Friday Weird Science: Of Testicles and Cocks

I love when I can talk about science while using words like “testicles” and “cocks”. I really should have gone into something like urology, only then I know people would probably be all serious about it. And where’s the fun in that?
Anyway, today’s Weird Science comes to you courtesy of Monica, an awesome reader of the blog at Purdue. Monica found this study courtesy of Dr. John Anderson’s Endocrinology class (Bio 559) at Purdue, which she says was amazingly awesome. I personally think any class devoted entirely to endocrinology would be pretty awesome, and when you add in a paper about testicle transplants in cocks? Heh. Heh. I would have LOVED to take that class.
(Side note: should anyone come across a paper that they happen to think is gloriously weird, do drop me a line! I’d love to hear it and it may end up on the blog! I’m always looking for new material.)
ResearchBlogging.org Berthold, A. “The transplantation of testes” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1944.

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Your Daily LoLz

Today I present a “guest” post from reader of the blog Martin! I do not personally Twitter, because I have FAR too many distractions in my day without adding another way to be connected. But I feel this captures the essence of Twitter. And I really like the last line. :)
Apparently it has a tune, but apparently his voice curdles cheese, so I don’t get to hear the tune. I am waiting for the souped up YouTube video complete with synth music and montages. Everything is better with an 80′s montage.
on twitter
copyright 2009
Martin Richard

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Got PMS? Take Two Antidepressants, and Call Me in the Morning

Sci’s going to go ahead and admit, the last few weeks have been a little…brutal. Ok, maybe a LOT brutal. Grad school can be tough at times, and involve days that leave Scicurious wiped. But the posts must go on! And so, today your tough little grad student (YTLGS) is fortifying herself with the best cures imaginable, moose munch and liquor, to bring you today’s post.
(By the way, being poor, Sci accepts gifts to her blogging muse in the form of Moose Munch, dark chocolate of any kind, and liquor of all varieties except NightTrain. Contact her for details).
Todays post brought to you by sugar and…fermented sugars. Also the letter S. And the Journal Club that Sci has to give…soon. Very, very soon.
ResearchBlogging.org Landen, et al. “Short onset of action of a serotonin reuptake inhbitior when used to reduce premenstrual irritability.” Neuropsychopharmacology, 2009.

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Depression: Part 1

I don’t generally miss my old blog, per se. I do kind of miss the layout, and I’ll admit my name was pretty cool. But really, when I miss anything, I miss my old basic science posts I wrote. And since basic science is one of the things I’m all about (along with weird and freaky science, historical science, and…well, stuff), I thought I would repost some of them here. Admittedly, I’m saving them as kind of a cheat. Sci’s got a rather crazy spring semester, and reposting is a wonderful way to save 2-3 hours to do things like work. But also, they never really got a lot of attention on the old blog (Sci was blogging under the radar), and so I would like to bring them into the sun of Scienceblogs, there to get ripped apart and questioned by the ravening masses. I am always looking for ways in which to improve myself.
So here’s the first one, the first in a trio of posts on clinical depression:

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Friday Weird Science: Science and Soap Operas

Sci has a confession to make. I don’t own a TV. Well, rather, I do. It only works to hook a DVD player up to it. Being completely addicted to the internet as I am, I don’t miss it. I also never really watched TV as a kid. In a way, I miss out on a lot of pop culture this way (I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t have to spend the entire day debating “Lost” on Thursdays), but I don’t mind. Who knows? Perhaps if Scimom and Scidad had let little Sci watch tons of TV as a kid, she wouldn’t be the happy little geek she is today. I’m happy as I am, and so TV is something I don’t need.
But there is one thing I’ve never seen, yet only heard of. This elusive thing, this “soap opera” was a legend to me when I was little. When I was home sick from school, I would hunt through the TV for them, occasionally catching glimpses, but never have the patience or the stomach for a full episode. Mostly, they seemed to involve incredibly rich looking people posing tragically over something improbable, like suddenly finding out you are your equally rich mistress’ long lost identical twin. But apparently, it also involves a lot of people stuck in comas, usually to make a spontaneous recovery (probably with amnesia or thinking you’re someone’s long lost identical twin). And a few researchers decided to study this.
ResearchBlogging.org Casarett et al. “What’s in a name? Epidemiology and prognosis of coma in daytime television dramas” British Medical Journal, 2005.
Ah, where would Sci be without the glories of the British Medical Journal and Medical Hypotheses. Truly, there would be no weird science without these two glorious repositories of the odd. And this episode of Weird Science comes to you courtesy of Instant Egghead Guide to the Mind, where I found the original citation of this paper. Thanks, Eggheads.

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Are you an Egghead? The Instant Egghead Guide to the Mind

I am an unabashed lover of Scientific American. Well, ok, I’m also a grad student. So I can’t AFFORD Scientific American. But luckily, Scientific American has podcasts! There’s a regular weekly one that is around 40 minutes long, and then there are daily ones, called ’60-second science’. 60-second science represents the latest science tidbits as they come out, and, most endearing to Sci, they cover the good, the bad, and the weird. So I was very excited when I found out that Scientific American, specifically 60-second science, was putting out a BOOK! And when I found out that is was about BRAINS, and that I could review it, I got even happier.
CoverINSTANTEGGHEADMIND.JPG
And it’s got a forward by Steve Mursky, who does the main Scientific American podcast. That is a sexy, sexy guy.
And HINT: If you read to the bottom, there could be something good for you in it!!

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The mouse that couldn’t get high

In the second out of three possible papers for journal club, I got this paper courtesy of Physioprof. And I’m very glad he sent it to me. I get tons of Tables of Contents in my inbox every day, but I tend not to go through them until I need a paper for Journal Club. But PP clearly has some lit search chops, and sent me this paper 45 minutes after it first came out. Hot off the presses, indeed. Clearly, PhysioProf understands Scicurious’ Big Three: Sex, Drugs, and…ok, maybe there’s only two.
ResearchBlogging.org Thomsen et al. “Dramatically decreased cocaine self-administration in dopamine but not serotonin transporter knock-out mice”. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2009.
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents. This is a great paper, but it’s also more than a bit technical. I’ll do my best, but if there’s anything you don’t understand, do not hesitate to give a shout.

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The Rightful Place of Science

So I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that, in Obama’s inauguration speech, he spoke of putting science “back in its rightful place”. Since then, Seed, our Benevolent Overlords ™, has started the Rightful Place Project, and has asked all of us what IS the rightful place of science.
It’s taken Sci a little while to formulate her thoughts, and being that she is usually a creature that delivers teh scienz rather than teh politikul opinyunz, it’s not assured that this will be a masterful oration on this subject, like those found at Highly Allocthanus, Orac, Dr. Isis, Zuska, Ed, Chad, Bora, ok, well everyone, pretty much. Sci does not promise anything so eloquent.

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