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Sexual preference chemical found in mice

first_imgHealthLifestyle Sexual preference chemical found in mice by: – March 24, 2011 Tweet 33 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share A chemical in the brain controls sexual preference in mice, according to scientists in China.Male mice bred without serotonin lose their preference for females, a report in Nature says.The researchers say it is the first time that a neurotransmitter has been shown to play a role in sexual preference in mammals.Experts have warned about the dangers of drawing conclusions about human sexuality.The research team first bred male mice whose brains were not receptive to serotonin.A series of experiments demonstrated that these mice had lost the preference for females shown by unmodified males.When presented with a choice of partners, they showed no overall preference for either males or females.When just a male was introduced into the cage, the modified males were far more likely to mount the male and emit a “mating call” normally given off when encountering females than unmodified males were.Similar results were achieved when a different set of mice were bred. These lacked the tryptonphan hydroxylase 2 gene, which is needed to produce serotonin.However, a preference for females could be “restored” by injecting serotonin into the brain.The report concludes: “Serotonergic signalling is crucial for male sexual preference in mice. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a neurotransmitter in the brain has been demonstrated to be important in mammalian sexual preference.”HumansSexual behaviour in mice is thought to be driven by their sense of smell.Professor Keith Kendrick, a neuroscientist at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said: “In terms of having potential relevance to understanding human sexual preference/orientation, we are of course far less influenced by odour cues in this context than mice are.“There is some very limited evidence for altered responses to selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the brains of homosexuals, but we have been using psychoactive drugs which either increase or decrease serotonin function for quite some time now, and while effects on sexual arousal, impulsivity and aggression have often been reported, no effects on sexual preference/orientation have.“At this time therefore any potential links between serotonin and human sexual preferences must be considered somewhat tenuous.”Source: BBC Newslast_img read more


Back to Basics: Introducing the newest member of USC’s coaching staff

first_imgKnown as “Tailback U,” USC football has boasted a history of developing talented running backs. With players such as Mike Garrett, O. J. Simpson, Charles White and — more recently — Reggie Bush and LenDale White donning the Cardinal and Gold, USC has long been a destination for running backs looking for success in college and beyond.While the Trojans have retained almost the entirety of their coaching staff from the 2016 season, the new face at Howard Jones Field is running backs coach Deland McCullough. After serving as the running backs coach at Indiana University from 2011 to 2016, McCullough now has his turn to shape the next generation of “Tailback U.” McCullough replaces former running backs coach Tommie Robinson, who left USC to take a position under former football interim head coach Ed Orgeron at LSU. Replacing Robinson, a man who had NFL coaching experience, was a tall order for head coach Clay Helton and offensive coordinator Tee Martin. In their search for Robinson’s replacement, the Trojan coaching staff was looking for a handful of traits: a proven track record, character that aligned with the ideals of the program, a savvy Xs and Os guy and an effective recruiter.McCullough fit the bill, and the new coach recalled his pitch to Helton and the Trojan staff before the start of spring football.“I stressed to them the small things, whether it be our linemen, reads on runs, footwork [or] hand placement,” McCullough said. “I’m just a detail freak.”That attention to detail has allowed McCullough to analyze the nuances of his job.“One thing I think is overlooked as a running backs coach is that our job is a big job,” McCullough said. “It isn’t just handing the ball off to the guy that’s doing it. You’ve got to give him reads and angles to take. I try to be a great student of the game, and then I turn around and try to be a great teacher, too.” With no previous connections or ties to USC, McCullough’s hire was relatively out of the blue.“He was recommended to us by a couple people both in the pro ranks and in college that we know,” Helton said. “We started doing our research on him, and you looked at a guy that was a great evaluator of talent. But even more important was how he developed talent. We really thought we had a gem, a diamond in the rough.”Martin echoed Helton’s praise, saying McCullough won over the USC staff in a half-day when he interviewed for the job. And McCullough was more than happy to accept the offer.“[USC] was almost like a place you couldn’t imagine from where I grew up,” McCullough said. “You’d see all these things — the Heisman guys and the prestige of the whole university. Obviously when Coach Helton called I was like, ‘Wow, this is unbelievable.’”McCullough said that the opportunity to join the Trojans coaching staff was unexpected. He was a star player at the University of Miami in Ohio from 1992 to 1995, leading the RedHawks in rushing all four seasons of his college career. Following a professional career that included time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Chicago Enforcers, McCullough began working in education. He was a teacher, athletic director and head football coach at Harmony Community School in Cincinnati.Since then, McCullough’s coaching career has taken off. He returned to his alma mater in 2010 but left promptly to become the running backs coach at Indiana. His track record at Indiana caught people’s attention at both the professional and college level. McCullough was instrumental in the development of three NFL running backs during his time as a Hoosier: Stephen Houston, Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard each found immense success at Indiana under McCullough’s tutelage. Coleman was instrumental for the Atlanta Falcons in their Super Bowl run this past season, and Howard made the Pro Bowl in his rookie year in 2016. McCullough will likely add another name to that list soon, as Indiana junior Devine Redding declared for the NFL Draft in January.Besides his track record, what has set apart McCullough from the rest of the pack is his background as a teacher. Throughout his career, McCullough said he learned the skills necessary to teach young men how to not only learn the nuances of the game of football but also be a “leader of men.”“I like [McCullough’s] attention to detail, and I can see the guys already progressing from it,” Helton said. “Especially [junior running back] Ronald Jones II — right off the bat, he’s doing things that weren’t showing up last year.”When asked about the differences between Robinson and McCullough, Jones, who is looking to improve his pass blocking and vision in the hole this spring, said the latter “is definitely more of a teacher.”“He played running back at the professional level, so he knows what it takes to get there,” Jones said. “He’s giving us tools and different ideas that I’ve never even thought about.”McCullough has received praise from his colleagues for his attention to detail when it comes to the fundamentals of the game.“One thing I was looking for in the interview process was running backs coaches that had a great history of their backs taking care of the football,” Martin said. “That’s the thing he’s bringing to the table, and you can already see it in our guys.”While Los Angeles is different from Bloomington, Ind., McCullough isn’t planning to deviate from his blue-collar mentality.“I like tough guys who want to be great,” McCullough said. “If they have a great attitude and great effort, we’re going to get it done.”And while USC is undoubtedly a bigger football school than Indiana, McCullough plans to stick to what has worked for him in the past.“I’ve got a formula that really works as far as getting guys’ trust,” McCullough said. “But more important is showing them what I can do to help them advance what they’re trying to do in their life.”last_img read more


M&CC treatment of Kitty Market vendors

first_imgDear Editor,Permit me some space in your letters column to express my profound disappointment and anxiety at the heartless and cruel manner in which the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown has been treating the vendors of the Kitty Market.In the first place, it should be noted that it is not the vendors, nor the citizens of Georgetown, nor Central Government that had left the Kitty Market to go to rot and ruin; but rather, the City Council that did so. The vendors paid their stall rents, and the citizens of Kitty and beyond paid their property rates.It was the Council that chose to waste these monies on luxurious foreign travel, retreats to local resorts etc, rather than on maintaining the market. So the attempt by some municipal officials to cast blame on others, rather than on themselves, is dishonest and is absolute poppycock.The repair job which was touted to take three to five months is still not completed three years on; but, strangely, civil society, the relevant NGOs, and private sector agencies have not come out in support of the small vendors, who are being taken advantage of.Is the completely toothless Guyana Market Vendors Union (GMVU) still awaiting recognition by the Council?Quite shockingly, these small vendors have been made to pay their stall rents every month although the market has been closed for repairs; and they are now being told that they are not guaranteed repossession of the same spaces and/or stalls. This is preposterous!There needs to be a Commission of Inquiry set up to determine not only the reasons for the protracted delay, but whether there was transparency and accountability for the monies spent on the project. Clearly, no proper plan or quantity survey was done prior to the commencement of the project, as the real cost has far outstripped the estimated costs several times over, and continues to climb further.I am disappointed at Central Government for injecting large sums into this project on at least two occasions without demanding that an audit of the expenditure by the Council be done prior.What has happened to the grand plan to have the bottom flat of the reconstructed Kitty Market outfitted with air conditioning units; extractor fans; an automatic switchover generator, to cater for power outages; and installation of refrigeration facilities in the meat and fish section of the market? Was this just another trip into La La Land by the administration of the Council?And what of the new wing that was to be added to the western side of the market to accommodate 100 new applications from vendors?Projects like the Kitty Market can best be described as a black hole: where materials can be bought in the name of the project but diverted elsewhere; where friends and relatives can be recruited to do the plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry and masonry whilst the workers within the Council are not allowed to do these jobs.How could a municipality be taken seriously and be expected to manage, maintain and expand a city under their charge when they lack the administrative, technical and other capabilities to maintain and rehabilitate a single building?Sincerely,Shanta Singhlast_img read more