Establishment of a repeated social defeat stress model in female mice

Mice genetically engineered to be mean fighting machines help beat back sexism in science.

That’s the gist of this exciting new paper co-authored by my favorite lab scientist, Dr. Yael G..

She has long been studying why some mice who are bullied seem to get depressed, while others are resilient. (Seem because these are mice, not people, but most of the signs are there.) All the studies have used male mice. Which is a problem, since depression in humans is not gender neutral.

The thing is, the technique used to bully mice into depression doesn’t work on female rats, because male mice don’t naturally bully female mice. Enter genetic engineering, which produces mice who can be programmed to beat up on female mice (as well as inanimate objects).

Full details, including sex-based differences in what sort of living arrangements will best depress bullied mice, here

My mother, my teacher

Reprinted from this week’s Jewish Standard.

On Shabbat morning, August 8, 2015, my mother died. On Sunday, October 16, her gravestone will be unveiled. Here is the eulogy I delivered at her funeral.

“My mother, my teacher,” is how we refer to our mothers when we pray for their blessing in the Grace after Meals.
My mother unquestionably was my earliest teacher, but those earliest lessons date from long before my memories coalesced. What I can remember, though, what stands out for me, and what I want to share, is what my mother taught me in her final months of cancer and illness, through both example and conversation.

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How Trump promises to make the 1% richer again

“If they get the chance, Paul Ryan and the Republicans will do what they say they want to do. They are true believers, cult-like in their allegiance to the money power, and religious in their devotion to the alleged character-building benefits of poverty. They are not committed to building a viable political commonwealth. They are committed to something very much darker.”

Charles Pierce in Esquire