Archive for the ‘Sexy Science’ Category

Dormivigilia’s “Official” Website
November 18, 2009

A birthday present from www.montegraphia.com.

Bookmark it!: http://www.dormivigilia.com

Bat Fellatio Video Uncovered!
November 4, 2009

Last week, I posted a blog entry about a recent PLOS publication discovering that fruit bat fellatio extends copulation time. Well here is the video as promised.

Far Out Science, Dude
October 29, 2009

This infrared photograph is from a recent article in Nature highlighting thermoregulation in sea stars. During high tide, sea stars absorb cold water to prevent overheating.

I Cold Water...Mmmmm.

Fruit Bats Engage in Oral Sex: No Joke.
October 28, 2009

“At present, we do not know why genital licking occurs, and we present four non-mutually exclusive hypotheses that may explain the function of fellatio in C. sphinx.”

Hey, it’s in PlosOne. Blow jobs, er, excuse, fellatio, oral sex, and/or whatever other polite term you care to use increase copulation in bats. The average licking session extends copulation by 6 seconds. Rodents also have stereotypic foreplay known as “pacing” to increase copulation. If Freud was still alive, I’m guessing he would extrapolate his “theories” and say that all mammals are fixated in the oral stage of development.

I tried finding a video of bats caught in the act, but none yet. The authors of the article can’t keep this million dollar movie footage hidden for long, I imagine.

Sike! Six more seconds!

Birth Control And Babies: The New West Virginia?
October 12, 2009

Yesterday, my lab mate sent me an article in Scientific American about how oral contraceptives skew mate selection in a genetically unfavorable manner (thanks Boy Jessie!). It has been shown in a classic test reverberated in this article that a woman’s sexual/emotional attraction to a man is guided by his scent; a man with a more pleasant/sexy smell, unmasked by Old Spice, Axe, and/or other body deodorants that apparently turn women into sex vixens, is valued as more attractive (i.e. hott) because he has a very different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) from the woman that desires him.

Different MHC’s decrease the chances of genetic disorders manifesting from coitus and subsequent fertilization between genetically-related individuals (i.e. cousins). Now you understand why legal marriage between first cousins in West Virginia is highly stigmatized within the medical community. Basically, birth control misguides and deceives a woman by enabling her to become attracted to men of similar MHC’s.

More information on the societal detriments of birth control and olfaction can be found in A Scent of Desire by Rachel Hertz. She’s a smell expert (olfactionist?) at Brown University who has studied olfaction in the sleep laboratory I worked in as well. I’ll save that study for next post.

Evolution at Burning Man
October 8, 2009

If I would have known that Burning Man was celebrating the Year of Darwin, I would have gone. Eeer, wait. I would go regardless of the theme. Though Nature nicely highlighted this year’s Burning Man activities, there’s a story of exemplified altruism Nature forgot to broadcast even if it did happen two years ago…..

As told by my college roommate, an annual Burning Man participant, some person in a deep hallucinogenic state burnt down the Burning Man, which actually isn’t and has never been engulfed in or radiating flames… until this point. The Burning Man community was outraged at the time and even considered prosecuting this perpetrator, but then decided that such behavior defeated the purpose of peace and love; the overall theme of Burning Man. What did they do? While in a deep hallucinogenic stupor, everyone contributed to rebuilding the Burning Man, using any type of scrap metal and/or material from tents.

I wonder how all those serotonin agonists influenced the re-design and time of construction of the Burning Man. Oh, I can only imagine.

iSleepDiary.
October 6, 2009

And it’s not an iphone application! A free, online, interactive sleep diary is now available for people with sleep complaints; ranging in severity from sleep disorders to psychological stress-related aches and pains. Oh, did I mention it is free?! Even for people who sleep soundly (me=check), a sleep diary is still a fantastic tool to challenge yourself to sleep 8.4 hours a night. You might even experience some lucid dreaming, as I discovered that I possessed this talent while keeping a sleep diary (see previous blog entry about lucid dreaming). Coincidence or Correlation?

Darwinian Poetry
October 4, 2009

In this week’s issue of Science, three poems, including one written by Darwin’s great great granddaughter, were featured; all muses were inspired by the ideas and philosophies of the great Charles Darwin. Perhaps this will be www.montegraphia.com’s next literary conquest, given that he has commemorated Darwin this year by sporting his infamous mutton chops (but of an appropriate length, of course).

This Just In: Rodents Take Jello Shots, Engage in Risk-Taking Behavior
September 27, 2009

I am extremely ecstatic about a recent PNAS publication investigating the effects of adolescent alcohol exposure on risk-taking behavior. Rats, yes rats, were co-administered alcohol and gelatin (i.e. Jello shots) during adolescence and then engaged in a lever-pressing protocol designed to administer sugar pellets, another hedonistic, pleasurable treat, during adulthood. To measure risk-taking behavior, lever-pressing did not necessarily coincide with two pellets. Lever pressing would either administer two, four, or no pellets. Rats that had taken Jello shots as a “teenager” were more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior and would routinely press the lever, knowing that no pellets may be present. For more information, see the article.

In the meantime, I may have to develop another experiment assessing the effects of long-term alcohol exposure on circadian timing of awakening and the consolidation of locomotor activity. Perhaps the hedonistic properties of both alcohol and sugar will augment alcohol consumption and exacerbate alcohol-induced disruptions of the circadian timing system. There is only one way to find out. Plus, I may develop a reputation for being the coolest cat/graduate student in the department.

Do mice heart jello shots? What affects does it have on the circadian timing system?

Neury Thursday: Neonatal Rainbows and Astrocytic-Induced Synaptogenesis
September 25, 2009

If that’s not enough neuroscience jargon for you this week, then read more of the Journal of Neuroscience. Before briefly summarizing this week’s featured article, I will comment on the words above, which sadly, have no layman substitutions. Astrocytes are starfish-shaped glial cells critical for mechanical support, nutrient delivery, chemical homeostasis, neurotransmitter reuptake (i.e. they have transporters that are neurotransmitter-specific and clear the respective neurotransmitter from the synapse), and recently found, sleep/wake homeostasis (see “GABA, Glia, Amygdala, and Blue Light” for more information). Synaptogenesis is not as daunting; (synapto=synapse) + (genesis=growth, anew) = synthesis of new neuronal synapses and greater communication between neurons.

Psychodelic Antibody-Labeling

In this picture, antibodies are labeled against green fluorescent protein (GFP), beta-galactosidase (which I remember nothing about from biochemsitry/bioenergetics, but quickly reminded through wikipedia: it’s an enzyme involved with the metabolism of carbohydrates, nuff said), and another neuronal marker. ┬áTo read further about the integral role of astrocytes in synaptogenesis, here’s the article.

In the meantime, I will attempt to find an object in this 3D-esque stereogram (i.e. Magic Eye).