Scary science and involuntary urination

Happy All Hallows Eve witch’ez! To celebrate the most important holiday of the year (after Waffle Day on March 25th of course), I thought I’d share some of scariest stories from the world of research. Of course there’s plenty of fodder for this in the fictional realm, with your Frankensteins, Mothras, and your less popular Mansquitos, but the true stories of horror are far more compelling and terrifying.

First up is research that isn’t so pee inducing on the surface, until you look at the organism model they’re using. In this very interesting paper on neuropil structure and olfactory driven behavior, the researchers decided to use nothing less than the manifestation of all evil, the scutigera centipede. Known colloquially as the Devil Bug, these centipedes are here, right now, in Portland, probably right behind you, crawling up your pant leg. Not much is known about the extent of their abilities, but what is known by anyone who has found them in their home is that these horrors charge rapidly with wild blood lust at anything that moves, they feed on fear and nightmares, are immune to poison, fire, water, boots, and exhibit a mild psychic sensitivity to approach their victims at their most vulnerable.

Now for the story of Dr. James Fallon. He spent over two decades studying the brains of murderers and serial killers. He mapped areas of the brain that controlled ethical behavior and impulse control, and could detect abnormalities in these areas in the mind’s of the most deranged killers. One day when discussing his family tree with his mother, he learned that he was directly related to several brutal murderers. Given his research, he couldn’t resist scanning his own brain. What he found was that he showed all the biological signs of serial killing psychopath. Even more than this, a genetic screen showed that he also possessed the ‘Warrior Gene’, which has been linked by some to heightened aggression. Fallon himself admits that this suggests he is predisposed to violent malevolence, a killer born. Is this really a scary story, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Okay, maybe those were pretty tame, but the best ones probably aren’t blog appropriate. Have a happy Halloween!

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Comments

  1. Sorry guys, looks like the best stories really weren’t appropriate for the blog, and probably more than a little NSFW.

  2. Sorry guys, looks like the best stories really weren’t appropriate for the blog, and probably more than a little NSFW, so had to be pulled. So if you want to hear about DARPA funded zombie pigs, flesh eating robots, and the freaky stuff that was removed, feel free to ask me around campus.

  3. Boo! More horror stories! You could always put a warning on the post.

    Really interesting about Dr. Fallon. I wonder how long it will be before the cost of genetic screening will come down enough so that those with morbid curiosity can get it done. I’m pretty sure I have the “peacemaker” gene. Or at least a “layabout” gene.

  4. That centipede bit is scary!

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StudentSpeak

StudentSpeak

Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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