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Tue, 19 Oct 2021
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How does the opioid system control pain, reward and addictive behavior?

The opioid system controls pain, reward and addictive behaviors. Opioids exert their pharmacological actions through three opioid receptors, mu, delta and kappa whose genes have been cloned (Oprm, Oprd1 and Oprk1, respectively). Opioid receptors in the brain are activated by a family of endogenous peptides like enkephalins, dynorphins and endorphin, which are released by neurons. Opioid receptors can also be activated exogenously by alkaloid opiates, the prototype of which is morphine, which remains the most valuable painkiller in contemporary medicine.

By acting at opioid receptors, opiates such as morphine or heroin (a close chemically synthesized derivative) are extremely potent pain-killers, but are also highly addictive drugs.

Arrow Down

Expecting an afternoon nap can reduce blood pressure

Where does the benefit lie in an afternoon nap" Is it in the nap itself--or in the anticipation of taking a snooze" Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that the time just before you fall asleep is where beneficial cardiovascular changes take place.

This finding is part of a study entitled Acute Changes in Cardiovascular Function During the Onset Period of Daytime Sleep: Comparison to Lying Awake and Standing, found in the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society. The study was conducted by Mohammad Zaregarizi, Ben Edwards, Keith George, Yvonne Harrison, Helen Jones and Greg Atkinson, of the Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, U.K.

Arrow Up

Genes may make some people more motivated to eat, perhaps overeat

Obesity researchers find clues to individual risk factors;gene studies could lead to better, tailored treatment.

Recycle

Illinois firm recalls beef patties on E.coli scare

J&B Meats Corp. is recalling 173,554 pounds (78.7 tonnes) of frozen ground beef products sold under "Topps" and "Sam's Choice" labels due to possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. government said this weekend.

The Coal Valley, Illinois-based company produced the patties in June and distributed them to retail stores nationwide, the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, said in a statement.

Bomb

Corporate Agribusiness Is Behind Our Deadly Food Supply - An E. coli outbreak in China could spell disaster in your own dining room

First it was spinach. Now it's green onions at the Taco Bell. What's next? The growing anxiety over our nation's food supply is enough to make you chew your nails -- unless of course they're contaminated with E. coli as well. Is nothing safe?

In the United States today, 80 percent of beef is slaughtered by four companies, 75 percent of pre-cut salad mixes are processed by two companies and 30 percent of milk is processed by just one company. Most of our fresh produce comes from the same region of California where the contaminated spinach and now green onions were grown. During off seasons, up to 70 percent of the produce sold in the United States comes from other countries.

Syringe

US FDA asks for strong warning on imaging agents

U.S. health officials said on Friday they requested a strong "black box" warning on Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's Definity and General Electric Co's Optison about reports of serious cardiopulmonary reactions after people were injected with the imaging agents.

Ten deaths have been reported with Definity and one with Optison, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. Four of the 11 reported deaths were caused by cardiac arrest during infusion or within 30 minutes.

People

Simple blood test could predict Alzheimer's risk

Researchers have developed a simple blood test that may be able to predict whether mild lapses of memory could be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.

In a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine, an international team of researchers describe 18 cell-signaling, or communication, proteins found in blood that predicted with 90 percent accuracy whether a person would develop Alzheimer's disease.

People

Male infertility alert over hidden bacteria

Chlamydia, the sexually transmitted infection (STI) carried by one in ten sexually-active young British adults can make men infertile by damaging the quality of their sperm, new research has shown.

While the condition, which usually passes undetected, has long been known to threaten female fertility, scientists from Spain and Mexico have now established that it presents similar risks for men.


Red Flag

New FDA Research Center Rife With Risks

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration is moving with unprecedented speed to launch a drug research center to be paid for by companies it regulates.

Black Cat

Evil genes made me do it: Bioengineer examines genetic basis for malevolent behavior



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While there have been numerous medical studies investigating the physiological and biochemical basis for behavioral disorders such as antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, there have been virtually no comprehensive studies aimed at providing a physiological explanation of malignant narcissism - a term that characterizes individuals who exhibit malevolent behavior but are still able to function effectively in society.