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Sexy Halloween genes
Sunday, October 31, 2010

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genegeek CAN

Hi. I'm genegeek (aka Catherine Anderson). Thanks for stopping by. I realized during my PostDoc that I preferred learning and explaining new results to doing science so I started a non-traditional career of teaching and outreach. I'll be using this space to explore public perception of genetics and other cool molecular biology stuff.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

There was a bit of talk this weekend about sexy costumes. On twitter, people were detailing slutty costumes observed.  For example @_modscientist_ tweeted: Why not just be a watermelon? Why a sexy watermelon?

So why do women dress sexy on Halloween? Is it because you won’t get in trouble? Is it easy? Women usually dress for women – for many reasons – and maybe this is the one day to do something that doesn’t have to fit the rules of your regular life. One of my students told me: Halloween is when you are slutty on the outside and Valentine's Day is when you are a slut in private.

Note: I’m getting old because it seems like there are more sexy costumes than before but I think it is just my lens – or access to worldwide info on the internet. For example: slutty cookie monster I continued to rant re: worst walk of shame here.

I tried to look up studies on preference for sexy Halloween costumes…and didn’t find anything. But I found…. HALLOWEEN GENES!

Yes, there is a set of genes studied in Drosophila and other insects. The Halloween gene family includes disembodied, shadow, shade, spook, spookier, and phantom genes.

Insects grow by a series of molts where they grow a new (bigger) exoskeleton and then the old tight-fitting cuticle is shed. A Drosophila with a mutation in one of the genes of the Halloween gene family doesn’t form a proper exoskeleton and the fly embryo dies.

Could this be related to wearing fewer clothes on Halloween? Are some people less likely to adapt an outer covering unless frostbite is about to set in?

Note: human studies have not yet been published.

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Washington University School of Medicine
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Too funny! Good post!

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Hahahaha... great post :)

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Don't forget Grim and Reaper!

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Oh! Good point! They induce apoptosis so different pathway...must include for next year's post.

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