24 October, 2020

Sex And Drugs

Shaila Mani, Cell Biologist, Baylor College of Medicine

Sex And Drugs
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
No matter how many PhDs you’ve earned, telling people you study the effects of marijuana on sexual behaviour will raise eyebrows. "People look at me and say, ‘You get paid to do this?’" says Dr Shaila Mani, a molecular and cellular biologist at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. "It definitely makes for interesting party conversation."

Of course, one can easily get carried away with exotic laboratory scenarios—dozens of squint-eyed hippies, passing around weed as the good scientist makes her very clinical observations—but that’s not quite the case. The hippies are mice—"I don’t do any human studies"—and there are no joints.

When Mani began her research 10 years ago, everyone was looking at cocaine, so she decided to cover some relatively uncharted territory. "My focus is how dopamine affects steroid hormone receptors," she explains, shortly before zipping off to Sweden to present a paper, "and how it affects different things like sexual behaviour." Often associated with other guilty pleasures such as chocolate, good wine and slow music,...
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