‘Aroused’ recounts the fascinating history of hormones | Science News

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‘Aroused’ recounts the fascinating history of hormones

A new book explores the story of the chemicals that put the zing into life

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4:10pm, June 25, 2018
Yale medical school library brain samples

HORMONE HISTORY Neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing did pioneering work on the hormone-producing pituitary glands in the early 20th century, as described in a new book. Samples of the brains he studied are now displayed in the Yale medical school library.

Aroused
Randi Hutter Epstein
W.W. Norton & Co., $26.95

The first scientific experiment on hormones took an approach that sounds unscientific: lopping off roosters’ testicles. It was 1848, and Dr. Arnold Berthold castrated two of his backyard roosters. The cocks’ red combs faded and shrank, and the birds stopped chasing hens.

Then things got really weird. The doctor castrated two more roosters and implanted a testicle from each into the other’s abdomen. As Randi Hutter Epstein writes in a new book, each rooster “had nothing between his drumsticks but a lone testicle in his gut — yet he turned back into a full-fledged hen-chaser, red comb and all.” It was the first glimpse that certain body parts

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