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Archive for October, 2008

Alzheimer and Arachidonic Acid

Posted by David Bradley on October 20th, 2008

Arachidonic acidResearchers at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease at the University of California San Francisco have found that removing a brain enzyme that regulates the concentration of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid, reduces cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The discovery, reported in Nature Neuroscience, may one day lead to a novel therapeutic strategy for the disease.

More on the link between Alzheimer’s disease and arachidonic acid here.

Herbal Highs and Lows

Posted by David Bradley on October 7th, 2008

Structure of cathinoneOnce again, the BBC is reporting on herbal highs. This time, it tells us that while most legal high pills are based on a group of drugs called piperazines, of which BZP (benzyl piperazine) is the most common and will be banned in the UK under a European directive, it is cathinone, the active ingredient in the plant khat, a widely used stimulant in East Africa that is the focus of today’s news.

Herbal highs and lows banned.

Chilis and Cancer

Posted by David Bradley on October 3rd, 2008

Capsaicin structureIf you’ve ever worried that a steaming hot bowl of chili or cajun chicken might be doing you more harm than good, then you’re not alone. Research earlier this decades pointed out that capsaicin (the “hot” compound in red hot chili peppers) and safrole (the hot molecule in black pepper) could both be carcinogenic.

The full chilis and cancer story can be read here.