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The Scicurious Brain

The Scicurious Brain

The Good, Bad, and Weird in Physiology and Neuroscience

Optogenetics: Light my Fire? Or Totally Lame?

Optogenetics: Light my Fire? Or Totally Lame?

Optogenetics likes to light up debate. Optogenetics is a hot technique in neuroscience research right now, involving taking a light-activited gene (called a channel rhodopsin) targeted into a single neuron type, and inserting it into the genome of, say, a mouse (yes, we can do this now).

August 26, 2013 — Scicurious
Exercise to sleep? Or sleep to exercise?

Exercise to sleep? Or sleep to exercise?

It’s something we feel we’ve always known: if you can’t sleep, you need to exercise more. Wear yourself out, make yourself good and tired, you’ll sleep like a baby!

August 19, 2013 — Scicurious

Death by Sugar?

Over at Neurotic Physiology, I’m talking about the brand new study on sugar in mice. It looked pretty toxic from some of the news coverage, but what does it mean?

August 14, 2013 — Scicurious
Lighting up the brain with ArcLight

Lighting up the brain with ArcLight

There are lots of challenges when it comes to studying the brain, but one of the biggest is that it’s very hard to see. Aside from being, you know, inside your skull, the many electrical and chemical signals which the brain uses are impossible to see with the naked eye.

August 12, 2013 — Scicurious

Sci Returns! But I never truly went away…

…because I was blogging the whole time! I posted here on Sleep and weight gain, as well as Liking sugar and alcohol. And over at Neurotic Physiology, I posted a lot of good, bad, and weird!

August 5, 2013 — Scicurious

Sci Returns! But I never truly went away...

...because I was blogging the whole time! I posted here on Sleep and weight gain, as well as Liking sugar and alcohol. And over at Neurotic Physiology, I posted a lot of good, bad, and weird!Care to split a liver?

August 5, 2013 — Scicurious

Knocking 5-HT1A down to bring mood up

Most current treatments for depression target the serotonin system, a chemical messenger that plays a role in mood (though it also plays a role in many, many other things).

August 5, 2013 — Scicurious

Liking sweet and liking alcohol

I’ve got a terrible sweet tooth. And I am kind of proud of it, in a way. Yeah, I CAN eat that whole chocolate cake. I’d even LIKE it.

July 29, 2013 — Scicurious

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