Thursday, 30 April 2009

From the *real* Proceedings: Dangers of Being a Female Spider.

Occasionally, one finds an article outside of one's field of interest, yet requiring attention. This is one of those articles:

Řezáč M. The spider Harpactea sadistica: co-evolution of traumatic insemination and complex female genital morphology in spiders. Proc. R. Soc. B. Published online before print. April 29, 2009, doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0104

Abstract available here.

This comes via Proceedings "B", the biological sciences journal of the Royal Society in London. (Not to be confused with the Caledonian institution of a similar name.)

Readers with reasonable short-term memory may recall a similar story regarding the mating practices of giant squids, referred to in a prior posting ("Rough sex at 40,000 leagues under the sea.")

Once again, allow me to state my great joy in being a mammal.


More available from the BBC: "Spider sex violent but effective."

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Good news for catgirls and evil tiny kitties alike.

In a recently-published article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison show that cats' central nervous system can repair itself, restoring function lost to neurological disease.

Duncan ID, Brower A, Kondo Y, Curlee JF Jr, Schultz RD.
Extensive remyelination of the CNS leads to functional recovery.
Proc Nat Acad Sci 2009; published online before print April 2, 2009.
doi:10.1073/pnas.0812500106. (link goes to the abstract; full text available to subscribers)

A less-weighty discussion of the paper is found at Science Daily:

This, to me, is brilliant news, especially for the felines among us.

Catgirls: have you noted a decrease in your mental faculties after long sessions of dancing and catnip exposure?

Evil Tiny Kitties: have you longed for a way to reverse the effects of all those neurotoxin experiments gone terribly wrong?

I'm happy to post any anecdotal results to add to the literature.