Monthly Archives: July 2006

Of Mice and Moms (and the Snowball Effect of Stress)

One of the pleasures of following science is seeing how researchers use old, simple tools to test new questions. In a nice piece of work published in Nature Neuroscience and written up in ScientificAmerican.com and ___, a University Oklahoma researchers Stephanie Moriceau and Regina Sullivan used learned-fear association in mice to reveal how the stress of maternal abandonment raised rat pups’ vulnerability to stress and fear.

Eiger loses face

I enjoy most any mix of science and mountaineering — part of why I so like Mark Bowen’s Thin Ice, his book about climatologist Lonnie Thompson’s remarkable work documenting global warming in high-altitude glaciers. Scientific work done at rarefied altitudes. How can you not like it? The North Face of the Eiger, 2005 — aka…

Tiny Stroke Ends a Druggie’s Addiction

You don’t see this every day: Jake at Pure Pedantry draws due attention to an incredible case report in the American Journal of Psychiatry showing that a lesion in a patient’s brain cured the patient’s drug addiction, apparently by knocking out the reward circuit that made the addiction pleasurable. (It also made the man badly…

Cutting to the chase on climate change

My interest in global warming grows apace, both because it stands to impose some very grim effects and because it makes an interesting (if dismaying) study in culture’s attitude toward science (see my post on “Climate change as a teset of empiricism and secular democracy“) and how vested interests can affect same. Florida at present…