The blog reviewed here is ‘Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology‘. There is a related laboratory website hosted at the university. The blog is written by Dr Kathyrn Clancy, an assistant Professor in Anthropology.
Appearance and Design
The blog is hosted at blogspot. There are several posts per page. The background is grey with an orange title bar. Articles are dated, category tagged (referred to here as labels) and comment enabled. The blog is chronologically indexed through an archive link on the left hand side and can also be navigated according to blog labels. Also on the left hand side there are publication, research and other related links.
There are relatively few posts at the time of writing. However a post on a day in the life of an academic is of interest to those who want to pursue an academic career in this area. There are a number of posts on fertility and this one on Premenstrual Syndrome is interesting and effectively illustrated. In this post, Clancy discusses the relationship between PMS, progesterone levels and Allopregnalonone levels. Clancy uses these relationships to suggest why some people might respond to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors while others don’t. The following hypothesis was mentioned during the discussion
‘it may not be total levels of progesterone/ALLO triggering PMS symptoms but rather something about the rapidity of decline‘
which is of interest as the change in levels of thyroid hormone has been linked to mood changes. Thus the change in levels of a hormone may be a useful focus of investigation in relation to mental state.
This is a veryrecent blog which tends to have a few updates every one or two months. Clancy shows her enthusiasm for her subject and writes openly, giving readers an insight into the life of an academic which is quite useful for those considering a career in this area. Endocrinology is quite closely tied to psychiatry because of the consequences of a number of endocrine disorders as well as the potential for mental illnesses to influence management of endocrine disorders. Evolutionary psychiatry is an emerging area and there will be probably be useful lessons to be drawn from a comparison with evolutionary endocrinology which is the focus of this blog.
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