Want to help a puppy walk?

An impromptu, not candy-related news post addendum today: my friend Amy, on her limited grad student stipend and in her busy grad student life, somehow finds the time and means to volunteer as a foster parent for shelter dogs.

She takes in shelter dogs (some of whom were abused and neglected by their former owners), saves them from being euthanized in the shelters, and gives them a home and love and training until they’re adoptable.

Her latest charge is Buster, a sweet puppy who can’t walk, run, play, or even sit without pain due to a torn ACL that his previous owner didn’t address. Surgery to fix Buster’s injury would let him lead a normal life, but it costs $2,500, beyond Amy or the rescue organization’s budget.

If you have to means to help¬†Give Buster a Leg Up, he’s got his own page on Go Fund Me. Surgery for Buster not only means that he can be a puppy without pain – it also makes him more adoptable, so he has a better chance of finding a family to permanently take him in.

M&Ms in Science

Via ScienceDaily, a new Current Biology study found that stimulating a reward center of the rat brain, the neostriatum, with opioids caused rats to eat more than twice as many M&Ms as they normally would have.

Though they ate more candies, they didn’t get any additional pleasure from the candies, suggesting that the neostriatum has to do with wanting and eating rather than with liking. This means that the impulse to overeat can be divorced from the pleasure of actual eating. Yikes!

Isn’t it great how M&Ms can teach us about how the reward centers of the brain work? Hooray science!