Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 8 Papers

          Both the Holly et al and Vassoler et al paper had clear hypotheses that were backed up by a decade of previous research. Both groups went into their studies knowing the specific question they were asking and expecting a very specific answer. That made these papers informative but not exciting at all. The entire groundwork of these papers was laid in the introduction and the results were just a retelling of everything that had been hypothesized and backed up with research in the introduction. I thought that Holly et al had the more interesting of the two papers even though their experimental manipulations seemed brief. The fact that the group found a specific sex x stress x time interaction when looking at basal DA levels was interesting. There were no cross interactions besides this three way interaction and I found that curious that it took all of these conditions in order to see the interplay and effect. Overall the results that females had a heightened predisposition to cocaine and its effects was sort of already known as they mentioned and the estrous cycle affecting these crossover sensitizations had been hinted at before.

            The Vassoler paper was interesting due to its excessive drug paradigm. A 60d self administration where the dosage was essentially controlled by the animal must have caused a lot of effects in the F0 generation rodent. This drug riddled rodent paradigm allowed for the sperm to become altered by cocaine’s affects and that was the key. The idea that a drug addicted father could cause a less drug sensitive male offspring was an interesting finding. The fact that previous research had been done into the mechanism and they were able to find the proteins and transcriptional processes behind this desensitization was impressive as well. I do fail to see the translatability of these findings however and even in the paper they mention that it cannot translate to the human condition. Without the information gained from the experiment being able to help in the understanding of a problem in the human condition then was the experiment really worth completing?

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