Most of you are likely aware that THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets you “high,” thus it is considered the main “psychoactive” constituent of marijuana. Roger Adams first isolated the constituents of marijuana in the 1940s, but it was not until the 1960s that Mechoulam and Gaoni determined the structure for THC.

This article’s focus is on the pharmacology of THC and its effects on one aspect of the endogenous cannabinoid system. The primary mechanism of action by which THC produces its psychoactive effects is the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, whereas the CB2 receptor is mostly involved in immune function and deserves its own discussion.
As I write this impromptu post the 2nd day of a search technology conference in Seattle is closing with the usual after-hours partying.  People are happily writing blog posts and newsletters that digest the things they have learned from the conference and they will continue the process that has led to your reading my post here on Science 2.0.
That process can be boiled down to "figure out something to say online and then figure out how to get people to read it".  I'll do my part by Tweeting and SHARING this post after it has been published but that is "old school" marketing.  It's also "crowd-sourced promotion", "social sharing", "user buzz", "community involvement", "extended engagement", and several other things I probably have never heard about.

Scientist often end up using two computers, one for scientific work, another for everything else.  Thanks to really practical and affordable virtualization that is no longer necessary.  The hardware is now cheap enough for the average consumer-scientist to afford.  The software has caught up to the hardware.  What used to be a frustrating experience as programs ran like molasses in January is now good enough to be practical.   The ultimate system for a scientist used to be one computer with two separate system boards joined in one case.  One board running a Windows OS, the other Linux or UNIX.  Now we only need to download the right software
Burned Plan

Burned Plan

Jun 10 2014 | 2 comment(s)

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves….” Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 1, scene 2.
Our fire problem has been a long time in the making. It did not happen overnight. We will not fix it overnight, perhaps we never will.

 Library of Congress. Coeur d'Alene National Forest, Idaho. Photo taken between 1909 and 1920. Photo Credit: Library of Congress.

This Father’s Day, for the first time in my life, I find myself nearly struck dumb with fear. I am the proud father of a one-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl whom I love more than the sun and the moon – more than I love my own being. I am also the founder and CEO of an addiction treatment center, where I see the horrors of what can happen to human beings through their own bad choices and being taken advantage of by others. Until this year my kids seemed so little, so young. They were at home; I could protect them. This year, I am looking at kindergartens for my eldest and I can’t help but see the world through the lens of my profession.

At a time when the EPA is rushing to place new regulations on the one thing that is still cheap and increasingly environmentally effective in America, energy, it may seem strange to laud the EPA. But career scientists do solid work there.
The recent study from UC-San Diego on memories in rats, published in the June 1 Nature, confirms the long-standing suspicion that memories are formed based on the strength of the synapses, and deteriorate as the connections of those synapses weaken. More importantly, the results of the study show that memories are more pliable that we might have thought - using an optic technique, memories can be deactivated, then reactivated.

According to USNews, lead author Sadegh Nabavi said, "We can cause an animal to have fear and then not have fear and then to have fear again by stimulating the nerves at frequencies that strengthen or weaken the synapses."
George Monbiot wrote in his Guardian column a couple of weeks ago:

 "For years we’ve been told that people cannot afford to care about the natural world until they become rich; that only economic growth can save the biosphere, that civilisation marches towards enlightenment about our impacts on the living planet. The results suggest the opposite." [2]

Who has been telling us this “for years” ? Monbiot neglects to tell us- perhaps it is just made up. I assumed however that he was referring to Goklany’s Environmental Transition:[3] 
The May 26th 2014 issue of Chemical&Engineering News reported on a promising drug with a future to be determined by the courts.

Cancer researcher Wafik S. El-Deiry of Pennsylvania State University and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and colleagues found TIC10 in a search of a free National Cancer Institute database and pinpointed its anticancer activity.

They found that the compound stimulates gene expression of a tumor suppressor protein called TRAIL. TIC10 stands for TRAIL-inducing compound 10.

The Penn State group patented the compound with the top structure:


See U.S. 8673923.

In 15 seconds, name as many drugs as you can. What did you come up with? Does the list include heroin, marijuana, and meth? Maybe you also thought of cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, alcohol, or the wide variety of prescription drugs.