Archive for April, 2007

Sony flaunts naked women, slays goats, and encourages the gut eating.

April 30, 2007

Sony really knows how to party. It wasn’t enough to have topless ladies at the God of War II European unveiling, they had to go and decapitate a goat and put it on display. Not only that, they invited visitors to stick their hands down the neck, grab out some intestines (not the goat’s own, they were procured elsewhere and shoved inside), and eat them. Fantastic.

Best yet, the entire thing was documented in their official PlayStation magazine, whose 80,000 print run has been recalled thanks to the stunt. Nice work Sony. Next time, just call it a day after you get the nude ladies. – Jason Chen


The Scientist Priest

April 30, 2007

Georges Lemaître: Belgian Roman Catholic priest, honorary prelate, professor of physics and astronomer that discovered the big bang and wrote Hubbles Law.

Gregor Mendel
: Moravian Augustinian priest and scientist often called the “father of modern genetics” for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants.

Nicolaus Copernicus
: A Catholic cleric that said the earth rotated around the sun.

The Catholic Archbishop Isidore of Sevill (560 – 636) taught in his widely read encyclopedia, the Etymologies, that the Earth was round.

UK vs US crime rates

April 25, 2007

Interesting blog post:

One of the loudest voices on gun control….

April 22, 2007

doesn’t know what she’s trying to ban. Carolyn McCarthy has been trying to ban barrel shrouds for years and admits she doesn’t even know what it is. For those that don’t know, a barrel shroud is a safety feature to prevent burns

Digg: Video: Carolyn McCarthy doesn’t understand her own gun-control legislation
H.R. 1022: Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007
Backup: Hotair, Video: Carolyn McCarthy doesn’t understand her own gun-control legislation

Why the world is ending

April 16, 2007

1) Girlz outnumber guyz on tha intranetz

2) Women may be able to grow own sperm


CBC News, Females outnumber males online in U.S., study finds, Friday, April 13, 2007 | 10:27 AM ET

Telegraph, Women may be able to grow own sperm, Roger Highfield, Science Editor, Last Updated: 11:54pm BST 14/04/2007

Why meth is really, really, really, bad for you.

April 14, 2007

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Aug;1074:315-9., Inclusion dynamics in PC12 is comparable between amphetamines and MPTP.

Neuroscience. 2006 Jun 30;140(2):607-22. Epub 2006 May 2. Methamphetamine-induced cell death: selective vulnerability in neuronal subpopulations of the striatum in mice.

MDMA & it’s metabolites… good or bad? The quest begins

April 14, 2007

I’m going to be add links to this blog post as I talk to my friends in the field of neuroscience. The topic: MDMA. Unfortunately my trusted friends in the field are saying that nonhuman primate studies point strongly in the direction of neurotoxicity for MDMA and it’s metabolites. Correlating that with behavorial and imaging studies and the link becomes even clearer. Only time will tell though…… If you must indulge please read up on how certain substances (SSRI’s, antioxidants, etc.) could potentially reduce MDMA neurotoxicity

The following journals were hand picked for me by a neuroscientist buddy I will call Dr. Sam:

George Ricaurte, Ph.D.’s September 5, 2003 retraction of “Severe dopaminergic neurotoxicity in primates after a common recreational dose regimen of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)”: Source: Science, Vol 301, Issue 5639, 1479 Date: 12 September 2003 on above
Medical community reaction

Typically people jump all over the dose and route of administration. This article controls for that.

Mechen, et al. (2006) Pharmacokinetic Profile of Single and Repeated Oral Doses of MDMA in Squirrel Monkeys: Relationship to Lasting Effects on Brain Serotonin Neurons. Neuropsychopharmacology 31, 339–350.

Reviews on mechanisms of toxicity:

Quinton and Yamamoto. (2006) Causes and consequences of methamphetamine and MDMA toxicity. AAPS J. 12;8(2):E337-47.

Seiden and Sabol (1996) Methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine neurotoxicity: possible mechanisms of cell destruction.NIDA research monograph
Volume 163, 1996, Pages 251-276

E. Gouzoulis-Mayfrank & J. Daumann. (2006) Neurotoxicity of methylenedioxyamphetamines (MDMA; ecstasy) in humans: how strong is the evidence for persistent brain damage? Addiction. 101(3):348-61.

Long-term in primates:

Fischer C, Hatzidimitriou G, Wlos J, Katz J, Ricaurte G. Reorganization of ascending 5-HT axon projections in animals previously exposed to the recreational drug (+/−)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ‘ecstasy’). J Neurosci 1995;15: 5476–85.

Hatzidimitriou G, McCann UD, Ricaurte GA. Altered serotonin innervation patterns in the forebrain of monkeys treated with (+/−)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine seven years previously: factors influencing abnormal recovery. J Neurosci 1999;19: 5096–107.


Cowan, et al. (2003) Reduced cortical gray matter density in human MDMA (Ecstasy) users: a voxel-based morphometry study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 72(3):225-35.

Jacobsen, et al. (2004) Preliminary evidence of hippocampal dysfunction in adolescent MDMA (“ecstasy”) users: possible relationship to neurotoxic effects.Psychopharmacology (Berl). 173(3-4):383-90.

Marijuana and health effects

April 12, 2007

I’m too lazy to do a writeup cuz I don’t smoke pot. One day I’ll get around to writing a blog post for some friends and to illuminate the brainwashed with empirical and falsifiable science. But for now I’ll just provide links for the layman and journals when I come across them. Don’t have any hand picked journals from my trusted neuroscientists yet but the neurotoxicity in these article agree with their general sentiment.

Digg: Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn’t Damage Brain
WebMD Medical News, Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn’t Damage Brain, Analysis of Studies Finds Little Effect From Long-Term Use, Sid Kirchheimer
Digg: Study: Alcohol Worse Than Narcotics
Digg (paraphrased): $20 billion spent, 16 million jailed
Digg: Smoking Dope is more acceptable than drinking Alcohol

digg: 25 Reasons to Smoke Marijuana, Marijuana might cause new cell growth in the brain, 13 October 2005 Kurt Kleiner

Medical Journals:
Journal of Clinical Investigation (DOI:10.1172/JCI25509), Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects, Wen Jiang et. al.

Dirt makes you happy?

April 10, 2007

Apparently there’s bacteria in dirt which are pretty powerful antidepressants. All of the sudden this video makes a whole lot more sense:

From eureka Alert:

Treatment of mice with a ‘friendly’ bacteria, normally found in the soil, altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs, reports research published in the latest issue of Neuroscience.

These findings, identified by researchers at the University of Bristol and colleagues at University College London, aid the understanding of why an imbalance in the immune system leaves some individuals vulnerable to mood disorders like depression.

Dr Chris Lowry, lead author on the paper from Bristol University, said: “These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health. They also leave us wondering if we shouldn’t all be spending more time playing in the dirt.”

Interest in the project arose after human cancer patients being treated with the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae unexpectedly reported increases in their quality of life. Lowry and his colleagues reasoned that this effect could be caused by activation of neurons in the brain that contained serotonin.

When the team looked closely at the brains of mice, they found that treatment with M. vaccae activated a group of neurons that produce the brain chemical serotonin. The lack of serotonin in the brain is thought to cause depression in people, thus M. vaccae’s effects on the behavior of mice may be due to increasing the release of serotonin in parts of the brain that regulate mood.

The new research supports this hypothesis, but future studies will be designed to determine if M. vaccae, other bacteria, or pharmaceutical compounds have antidepressant properties through activation of this group of serotonin neurons.

Eureka Alert, Getting dirty may lift your mood, Bacteria found in the soil activated a group of neurons that produce the brain chemical serotonin

Contact: Chris Lowry,, 44-771-888-7506, University of Bristol

Neuroscience. 2007 Mar 14; Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology, University of Bristol, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Bristol BS1 3NY, UK.

Scientists and Faith

April 8, 2007

Here will be a growing and frequently updated list of articles on scientists and faith.

Time, Einstein & Faith, Thursday, Apr. 05, 2007, WALTER ISAACSON
Georges Lemaître – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia