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Sci is off on a Sci-cation!

Jul 21 2013 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Hey everyone! Just to let you all know, I'm headed out to the Wild Beyond for the next couple of weeks. Where the Wild Beyond is will be revealed upon my return. I might even travelblog it (if you're unlucky), like I did when I went to Japan. In the meantime, I have worked very hard to make sure you don't suffer a lack of Scicurious! Posts will be going up as normal, on Mondays at SciAm and on Wednesdays and Fridays (never forget Fridays!) here at Neurotic Physiology. So be good, keep the spam to a minimum, and I'll be glad to answer any questions when I get back!

No responses yet

Friday Wierd Science: Mopey Mice Pee their Feelings

Jul 19 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

...or, in fact, they DON'T.

Anyone who has ever held a mouse has, honestly, probably been peed on. If you've held a lot of mice, you've been peed on a lot. Everywhere you put a mouse, that mouse WILL pee. It's part of the game and one of the things you get used to (probably one of the things we should warn new grad students about, too. "Congratulations! Be prepared to be peed on!"). So most people who work with mice don't really think anything of it.

But what if we should? ...and what if you could get some art out of the deal?

Lehmann, et al. "Urine scent marking (USM): A novel test for depressive-­‐like behavior and a predictor of stress resiliency in mice." PLoS ONE, 2013.


Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Scicurious Guest Writer! Putting your Best B Cell Forward for HIV Vaccines

Jul 18 2013 Published by under Scicurious Guest Writers

Over at SciAm yesterday, July's Guest Writer Jill Roughan was telling us all about options in making an effective HIV vaccine. And it all involves putting your best B cells forward. What are they and how will this work? Head over to find out!

No responses yet

The anxiety/sleep cycle

Jul 15 2013 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Sci is at SciAm Blogs today, talking about anxiety and sleep. You know how it is, get stressed and anxious, stay up, get less sleep, the next day you're less effective and even MORE stressed and anxious...well, it maybe the sleep loss catching up to you. Head over and check it out.

2 responses so far

Can we get some neuro-nuance?

Jul 14 2013 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Make sure to check out the piece I wrote Friday for DoubleXScience. Aside from being a great site in their own right, they let me write a piece about Neurohype, Neuroskepticism, and the need for some Neuronuance. Heck, with enough of it, we might stop putting "neuro" in front of things. Head over and check it out!

No responses yet

Friday Weird Science: Why cunnilingus?

Jul 12 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Humans are infuriating creatures. We don't ever just want to know how. Or when, or what. We want to know WHY. WHY is the sky blue. WHY do we search for the Higgs Boson. WHY is blood red. WHY do people perform cunnilingus. Deep questions, man.

But for these deep questions, there is SCIENCE. And so these authors set out to answer this deep, deep question. Why cunnilingus? What is the evolutionary purpose? After all, we can't possibly be doing this stuff just because it's fun or nothin'.

Continue Reading »

16 responses so far


Jul 10 2013 Published by under Activism, Uncategorized

So, Science Online DC is having a get together tonight to talk about online commenting. How we deal with it, who does it, and what it does to us. And I'll be there, giving my bit of the tale. Come on out for some pizza and beer!

No responses yet

Older posts »