Those of you who followed me over from the WordPress blog may remember that my friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In the last couple of weeks she's gotten a lot of really good news. She has a stage 2A invasive ductal carcinoma, which means that even though her tumor is pretty big, it hasn't spread yet. She's still going to do chemo, but not as long as they originally thought, and she's going to have to have a double mastectomy to help make sure that the cancer doesn't come back later in life. This is all a very strange experience for me, but I'm just glad that things are looking better for my friend.
Edit: While I'm on the subject of cancer, I am reminded that PalMD has a great series of posts about cancer over at his blog. Check out Cancer 101 and 201.
I've had this article open in a tab since early yesterday: Oxytocin signaling in mouse taste buds. I don't think I'll get around to blogging about it, but it's a pretty cool little paper. Apparently oxytocin, an endocrine/neurotransmitter which is mostly known for its role in parturition, breast feeding, orgasm, and familial bonding, also plays a role in inhibiting food intake. We know this because oxytocin knockout mice overfeed on sweet and salty food. The authors decided to determine whether or not oxytocin acts directly on the taste buds. Check it out.
If you're not at APS: Comparative Physiology 2010 (like me), make sure you at least read the conference press releases. There's some pretty great stuff up already, like Increased Destruction of Bird Populations are Predicted with Rise in Global Temperatures and A "Crystal Ball" For Predicting the Effects of Global Climate Change.
Some links from my more sophomoric side: peeing in space and comparative fecal particles.
A new kind of problem
4 hours ago in RRResearch