Ep. 14: Zombie Genes, Neanderthals, Sloth Bears, Oh My!

It’s another neuro news roundup! Zombie genes: fluff versus fact! Rub some trees with sloth bears! Avoid dying from COVID with Neanderthals! And is the Morris Water Maze traumatic? Also, castrated cats.


To the best of our abilities, all the work we cite in the show is linked below. Please send any comments, questions, corrections, and/or castrati to us via Twitter (@MissBehaviorJC).

  • Scent-marking behavior by female sloth bears during estrus (Khadpekar et al., 2021)
    • Clarification: All mentions of “genital rubbing” in this segment refer to the act of rubbing genitals on a surface (e.g., a tree).
  • A genomic region associated with protection against severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals (Zeberg & Pääbo, 2021)
  • Selective time-dependent changes in activity and cell-specific gene expression in human postmortem brain. Reported like a boss by Jacqueline Carey. (Dachet et al., 2021)’
  • Recent study on how dissociation affects a cell’s transcriptional profile:
    • Tissue damage induces a conserved stress response that initiates quiescent muscle stem cell activation. Cell Stem Cell. (Machado et al., 2021)
  • For more on cell responses to isolation procedures, see:
  • Prolonged epigenetic and synaptic plasticity alterations following single exposure to a psychedelic in mice (De la Fuente Revenga et al., 2021)
  • The differential calibration of the HPA axis as a function of trauma versus adversity: A systematic review and p-curve meta-analyses. Preprintlandia. (Hosseini-Kamkar, Lowe, Morton, 2021)
  • Correction: the dark blue classic Tootsie Roll Pop flavor is either blue raspberry or grape; not blueberry.
  • Lucky Millinder (1941) Big Fat Momma
    • Note: The outro song is not the specific song Leah was thinking of. It is, however, as the kids say, a bop.

Note: The outro meowing is from a female cat in estrus. We are still working on obtaining audio from our new favorite male cat.

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