Brain, Breast, and Gonads: A Passage in Neuroendocrinology

  • Barry A. Cross
Part of the Perspectives in Neuroendocrine Research book series (PNR, volume 2)


When I was 14 I resolved to be a veterinarian. It was not a decision lightly made, because my school had placed me on the classics rather than the science side, presumably because my mathematics was even worse than my languages, but I could write tolerable English essays. Nor was the choice based on a sentimental attachment to animals. A school friend had given me The Science of Life by H. G. Wells, J. S. Huxley, and G. P. Wells, and reading this from cover to cover convinced me that biology must play a central part in my life. The test tubes, colored precipitates, and sulfurous odors of my bedroom/laboratory were then replaced by anatomized corpses of luckless mice caught in our wartime mousetraps, and my secret cache of potassium cyanide was thereafter used to slaughter Hymenoptera and Diptera captured in the garden. My first thrill of scientific discovery was when, peering down my microscope, I saw a goggle-eyed monster gazing upward from an excavated stronghold in a bee’s abdomen. It was a fine specimen of Stylops, which parasitizes bees and changes their sexual appearance. Unfortunately, W. Kirby had made the discovery a hundred years before me.


Paraventricular Nucleus Neurosecretory Cell Milk Ejection Oxytocin Neuron Royal Veterinary College 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry A. Cross
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research CouncilInstitute of Animal PhysiologyCambridgeEngland

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