Google Offers Suicide Hotline Info For Suicide-Related Searches

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Google’s special features just got a potentially lifesaving addition.

Last week, Google began offering suicide prevention hotline information to people who were searching suicide-related terms.

The image of a red telephone appears at the tops of the search list and includes a number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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Fatty Foods May Have a Drug-Like Effect on Your Brain

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Do you need a ‘fix’?

Telling your friends that you’re “addicted” to, say, waffle fries may feel a bit less funny after reading the latest research on high-calorie foods. The way they turbo-boost, and then let crash, your brain’s pleasure centers is a bit like narcotics.

The study, out of the Scripps Research Institute, in Jupiter, FL, found that the neuro-chemistry leading to compulsive overeating can resemble that of a brain that’s been stimulated by drugs—at least in studying rats—according to one of the published study’s authors.

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Bees Prefer Nectar with Caffeine and Nicotine

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Bees are attracted to nectar which are laced with caffeine and nicotine

Many people feel they need a cigarette and a cup of coffee to start the day and now it turns out bees are no different.  The honey-making insects prefer nectar with small amounts of nicotine and caffeine over plain nectar, researchers revealed.

 

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Synthetic Alcohol That Avoids Drunkenness and Hangovers In Development

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An alcohol substitute that mimics its pleasant buzz without leading to drunkenness and hangovers is being developed by scientists. The new substance could have the added bonus of being “switched off” instantaneously with a pill, to allow drinkers to drive home or return to work.

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Optogenetics: Decoding the Brain with Light

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Scientists use fiber-optic cables to control neural activity in mice

Molecular “light switches” can reveal exactly which neurons are involved in creating a memory, allowing scientists to trigger that memory using only light. The finding, presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Chicago this week, is just one example of how a novel technology called optogenetics is allowing scientists to tackle major unanswered questions about the brain, including the role of specific brain regions in the formation of memory, the process of addiction, and the transition from sleep to wakefulness.

 

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Adolescent Alcohol Expsoure May Lead To Long-term Risky Decision Making

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An adolescent rat eager to sample a gel containing 10 percent ethanol climbs into a jar for his Jell-O shot.

Picture this: A bunch of adolescent rats walk into a bar and start consuming Jell-O shots. Lots of them. Continue reading… “Adolescent Alcohol Expsoure May Lead To Long-term Risky Decision Making”

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Nicotine Creates Stronger Memories, Cues To Drug Use

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New research shows that nicotine, the addictive component in cigarettes, “tricks” the brain into creating memory associations between environmental cues and smoking behavior.

Ever wonder why former smokers miss lighting up most when they are in a bar or after a meal with friends?

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How Alcohol Blunts Ability Of Hamsters To ‘Rise And Shine’

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Testing new studies with hamsters

Chronic alcohol consumption blunts the biological clock’s ability to synchronize daily activities to light, disrupts natural activity patterns and continues to affect the body’s clock (circadian rhythm), even days after the drinking ends, according to a new study with hamsters.

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One-finger Exercise Reveals Unexpected Limits To Dexterity

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Adult volunteers wearing a close-fitting Teflon cover on their forefingers applied fingertip pressure on a slippery Teflon surface linked to a force-measuring sensor.

“Push your finger as hard as you can against the surface. Now as hard as you can but move it slowly – follow the ticking clock. Now faster. Now faster.” Continue reading… “One-finger Exercise Reveals Unexpected Limits To Dexterity”

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Site For Alcohol’s Action In The Brain Discovered

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New research sheds light on how alcohol alters the way brain cells work.

Alcohol’s inebriating effects are familiar to everyone. But the molecular details of alcohol’s impact on brain activity remain a mystery. A new study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies brings us closer to understanding how alcohol alters the way brain cells work.

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Smokers Unaware Tobacco Companies Changed Design Of Cigarettes

Smokers Unaware Tobacco Companies Changed Design Of Cigarettes

Tobacco companies made changes without informing consumers 

As President Obama prepares to sign a bill giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight of the tobacco industry, a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers shows that tobacco manufacturers have continually changed the ingredients and the design of their cigarettes over time, even if those changes have exceeded acceptable product variance guidelines. The result, say the researchers, is that consumers who buy the same brand of product are not made aware of how that product has been altered and what effect those alterations might have on their levels of addiction or harm.

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