News from the Nervous Front

Via Encephalon #33, I learned about how microarray experiments (a high-throughput way of studying gene expression) are offering new ways to understand the evolution of the human brain. See the essay of neurobiotaxis, and the review article by Preuss et al.

The Neurocritic points to a PNAS paper which shows that the 5-HT4 receptors mediate the appetite-suppressant effect of Ecstasy. How can they tell this? Knock out the genes which produce 5-HT4 receptors in mice and feed them drugs!

This is where we play a spooky clip of Bruce Sterling saying, “Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being.”