Scientists Develop Nicotine Vaccine to Curb Addiction

Scientists believe they may have come up with the vaccine to keep nicotine from reaching the human brain. They are hopeful that it will make the effort to quit smoking possible.

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell


What’s the Latest Development?

In an effort to cut tobacco addiction, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a vaccine that “allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine.” The moment the nicotine enters the bloodstream the vaccine eats it up before it even has a chance to get to the brain. There have been nicotine vaccines tested in the past, but they all failed clinical trials because “they all directly deliver nicotine antibodies, which only last a few weeks and require repeated, expensive injections.” The studies have only been conducted on mice, but researchers hope to test on humans in hopes that it will help the millions of smokers who are trying to quit. The vaccine will only be used for those who truly want to quit smoking. In addition, scientists are researching how the vaccine can be a preventative for people who never smoked before. Researchers think that parents might opt to give their children the vaccine just as they are able to do for HPVin order to prevent them from smoking. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Scientists have developed and tested a vaccine that will help tobacco smokers quit. The vaccine works to contain the nicotine, so it doesn’t make its way to the brain and trigger an addiction. Researchers believe the vaccine will not only help those trying to quit, but that it will be able  “to preempt nicotine addiction in individuals who have never smoked, in the same way that vaccines are used now to prevent a number of disease-producing infections.”  

Study: 50% of people pursuing science careers in academia will drop out after 5 years

That's a sharp increase from the 1960s when it took the same share of scientists an average of 35 years to drop out of academia.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • The study tracked the careers of more than 100,000 scientists over 50 years.
  • The results showed career lifespans are shrinking, and fewer scientists are getting credited as the lead author on scientific papers.
  • Scientists are still pursuing careers in the private sector, however there are key differences between research conducted in academia and industry.
Keep reading Show less

Why being busy is a modern sickness

We have to practice doing nothing more often.

Photo: Shutterstock
Personal Growth
  • Constantly being busy is neurologically taxing and emotionally draining.
  • In his new book, Jon Kabat-Zinn writes that you're doing a disservice to others by always being busy.
  • Busyness is often an excuse for the discomfort of being alone with your own thoughts.
Keep reading Show less

New ‘microneedle patch’ could help heart attack patients regrow tissue

The bold technique involves surgically implanting a so-called microneedle patch directly onto the heart.

Red human heart against a yellow background (Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • Heart attacks leave scar tissue on the heart, which can reduce the organ's ability to pump blood throughout the body.
  • The microneedle patch aims to deliver therapeutic cells directly to the damaged tissue.
  • It hasn't been tested on humans yet, but the method has shown promising signs in research on animals.
Keep reading Show less