Field of Science

Links - May 24, 2011

My thesis defense is in one week (whoa!), so I'm taking a break from blogging to go into hardcore study and preparation mode. I'll see you back here after June 1st, hopefully with good news!

In the meantime, here are some links to hold you over. Also, I made a Facebook page for my blog the other day on a whim. It occurred to me that there are some blogs I follow through Facebook that aren't in my RSS reader, so I'd like to have that option available for people who maybe do the same. You can 'like' it if you like this blog and like 'liking' the things you like.


Does sexual intercourse hinder subsequent athletic performance? Many athletes superstitiously abstain from sex the night before a big game, meet, or performance, but is there actual evidence to support this belief? Some say it reduces testosterone and energy the following day, but it seems that there aren't any studies that confirm this suggestion.

Seven Deadly Sins Sunday: Gluttony. The link is to part 5 of 5, use the links at the top of the post to read the earlier posts. A great discussion of the physiology of gluttony. This is becoming one of my new favorite blogs.

Gut bacteria linked to behavior: That anxiety may be in your gut, not in your head. The gut flora may be influencing brain chemistry and behavior.

Other Biology

A map of charismatic canid genomic variation. All that genetics PCA and structure (a program similar to ADMIXTURE) crap, but applied to dogs!

America's most poisonous pill. It's not what you think (although the title is more than a bit misleading). Klonopin, a benzodiazepine, is apparently the second most abused drug in America behind opioids like Oxycontin.

Sex, sleep, and the law: When nocturnal genitals pose a moral problem. If someone forcibly tries to have sex with you while they're sleepwalking, can they be prosecuted?

Other Stuff

Marketing food to kids with cartoon characters. Kids think that food tastes better when there are cartoon characters on the box, and this is true for foods from cereal to carrot sticks. This can be a good way to get kids to make healthier food choices, but chances are that for every healthy food option endorsed by Shrek or Nemo there are a handful of unhealthy ones endorsed by that lemur from Madagascar.

Forensics: The call of the crime lab. A good report on the state of the occupation. I wanted to be a forensic scientist for a long time, but I don't like chemistry enough to be very good at it.

Happy guys finish last, says new study on sexual attractiveness. "Women find happy guys significantly less sexually attractive than swaggering or brooding men." Guilty.

What they are really typing. A few studies attempt to quantify what students are really doing on their laptops during class.


  1. Good luck with your defense!!!

  2. I just emerged from a lecture video editing fog to see that you had written these kind words about my blog.

    After a disaster where we lost all the content for our online classes, I'm slowly emerging from my spider hole. I hope to get some writing done on Seven Deadly Synapses this week or next.

    Congratulations on the thesis defense! Each of these milestones is stressful. However, the shared pain brings us together, we PhD band, we band of brothers (and sisters).

  3. Thanks! Perhaps someday I'll join the brotherhood (but not any time soon).


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