Monday, October 02, 2006
Testosterone is often credited with males' greater sex drive and arousal rates, but it seems it may do something else as well: make them dumber. Kinda. Yale researchers have found that androgen steroids induce apoptosis in nerve cells, in vitro. They claim that this effect explains 'roid rage,' but I'm not totally convinced. In neuroscience especially, in vitro is often very different from in vivo, if only because of the Blood-Brain Barrier, and likely also because of supportive glial effects.
All this arousal is supposed to be a good thing - we still need it to make babies. But we may not for much longer: researchers claim to have cloned mice from adult granulocytes, challenging conventional wisdom that you need stem cells to make clones. The results are interesting, even if not really too convincing.
After the future cloned babies grow up, they'll probably have to worry about cancer as much as the rest of us, and they'll be glad of new research that suggests two powerful treatments: siomycin A and aldose reductase blockers. The former is an antibiotic which specifically targets FoxM1, a gene needed for cancer cell proliferation; the latter blocks an enzyme, aldose reductase, which seems to be critical for colon cancer growth. Great news!