From the munchies to the giggles to paranoia, smoking marijuana causes widespread changes in the brain. Now researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine are a step closer to understanding how the drugs active ingredients - tetrahydrocannabinol and related compounds, called cannabinoids - may exert their effects.
David Prince, MD, the Edward F. and Irene Thiele Pimley Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and his colleagues found that a group of neurons that act as information gatekeepers in the brains major information processing center, called the cerebral cortex, release cannabinoids that quiet their own activity. This form of self-inhibition is a novel way for neurons to regulate their own ability to send messages to their neighbors. Tetrahydrocannabinol from marijuana may work its brain-altering magic by binding to these same cells.
"Marijuana is a major drug of abuse with actions in the brain that arent entirely known. Now we understand one piece of the puzzle," Prince said. The work of Prince and his colleagues John R. Huguenard, PhD, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences, and Alberto Bacci, PhD, staff research associate, is published in the Sept. 16 issue of Nature.
Mitzi Baker | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy