Pharmacology

It would be almost impossible to find a better example of the difficulties that face the pharmaceutical industry than the campaign against hepatitis C.

Unfortunately, this example is now at the expense of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a small, but top-notch drug discovery organization that began as a biotech startup in 1989.

The world's oceans contain algae that produce certain chemicals
that can accumulate in seafood and are known to cause brain damage.

This natural neurotoxin, domoic acid, is a very stable and heat resistant and is also toxic to the kidneys, but at much lower concentrations than guidance has suggested, according to an upcoming study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).


Most medications prescribed in primary care contain animal derived products.

Are they suitable for vegetarians?

Dietary preferences are common in the general population. Influences such as religion, culture, economic status, environmental concern and personal preferences all play a part in the foods that people choose to consume. Most doctors are unaware that commonly prescribed drugs contain animal products and would be surprised that it matters. But most patients are not aware either and if they have a dietary preference it might impact the medicines they are willing to take also. 


Survey results analyzed by psychologists at The Fenway Institute, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, found that gay and bisexual boys use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) at rates much higher than their straight counterparts - almost 6X higher.
Middle-aged women the world over are now...chuckling.

At least I imagine they are, given the news this week that testosterone supplementation may increase the risk of heart disease.

If you already have heart disease.

Or if you’re over 65.

An analysis of routine insurance data from the Barmer GEK statutory health insurance company shows that during the years 2005 to 2012, antipsychotic prescriptions for kids in Germany increased a lot. 


Marijuana use has been involved in a sharp increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes, with rates nearly tripling since 1999. 

The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the U.S. has been steadily rising and tripled from 1999 to 2010. Marijuana is the most commonly detected non-alcohol drug involved. 


A new study has found that concentrations of arsenic, selenium, and mercury in bighead and silver carp from the lower Illinois River aren't a health concern.

Importantly, inorganic arsenic concentrations were undetectable and concentrations of selenium in carp fillets were well below the 1.5 mg/kg threshold for restricting the number of meals, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. The distinction between naturally occurring arsenic and arsenic from the external environment has been a problem for popular media outlets like The Dr. Oz Show, which fail to note natural sources. 


Children suffer from the consequences of maternal drug exposure during pregnancy and Cannabis is one of the most frequently used substances.

A new study was done using mice and human brain tissue to decipher the molecular basis of how the major psychoactive component from Cannabis called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC affects brain development of the unborn fetus. 


Cocaine users display worse memory performance, concentration difficulties, and attentional deficits. They have difficulties understanding the perspective of others, show less emotional empathy, find it more difficult to recognize emotions from voices, behave in a less prosocial manner in social interactions and report fewer social contacts.

So why is it the second most popular drug in Europe, after marijuana? 

Scholars at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Zurich say the worse emotional empathy was correlated with a smaller social network and the social cognitive deficits contribute to the development and perpetuation of cocaine addiction.