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Kate Gammon
7,383 followers -
Independent journalist covering science, technology and digital culture. And babies.
Independent journalist covering science, technology and digital culture. And babies.

7,383 followers
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The Chemical Behind Catnip's Effects on Cats

CATNIP: EGRESS TO OBLIVION?

- 4aα,7α,7aα-Nepetalactone is the specific isomer responsible for the catnip effect

☠ Firstly, nepetalactone will enter the cat’s nasal tissue, and there it will bind to certain receptors.

☠ These can then trigger particular sensory neurons to signal to other neurons, and eventually the brain; in particular, the ‘olfactory bulb’, a region at the front of the brain responsible for processing smells.

☠ This region then signals other regions of the brain, including the amygdala, responsible for emotional responses to stimuli, and the hypothalamus, responsible for behavioural responses to stimuli.

☠ This results in the observed response in cats – a response that is actually similar to their response to natural sex pheromones.

☠ The effect of catnip lasts for around ten minutes, and afterwards there will be a refractory period of around an hour where the cat will remain unaffected.

☠ Interestingly, not all cats are affected by catnip; the response is genetic, and autosomal dominant, which means if one parent passes on the gene, then the offspring will inherit the response. 

Article source: http://goo.gl/lTHpY7

Video by BBC Nature: http://goo.gl/wLvZ5B

Read more :  Inheritance of the catnip response in domestic cats , J. Hered (1962) 53 (2): 54-56 http://goo.gl/cCxU5a

#caturday #chemistry   #scienceeveryday  
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So cool. 
Making thermodynamics work for you. Insert Coin: Epiphany One Puck uses heat transfer to charge your phone http://engt.co/14V7mr4

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The newest in Dean Kamen technology, this invention sucks food from your stomach. What could possibly go wrong? 

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My latest, on better-for-you and better-for-the-Earth junk food. What do you think? 

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So awesome.
I've seen some cleverly carved pumpkins before, but these amazing pumpkin carvings by Ray Villafane elevates tradition into the realm of art. Born into a poor farming family, he found himself having to whittle his own toys out of wood for his amusement. He eventually had to turn to pumpkins as his medium of choice when even that became too exorbitant. Luckily his early trials also honed his artistic skills to the point where he's able to bring out shockingly realistic scenes and faces out of mere pumpkins. Jump past the break to see more examples of his wonderful pumpkin art, just make sure you haven't had lunch yet. Some of them are too realistic ;)

http://www.boredpanda.com/halloween-pumpkin-carvings-ray-villafane/
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The Onion takes on nature videos. This is hilarious. 

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This technology is really neat! My newest for FastCompany.
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