Rat Sex on X and Other Dubious Experiments

From navel fluff to Napolean Dynamite, a Berkeley-based blog catalogues bizarre science experiments for the entertainment of the public

By Marie C. Baca
|  Monday, Aug 17, 2009  |  Updated 3:36 PM EDT
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Rat Sex on X and Other Dubious Experiments

asplosh via Flickr

Want to see rats get it on while high on Ecstasy? Play loud music.

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If you think science is boring, you haven't read the latest posts from NCBI ROFL, a blog started by two graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley.

The blog's title is a combination of NCBI, the acronymn for the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and ROFL, Internet slang for "rolling on the floor laughing." It's a fairly accurate description of the blog's purpose: to unearth the most bizarre, dubious, and unintentionally hilarious experiments published in life science journals around the world.

Here are some recent NCBI ROFL headlines, all referring to actual research conducted by scientists:

"The Nature of Navel Fluff"

"Salmonella Excretion in Joy-Riding Pigs"

"Want Your Rat to Get It On While High on Ecstasy? Play Loud Music."

"Finding the Frequency of Fido's Farts"

"Study Proves Dolphin Tattoos [Are] Lame"

"Napoleon Dynamite: Aspberger's Disorder or Just a Geek?"

Meredith Carpenter and Lil Fritz-Laylin, both Ph.d candidates in Cal's molecular and cell biology department, started the blog at the beginning of the year and now receive an average of 40,000 hits a month.

"Grad school can be pretty rough sometimes, so it's nice to have an outlet that lets us have fun with science amidst the seriousness," said Carpenter.

Image courtesy asplosh via Flickr.

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