Here there be dragon drool!!!

Sci was going to save this one for a Friday Weird Science, but it’s just so awesome that she couldn’t bring herself to save it. She had to blog it NOW! It’s not neuroscience, but it’s awesome. Also, there’s dragons.
Not this kind:
dragonage origins.jpg
(Anyone else think Dragon Age Origins is really awesome?! Well, Sci spends a lot of her time wondering why the ladies are so dang naked. You’re climbing a high mountain pass in the winter! Your cleavage will suffer frostbite!!!)
It’s this kind:
giants_komododragon_l.jpg
(Aieee!!!!)
I’m sure you all know that dragons have TERRIBLE breath, but what about that whole “poison” thing?
ResearchBlogging.org Bull et al.”Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths” PLoS ONE, 2010.

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Basics: Guest Post 3: Sperm maturation and ejaculation

What you all were waiting for has finally come! Yeah.
Sperm maturation and ejaculation
OK!! So the last time I was over here at Neurotopia we were talking about sperm in their infancy. We discussed spermatogenesis — how we got from a diploid spermatogonial stem cell to a haploid spermatid — and then spermiogenesis — the process by which the spermatids acquire the features of spermatozoa: tails, acrosomes and the like.
We stopped there when the sperm had just graduated from diapers to their big kid undies, and we’ll pick up where we left off.

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Basics: Guest Post 2: Spermatogenesis

Hello and welcome to Guest Post TWO! And Sci is so glad that Ambivalent Academic is covering meiosis, because I sure as heck didn’t want to do it. 🙂
Male Reproduction Part II – Spermatogenesis
Last we left off we took a basic tour through the male reproductive tract in the way in which a sperm will encounter it. So now let’s talk sperm!
How are they made? How do they make their way through all these convoluted tubes? How do they finally achieve all their spermy aspirations?
Sit down and buckle up – I’m about to tell you.

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Basics: Guest Post 1: Male Reproductive Anatomy

Sci may have hinted that there were guest posts coming up in the near future. After that long series on female reproductive anatomy, Sci thought it would only be fair to let the dudes have some information as well. Unfortunately, Sci’s knowledge of the male reproductive system is related almost entirely to hilarious things like bicycle accidents and pens, and so she had to turn to someone a little more knowledgeable on the actual way the system works.
And so, into the breach has stepped the intrepid Ambivalent Academic! She is here to deliver the sperm, the semen, the testicles, and all other articles of male anatomy right to your computer! And it even comes without malware!
So let’s have a big round of applause for Ambivalent Academic, and Male reproductive anatomy: Part 1.

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Basics Set: Female Reproduction, Part 5. Aaaaaand, BABIES

Hello and welcome to this hopefully last installment (before I get to the paper that I want to cover about female reproduction, which may not be able to happen for a bit) on female reproduction!. Previous sets have covered the anatomy, the menstrual cycle, the effects of oral contraceptives, and fertilization and implantation. Now, we get to pregnancy.
And dangit, I used up all my good pics in the last post. Lessee…
pregnancy cartoon.png
(I hear a lot of mothers-to-be feel like this)
So let’s get started!
pregnancy hormones.png
Can’t never get enough of them hormones!!

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Basics Set: Female Reproduction Part 4, The Reproduction Bit

And we’re back with part 4 of Sci’s brand spanking new series on female reproduction!! This one’s going to be a whopper, fertilization and pregnancy is a lot to cover, and so it will be very basic and divided into two posts, though less basic than the “baby in your tummy” bit that Sci learned when she was small.
wheredidicomefrom.png
(Sci had this book when she was small. It made her very popular with the local kids, and I still giggle every time I think of the part where they tell you that an orgasm is a like a big, wonderful sneeze.)
So here we go, basic fertilization and early pregnancy, starting with your friend, the sperm:
sperm1.jpg
And ending up with one of these:
baby.jpg
(All together now…1…2…3…AWWWWWWW)
Here we go.

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Basic Set: Female Reproduction 3, Oral Contraceptives

Continuing in our vein of basic science posts on female reproduction, we’re going to take a bit of an aside (and this is VERY relevant for the paper that Sci wanted to blog about that needed so much background). We’ve covered the basic anatomy, the hormones, and the monthly cycle. But what about…when you don’t want to ovulate?
What about oral contraceptives?
Of course, they aren’t all oral anymore. Now we’ve got the patch and the ring, and I’m sure pretty soon we’ll some sort of nasal insert (maybe something that looks like a nose ring?) for those who cannot be bothered with either a patch or a ring, let alone a pill.
So what about these?
the Pill
the pill.png
the Patch
the patch.png
(I do seriously hope they make the patch in darker tones than that. I do not think it would be hard to make a patch that actually matches your skin tone, so I really hope they market them)
the Ring
The-One-Ring2.jpg
Heh. Ooops.
the ring.png
(on the other hand, if you wanna make me a birth control absorbed through the skin that can be worn as a RING, and make it to look like the One Ring, I WILL wear it. Drug companies, take note.)
So, remember this?
menstrual cycle2.jpg
Of course you do! Excellent. Let’s go.

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