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Drugs

— Health and Wellbeing

Zapping away cocaine addiction with laser light

By - April 5, 2013 2 Pictures
Like so many other illicit drugs, cocaine can be extremely, destructively addictive. Recent research suggests, however, that ridding people of such addictions may be as simple as zapping them on them scalp. In a study conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco, scientists were able to turn cocaine addiction on and off in rats via pulses of laser light to their brains. Read More
— Good Thinking Feature

The rise of Bitcoin: Bonanza or bust?

This could turn out to be one of the most remarkable stories of our era – or one of the biggest scams in human history. Bitcoin, the anonymous digital currency, is more than four years old now, and a single bitcoin has gone from being worth literally nothing in 2009 to being worth nearly US$30 at current market values. Here's a quick primer on the Bitcoin system, how some anonymous programmers managed to create 300 million dollars out of thin air, what you can do with bitcoins, and a few words of warning. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

New device tests multiple chemotherapy drugs in a patient's living tumor

By - January 20, 2013 1 Picture
Seattle’s Presage Biosciences has developed a device which introduces small amounts of different chemotherapy drugs into a patient's tumor. The tumor is inspected after removal and the most effective of the drugs are used for post-surgical chemotherapy, resulting in more efficient, personalized cancer treatments. The new device is awaiting FDA approval, but is currently being used to facilitate development of new chemotherapy drugs. Read More
— Good Thinking

DrinkSavvy tech could indicate presence of date rape drugs in drinks

By - December 11, 2012 2 Pictures
Odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so-called “date rape” drugs are nasty, sneaky things. When surreptitiously added to someone’s drink, they cause that person to become disoriented, sleepy, slow-to-react, and otherwise easier to sexually assault. Making things worse, the victim usually can’t remember what happened while they were drugged, making prosecution or even identification of the assailant difficult. Now, however, a new invention known as DrinkSavvy may allow people to know if such drugs have been put in their drink. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Methamphetamine vaccine shows promise

By - November 8, 2012 1 Picture
Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. Read More
— Science

Laser-based system promises to take the "ouch" out of injections

By - September 14, 2012 3 Pictures
Nobody likes getting their shots, but whether childhood immunization, annual flu vaccination, or whatever else, we're required to undergo the uncomfortable sensation of needle piercing skin multiple times throughout our lives. However, a new laser-based system promises to take the “ouch” out of injections by delivering shots as painlessly as being struck by a puff of air. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Scientists find way to block opioid addiction without affecting pain relief

By - August 14, 2012 1 Picture
Unlike the heroin-specific vaccine we covered last year, an international team of scientists from the University of Adelaide in Australia and the University of Colorado Boulder has now found a way to block addiction to various opioid drugs, including heroin and morphine. Importantly, the new approach doesn’t negatively affect the pain-relieving properties of these drugs. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

FDA approves first drug to prevent HIV infection

By - July 24, 2012 1 Picture
While there are many methods for preventing HIV transmission that work in principle (abstinence, safe sex, monogamy to some extent), in practice efforts to prevent new HIV infections have reached a plateau - about 50 thousand new cases are reported every year in the United States and no progress has been made on reducing this number for at least 15 years, with the overall rate of infection remaining stable since at least 2004. In response to the almost complete lack of effective prevention methods, the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has now approved the prophylactic use of the anti-retroviral combination drug Truvada, to reduce the risk of people acquiring HIV. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Cancer treatment that blocks cellular “protein factories” set to begin clinical trials

By - July 10, 2012 1 Picture
Researchers at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum (Peter Mac) Cancer Centre are set to begin clinical trials of a cancer treatment they say represents a major shift in molecular approaches to treating the disease. The treatment, which has proven successful in the lab against lymphoma and leukemia cells, targets the production of proteins within the heart of cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells relatively unaffected. Read More
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