This is your hamster on drugs

NewScientist is reporting that a team of scientists at the University of Texas at Austin has discovered that Prozac, when used in low doses on juvenile hamsters, makes the creatures considerably more aggressive. In fact, the lightly-medicated hamsters initiate 40% more fights than those on placebos. Strangely enough, this only happens in cases of low doses; in higher dosages the juvenile hamsters appear calm and content. The study is particularly interesting, because it highlights the differences in pubescent and adult brains, and how the amount of the drug used affects how it binds to various serotonin receptors. Researchers are hoping that the studies will prompt more investigation into how the drug affects prescribed teenagers.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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