CRISPR gene editing creates cocaine-proof mice, aims to crack addiction puzzle

Gene editing has already given us malaria-resistant mosquitoes and heat-resistant cows. Now, researchers from the University of Chicago may have topped both of those feats with their latest creation: Cocaine-resistant mice. Using the CRISPR-based gene-editing platform to modify the DNA of skin cells, researchers Xiaoyang Wu and Ming Xu have been able not only to create mice that are less likely to seek out cocaine than their counterparts, but are also immune to cocaine overdoses that killed mice without the same CRISPR-edited cells.

The process builds on previous work involving a modified enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BCHE), which is capable of naturally breaking down cocaine very rapidly. Unfortunately, its short half-life makes it ineffective in a clinical scenario, since it disappears before it has any long-term impact on the body’s response to cocaine. BCHE cannot be administered orally, which makes it ill-suited for use as a potential treatment.

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Cocaine on 9 in 10 baby changing stations in the UK

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Changing tables are convenient for changing a baby or, apparently, snorting a line.

Those baby changing stations found in public bathrooms often look a little suspect when it comes to cleanliness. But of all the things you might imagine would be mucking up the surface, probably cocaine didn’t cross your mind.

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Nationwide drop in violent crimes due to plummeting price of cocaine

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Drop in price of cocaine as violent crimes drop.

A radical transformation in major American cities began in the mid-1990’s.  A turn around of years of high Years of high violent crime rates, thefts, robberies, and inner-city decay suddenlybegan.  Crime rates began to fall faster than they went up.  This trend appeared in practically every post-industrial American city, simultaneously.

 

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How 72 bags of cocaine fit in a drug smuggler’s belly

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Medical images showing bags with cocaine inside the gastrointestinal tract of a 20-year-old Irish national arrested by police at Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 A graphic reminder of just how far drug smugglers will go to elude law enforcement to get their product over the border is seen in these guesome images. The images, which show an arrested man’s digestive tract that is literally stuffed with dozens of thumb-sized bags of cocaine, are also testimony to how far the digestive tract can expand.

 

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Scientists Develop First Successful Cocaine Vaccine

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Researchers develop cocaine vaccine that works in mice.

The first ever vaccine for drug addiction has just been created. By combining a cocaine-like molecule with part of the common cold virus, you get a vaccine that turns the immune system against cocaine, keeping it away from the brain.

 

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Falling in Love Takes .2 Seconds and is Like Cocaine: Study

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Falling in love only takes .2 seconds.

Falling in love can take as little as one-fifth of a second. And it’s like cocaine.  So says a study out of Syracuse University, which posits that falling love puts 12 areas of the brain to work. And when this happens, it sparks a flood of euphoria-inducing chemicals – oxytocin, dopamine, adrenaline and vasopression.

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World Cup Made Of Cocaine Seized In Colombia

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The World Cup football trophy made of cocaine.    (Photo: AP)

Airports anti-drug chief Col Jose Piedrahita says that Colombian authorities found the unusual statue during a routine security check by anti-drug agents Friday in a mail warehouse at Bogota’s international airport.

The 36 cm (14 inch) statue was inside a box headed for Madrid, Spain. The statue was painted gold with green stripes on the base.

Mr Piedrahita said that laboratory tests confirmed the cup was made of 11 kilos (24 pounds) of cocaine mixed with acetone or gasoline to make it moldable. Continue reading… “World Cup Made Of Cocaine Seized In Colombia”

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Traces Of Cocaine Found In 90% Of US Paper Money

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Traces of cocaine exist in up to 90 percent of banknotes in many large US cities

You probably have cocaine in your wallet, purse, or pocket. Sound unlikely or outrageous? Think again! In what researchers describe as the largest, most comprehensive analysis to date of cocaine contamination in banknotes, scientists are reporting that cocaine is present in up to 90 percent of paper money in the United States, particularly in large cities such as Baltimore, Boston, and Detroit. The scientists found traces of cocaine in 95 percent of the banknotes analyzed from Washington, D.C., alone.

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