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Fear Factor...stathmin

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posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 10:43 PM
Fear is not just an emotion. It's a physical substance.

Fear is a protein. It's called stathmin.

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ deleted the gene that encodes stathmin in mice, it resulted in the uninhibited mischief of a new breed of mighty mouse. They couldn't fly, but, according to a study published in the November 18, 2005 issue of Cell, the mice began taking uncharacteristic risks.

If you've ever seen a mouse indoors—most likely from a chair-top perspective—you may have noticed that it was running along the edge of the room. Mice are comfortable running along the edges of things and they do the same in lab mazes.

After blocking stathmin production in a group of mice, researchers compared the amount of time mice spent in the perceived safety of a maze's perimeter to the time spent on the open road of its interior. Mice lacking the stathmin gene spent 50% more time off the walls than did mice with the gene.

Further experiments also found the mice displaying courage. Interestingly, no change in memory or reasoning appeared after the gene deletion.

Stathmin is produced almost exclusively in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, the small, almond-sized part of the brain responsible for mediating emotions. (Cells in the testes also express stathmin; "having the balls" may aid an individual in undertaking a risk venture.)

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posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 10:54 PM
i believe that the mice took these risks because a mouse does not have common sense. see if a human had no fear it would still have common sense. so humans would not take such risks.

posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:04 PM
if we could control the amount of stathmin in the mind then we could get rid of all panic disorders and anxiety. this would be great. thanks for your post carlwfbird.
love Abydos

posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:11 PM

Originally posted by carlwfbird

Further experiments also found the mice displaying courage.

Mouse courage?

You know, I've sat back, closed my eyes and I have tried to envision "mouse courage". How would one even begin to, realistically, describe anything that could, by any stretch of the imagination, be mouse courage?

What I found even more difficult was to think of ways to, experimentally, devise ways of testing mouse courage.

[edit on 12/1/2005 by benevolent tyrant]

[edit on 12/1/2005 by benevolent tyrant]

[edit on 12/1/2005 by benevolent tyrant]

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 06:13 AM
it is easy to test mouse courage

all you need is one female mouse, in medieval damsel get-up, and one mouse sized dragon.

give the subject a mouse sword and take it from there

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