5-Hydroxy-tryptophan as potential treatment for L-DOPA-induced impulsivity as measured by a delay-discounting task in a 6-OHDA lesion-induced rodent model of Parkinson's Disease
In Hall D of McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois,
Between the walls of steel and glass, a room laid out in aisles and rows
Of poster boards hung side by side, pinned and tacked to metal frames,
With dosage graphs and treatment charts and diagrams of rodent brains,
We swarmed the hall in droves.
The Society for Neuroscience is an organization self-described.
Every year, it hosts a conference drawing researchers near and far.
The location cycles through a series of cities that change annually,
Currently, it visits Chicago, San Diego, and Washington D.C.
Their apparent criteria: "Must charge a fortune to park your car."
"Neuroscience 2015" is the title of this year's conference—
The most unoriginal title I have known one to be named.
The hallway décor is mostly comprised
With banners of this year's logo that (surprise, surprise)
Looks like a brain and a strand of DNA.
I'm here because my lab P.I. "highly encouraged" me to go.
Right now he's on a beach somewhere, but four months ago in the lab,
He pulled me aside and said, "Our grant requires us to present our preliminary data
In a mini-symposium at SfN, buuuut I'm going to the Bahamas.
So have fun with that," he finished. And here I am.
My panel was on Saturday, but I arrived Friday night.
I checked into my hotel and called an Uber car.
I had it drop me off at a bar in Wrigleyville
Where I met eyes with an extremely pretty girl,
Though I wondered, "Who wears glasses to a bar?"
She had bright blonde hair and a sizeable rack,
And I kept buying us drinks until I was red in the face.
She giggled as I boasted about my research and chugged my beer down.
It turned out we were both from out of town,
And we ended up at my place.
She sat on my bed and commented, "I love how intelligent you are."
I charmingly slurred, "I am here for a conference about brains."
She winked and teased, "Oh? Maybe I could see you there."
"No offense, but I doubt they'd let you in," I said with a sneer.
She stormed out before I could learn her name.
I presented my lab's research the next morning at nine,
Sleep deprived, and with a pounding hangover beyond.
I flipped through some photos of 40-micron-thick brain sections,
Kissed ass in the acknowledgements, and opened the floor up for questions.
And right then, from the third row, stood my buxom blonde.
She said, "Hello. I'm from the CNS lab at NYU.
I have a few different questions, if you wouldn't mind.
Could you go back a bit to slide forty-two?
Ah yes, there, about your treatment groups:
Could you expound on those, if you'd be so kind?"
I opened my mouth to attempt to form words,
But she cut me off, continuing, "It's just
That you're using a two-by-two factorial design
With Levodopa and 5-HTP, but why did you resign
To test both treatments without a negative control? Surely you must
"Acknowledge that the initial surgery could have had
A notable effect on their behavior. It stands to reason
That lesioning the striatum wouldn't simply impair the nigrostriatal pathway.
You're severing efferent connections to the globus pallidus. How can you say
That this is a suitable experimental model for parkinsonism?"
"6-hydroxydopamine lesions are often used—" I began,
But again, she continued, "Sorry, I just feel
That to meaningfully employ a novel use for the delay-discounting task,
You'd have to compare lesioned and un-lesioned groups. I have to ask,
Why wasn't this included in the factorial?"
My headache pounded and I stood mute,
Faced with an audience of several dozen frowns.
I mumbled, "The literature provides precedence..."
She said, "I'd be interested to read your references.
Thank you for your time." And she sat down.
Once the mini-symposium had ended and the attendees left,
My P.I. called saying we needed to talk.
He'd gotten a call from the issuers of our grant
Citing concerns about our research, and after a long, angry rant,
He informed me that our funding was temporarily blocked.
I thought that was the last of that blonde
That I would ever have to stand,
Yet hours later I saw her once more
And I immediately tried to bolt for the door,
But she smiled and stayed my hand.
"You think I'm angry, but maybe I really don't belong here,"
She said when she approached me standing frozen in the hall.
"What you said last night—it turns out you were right all along:
You said you're here for a conference; I was the one who was wrong.
You're not very intelligent at all."