Monday, 31 January 2011

Today's Non-Story

My brain's 'faulty' according to scientists who report they have pinpointed a source of nicotine craving in the brain.

The 'fault' leads to an uncontrollable desire to smoke says lead researcher Dr Christie Fowler, from the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, US. "If the pathway isn't functioning properly, you simply take more," she says.

According to Dr Fowler, it's all to do with genetic variation in the alpha5 nicotinic receptor subunit.

The Scripps Research Institute funding:

The Institute's $360 million operating budget includes federal funding, financial incentives from the State of Florida, licensing fees and investment income, grants from health-related research and support organizations, and gifts from private foundations, corporations, and individuals.

According to this report the research, which has only been undertaken on mice, is now to receive funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.  No mention of Big Pharma being involved but I suspect it is as the NIDA wants a new category of drugs to combat nicotine addiction.

I wonder if there's a subunit in the brain for food addiction. Discovering that could solve the west's obesity problem.  But I doubt if that's high on the list of priorities as there's too much money still to be made from the diet gravy train (excuse pun).

Actually, I feel rather less of a second-rate citizen because of this research. I can now explain to friends my desire to smoke is because of a 'fault' in my brain. Nobody could fail to be sympathetic could they?


George Speller said...

If it's true it's dynamite. We can get a charmed life like gays.

Dick Puddlecote said...

George is right. Vulnerable adulthood (and the benefits that come with it) are just around the corner. ;)

Apogee said...

Hi SR, good story, now what was this bit of the brain for before homo sap decided he/she wanted to stuff burning "grass" up his/her snout? Must have some reason for being there?
I fear some one has found another way to board the gravy train.

subrosa said...

I don't think we'll be that lucky George. :)

subrosa said...

There's a thought Dick. Now to print out the report and try for DLA don't you think?

subrosa said...

Hi Apogee. Maybe that part influenced our desire to become politicians. Then tobacco arrived. You know the rest.

Timdog said...

I agree with George. This isn't a non-story, this is a potential landmine for ASH to step on. Persecuting a minority is fine when it's just you feeelthy smokers, but if you're retardioed smokers then they get stuck in a Moebius strip of hate (for smoking) and love (for the vulnerable) and explode like a fembot watching Austin Powers dance.

Bring it on.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Perhaps we should have a National Institute for Power Abuse, or Money Abuse....?

Nah, then we'd go on to have a addiction to National Institutes.

subrosa said...

Excellent scenario Timdog. Bring it on right enough.

subrosa said...

Perhaps my 'faulty' brain results in a non-addiction to national institutes Crinkly. Who knows?

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