"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fat, Booze, and Drugs 

Feeling blue? Australian researchers say that visiting an online psychiatric help sites such as BluePages seems to help fight depression. Very interesting; I hope these sites continue to proliferate and refine their techniques, as I really do wish more people would do something other than take 'happy pills,' with their side effects and other issues.

Speaking of pills, expanding clinical trials of Acomplia (aka rimonabant) suggest that the new obesity drug may also be a promising treatment for diabetes. It seemed to help patients not only lose weight, but also helped control blood glucose and appetite, key factors in type II diabetes. Cool!

More good news is that Ohio researchers report that mild alcohol consumption (the equivalent of one or two drinks a day) may improve memory. Rats given moderate amounts of alcohol in their diets did better on object-recognition and learning tasks than did non-alkie controls or heavy boozers. The effect was removed by knockout of the NR1 receptor, a hippocampal NMDA target thought to be involved in memory formation.

Back to pills: the US pharmaceutical industry is very worried about the upcoming election: if Democrats win, they will likely be quick to take away the massive hand-outs (such as the insane, expensive, and blatantly corrupt non-negotiation clause of the Medicare Part D benefit) the current Republican administration has given them. So what are they doing? They are pouring millions of dollars into Republican campaigns - more than $450,000 for Rick Santorum alone! - to convince voters that their health is less important than pharma's profits. "Dude, where's my democracy?"

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