Friday Weird Science Revisited: the “but they could have done it better” edition

Some of you may recall the post Sci posted on Friday “If you’re happy and you know it, smell some pee“. It’s an adorable post, by the way, in which Sci waxes extremely witty and breaks into song. We all love songs.

But the more Sci thought about the paper the more she thought several things:

1) Biological Psychiatry?! Do we have to go through this AGAIN?! I mean, the paper was FINE, but…BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY?! This is not groundbreaking clinically relevant awesomeness, it’s a new animal model.

2) Sci could do it BETTER.

Sci doesn’t mean that to be a jerk, I really DO think this paper could have some bigger, cooler awesomeness to it. And for all I know, the scientists are in fact pursuing all of these avenues of research, but still. Authors, listen up for a second. Sci’s got some IDEAS. And she wants you to use them. Cause we are all in this together, and we all need to find some new hot animal models, amirite?!

Here we go
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Sex, Stress, and Neurogenesis

Sci couldn’t help but notice all the tweets going around the other day talking about how sex stressed you out but was ultimately good for you. She contemplated saving it for a Friday Weird Science, but it’s not THAT weird (though it is interesting), and anyway Sci has something brewing for teh weird skienz.

So this is going to be a post for today. Let’s talk about sex. And let’s talk about stress. And then let’s talk about how increases in glucocorticoids are not the be all end all of psychiatric pathology. Leuner et al. “Sexual Experience Promotes Adult Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus Despite an Initial Elevation in Stress Hormones” PLoS ONE, 2010.

Sadly, this was in rats. Even with the blood draws (and the brain slicing at the end), I bet humans would line up for this study. “You must have sex. LOTS of sex. Also, you will be paid.” Gee…

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Post Later…

Right now Sci is reading about sparklepires. Shhhh. Noise disturbs the sparkle and masks the wooden dialogue.

Grad School Encouragement

A few months ago, I’m running with my running partner. I miss her rather terribly. At this time, she was kind of down on herself in the middle of her third year slump. I was trying to lift her spirits, and the conversation went like this:

Her: Grad school is shit! Why do I always feel like I’m such SHIT at this stuff?!
Me: Grad school is shit, and to the grad school, you ARE shit. But the key to grad school is being the floater in the bowl. No matter how much they try to flush you down, you are THERE.
Her: (gasping with laughter because it’s really hard to laugh when you’re running) That’s hilarious and really awesome.
Me: Take it from me! I am the floater in the bowl of life!

(We spend a few minutes triumphantly whooping and hollering as we run down the street)

…a few minutes later…

Her: I think that was the best therapy session I ever had.

Depression and Glia

Sadly, Sci’s home laptop died another little death last night. While Le Petit Mort might indeed feel great to my laptop, the sudden loss of function was pretty rough on Sci. While Mr. S attempts to work his super magic on the issue, Sci’s post for today comes to you via Ruby, Sci’s intrepid little netbook. Everyone wave hello to Ruby, and hope she can keep herself together long enough to get this thing written.

What this also means is that Sci will be unable to provide any interesting pictures until she is capable of getting to her other computer in the AM. She will do her best to paint a picture of this for you in your mind.

First…allow Sci into your mind.


*takes shower*

Ok, let’s just try and paint a picture instead. Banasr and Duman. “Glial loss in the prefrontal cortex is sufficient to induce depressive-like behaviors” Biological Psychiatry, 2008.

Now picture a rat. One very sad, depressed little rat. Now look at it’s brain. What do you think you see?

Do you see glial loss? Well yes, perhaps…you do.

EDIT: Now with PICTURES!!! So you can forget all that stuff up there. Also it’s free on Pubmed so you can find the pics anyway.

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Analysis of behavioral economics and motivation, with whiteboard

Sci saw this over at Grrl Scientists’s place yesterday. She’s right, it’s fantastic. I mean, it’s partially great to watch the dude draw (obviously it’s sped up, but the way the synched it is cool), but the conveyance of how motivation works (and more importantly, how much we still don’t understand).

Also, Grrl’s very right that it says a lot about why we BLOG. Sci wants to talk about science autonomously, she wants to obtain mastery over her writing, and she wants to MAKE A CONTRIBUTION.

But it does make me wonder why I spend so much time doing it for free…

Get Ready for Awesome Giant’s Shoulders!

First up, are you all aware that the latest edition of the Giant’s Shoulders is out! And Sci is in it! It’s up at The Dispersal of Darwin. There’s some great stuff there this month!



Sci is very excited, she’s never hosted a blog carnival before, but might have to do it in verse. Or, since it’s history, in old English. Which would be hilarious.

Anyway, the THEME for this Carnival is going to be “fools, failures, and frauds”, wherein we encourage ye all to submit here the oldest thing the science that screwed up, failed massively, was just plain wrong, or was unintentionally hilarious. Of course all older science is encouraged, but Sci wants to read some historical WTF this month! Submit via email or via the Blog Carnival website!