The Disease Called Drug Addiction
We criminalize drug addicts in this country. To Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that would be equivalent to putting someone with Parkinson’s in jail. Drug addiction is a disease that changes the chemistry of your brain, and makes you unable to kick the cravings. It all stems from dopamine, a powerful drug that controls pleasure and leads you to make decisions that aren’t truly benefitting your body.
Volkow walks us through the reasons that different drugs trigger addictions and why certain people are more prone to addiction than others. It’s not only about genetics- nurture plays a key role in making someone vulnerable to the disease.
She also launches into a discussion on the human’s propensity for food addictions, a relationship more complex than that of drugs. Is it possible to transfer a love of chocolate to a desire for lettuce and running? It’s more complicated than you think.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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