Book Review: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

Sci has very little shame when it comes to certain things. Book procurement is one of them, and when she found out that Mary Roach (the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex) was coming out with another book, she had no hesitation in going right to the source and sending a polite begging letter (with remarkably little fan-girling) asking for a review copy.
And when it arrived in the mail, Sci may not may not have danced around a little. And she definitely put aside everyone else she was reading and pounced on the book (sorry, guys).
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, by Mary Roach.
packing for mars.jpg

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Friday Weird Science: The Human Penis Bone

Today’s post is some seriously OLD science. Old science and WEIRD science, coming to you courtesy of Mt. Sinai hospital in NYC, 1913.
And it’s also the WEIRDEST conjunction of this:
penis guy.jpg
And this:
corset.jpg
That Sci has ever seen.
ResearchBlogging.org Gerster AG, Mandlebaum FS. “XI. On the Formation of Bone in the Human Penis.” Annals of Surgery, 1913.
The pictures below are curiously safe for work. I suppose that picture up there wasn’t. oops.

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Friday Weird Science: Fibransin and the “problem” of female sex drive

Sci was toddling around the internet recently (as is her wont), when she came across the work of Dr. Petra. If you’re in to learning about sex, sex education, and everything else from a scientific point of view, Sci highly recommends Dr. Petra. This is a blogger who tells it like it is.
(Sci also just found out that Seed has a current article on humans as some very sexy beasts. Sci is suitably amused, and you should be too).
And it was an article from the awesome Dr. Petra which notified Sci of the current stuff going on with this drug called flibanserin, which has to be one of the WORST drug names. Sci keeps wanting to call it fibansin, or fibanserin, or flibansin. FLIBANSERIN?! Two syllables too many.
As you may know by now, the FDA rejected flibanserin for use in treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). Sci thinks this was extremely justified, as the results of the studies on flibanserin, first off, haven’t been PUBLISHED. This means they haven’t been peer reviewed. And there might be some good reasons. Neuroskeptic gave some great coverage of this. So far it looks like:

1) The trials did not show a statistically significant difference for the co-primary endpoint, the eDiary sexual desire score.
2) The Applicant’s request to use the FSFI [a questionnaire] desire items as the alternative instrument to evaluate the co-primary endpoint of sexual desire is not statistically justified and, in fact, was not supported by exploratory data from Study 511.77, which also failed to demonstrate a statistically significant treatment benefit on desire using the FSFI desire items.
3) The responder rates on the important efficacy endpoints for the flibanserin-treated subjects, intended to demonstrate the clinical meaningfulness, are only 3-15% greater than those in the placebo arm.
4) There were many significant medical and medication exclusion criteria for the efficacy trials, so it is not clear whether the safety and efficacy data from these trials are generalizable to the target population for the drug.

Um. Owie. So the whole thing was by questionnaire, which isn’t necessarily bad, except the questionnaire wasn’t itself proven to be any good. So then the results may not be any good. And the results they GOT suggest that even if the results WERE in fact an accurate representation, flibanserin doesn’t work any better than placebo. And even if it DID, there were so many exclusion criteria that we have no idea if the women used in the questionnaire even represented the regular target population. Excellent smackdown, FDA.
But there’s another deal here that Sci wishes to address, and that would be the issue of HSDD. Hold on to your hats.

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Friday Weird Science: Snoring Problem? Have you considered a didgeridoo?

Thanks again to NCBI ROFL, who finds these hilarious things and posts their abstracts for all the world to see, and for Sci to giggle over and then run around trying to find hilarious pictures of didgeridoos.
So, let’s talk about your snoring problem.
snoring.jpg
And then let’s talk about your musical stylings on the didgeridoo.
digeridoo.gif
ResearchBlogging.org Puhan, et al. “Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial” British Medical Journal, 2006.
And to get an idea of what this whole study must have sounded like:

(Dang, this guy is really good…)

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Friday Weird Science: Snoring Problem? Have you considered a didgeridoo?

Thanks again to NCBI ROFL, who finds these hilarious things and posts their abstracts for all the world to see, and for Sci to giggle over and then run around trying to find hilarious pictures of didgeridoos.
So, let’s talk about your snoring problem.
snoring.jpg
And then let’s talk about your musical stylings on the didgeridoo.
digeridoo.gif
ResearchBlogging.org Puhan, et al. “Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial” British Medical Journal, 2006.
And to get an idea of what this whole study must have sounded like:

(Dang, this guy is really good…)

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Friday Weird Science: a tote for your scrote, a recepticle for your testicle.

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org
Many thanks to NCBI ROFL for providing this excellent gem of a paper. I was actually going to do another one that I found via their site, but then I saw this one and I HAD TO HAVE IT. And so much additional thanks goes to Jason of the Thoughtful Animal and twitter bud hectocotyli, who managed to find the paper, as Sci only has access to the stacks copy and was about to pull her hair out.
And it was all worth it, my friends! This is a paper of such hilarious awesome that Sci can barely contain her giggles as she writes.
Let me introduce to you…the ball sling.
SLINGERS2.gif
Just like that. ‘Cept it’s for a different pair of rocks.
ResearchBlogging.org Shafik, A. “Contraceptive efficacy of polyester-induced azoospermia in normal men.” Contraception, 1992.
Hehehe. A ball sack for your ball sack. A recepticle for your testicle. A tote for your scrote! I could do this all day…
A sling for your thing. A thong for your dong. A sock for your cock…
Anyway, let me introduce to your a tote for your scrote, made out of the ever classy polyester.
polyesterscrotetote.jpg
(NSFW pics below the fold. As though that picture of polyester shirts wasn’t full of enough horror).

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Friday Weird Science: FINALLY, a clitoris study!

Sci has constantly been annoyed that no one seems to have performed a real, thorough study on the sensitivity of the vagina. Or at least, it’s beyond her pubmed-fu. If someone has done it, please let me know! I’d really like to cover it and I’m very annoyed that I cannot seem to find it. Sci is also annoyed by this because several studies have covered the sensitivity of the penis. It’s just not fair.
But today, Sci was pubmedding furiously, and she FOUND SOMETHING. I am so excited.
ResearchBlogging.org Foldes and Buisson. “The Clitoral Complex: A Dynamic Sonographic Study” Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009.
YES! Not the whole thing, but it’s a start.
woohoo.jpg
I suppose you could say the pictures below are NFSW. But they’re sonograms. So it could be anything, really, and most people won’t know. If your boss comes up behind you, tell them you’re looking at someone’s baby pics.

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