drugs
The Psychedelic Drug DMT Can Simulate a Near-Death Experience, Study Suggests

Not everyone who is close to death—or thinks they are, at least—has a “near-death experience.” But those who do often hallucinate that they leave their bodies, meet otherworldly beings, see bright flashes and tunnels of light, and more. Those who take the psychedelic drug dimethyltryptamine, or DMT— a compound found in the hallucinogenic Amazonian brew known as ayahuasca—experience many of the same things. Read More >>

drugs
Veterinarians Say Pet Owners Are Hurting Animals to Get Opioids

A recent survey suggests that some people struggling with opioid addiction might be turning to a tragically desperate method to get more prescription painkillers: Hurting their own pets. And veterinarians themselves, particularly in the US, may be abusing opioids or helping to illegally sell them. Read More >>

science
We May Finally Know How Notorious Pregnancy Drug Thalidomide Hurt Thousands of Babies

The devastating story of thalidomide—a once-popular morning sickness drug later found to cause terrible birth defects—might have a few more chapters left to it. A new study published this week in the journal eLife claims to have discovered how the drug was able to so brutally harm developing fetuses in the 1950s and 1960s. The paper’s insights might even support the development of new kinds of drugs in the near future. Read More >>

health
Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Ageing Immune Systems 

Drugs that can lengthen life have long been a hallmark of speculative science fiction – many hope for an invention that could extend average lifespans well into the triple digits in the distant future. But the timeline of these drugs could be shorter than we think. A new clinical trial published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine has found evidence that low doses of two existing drugs can boost the immune system of an elderly person, helping it fight common deadly infections, including the flu, with seemingly little to no side effects. Read More >>

drugs
More People Are Inhaling Heroin, and It’s Destroying Brain Tissue

People living with opioid addiction are increasingly using the inhalation method to get high, warns a new review published Monday in JAMA Neurology. The technique known as “chasing the dragon,” which involves heating up heroin and inhaling its fumes through a pipe, may be safer in some ways than injection, but it comes with its own set of devastating side effects, including irreversible brain damage and dementia. Read More >>

science
Psychedelic Drugs May Help the Brain Repair Itself, Study Finds

In recent years, psychedelic party drugs such as LSD and MDMA have been studied by scientists for their potential ability to treat mental health problems like depression and anxiety—often in microdoses much smaller than the what a person would take to trip. But while the research into these drugs is promising, there’s still a lot we don’t understand about how they affect the brain. A new study, published this week in Cell Reports, seems to offer the strongest evidence yet that they can actually help repair the brain’s circuitry and function. Read More >>

science
A Defunct Pregnancy Drug May Still Affect the Grandchildren of Women Who Took It

The ties that bind us to our ancestors might be even more influential than we knew, suggests a new study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. It found that the grandchildren of women who took a certain hormone-mimicking drug before the 1970s were at higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to children whose grandmothers didn’t take the drug. Read More >>

health
The World’s First Drug to Prevent Migraines Has Just Been Approved

On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug explicitly developed to prevent migraines. But while the drug may signal a new wave of effective treatments for this debilitating — yet often ignored and dismissed — medical condition, there are still questions as to how many migraine sufferers will actually be able to afford it in the US. Read More >>

drugs
Legalising Cannabis is a Financial Win-Win Scenario Says Tax Pressure Group

The Taxpayers' Alliance, which is nothing to do with the government despite sounding boring enough to be so, has run the numbers on legalising cannabis. They say it'd work out very well. Read More >>

science
Your Coworker’s Outdoor Smoke Break Could Still Contaminate Your Cubicle, Study Finds

Smoking has been banned in public indoor spaces for years now — and for the better — but that doesn’t necessarily mean non-smokers are free from toxic cigarette chemicals. New research published Wednesday in Science Advances suggests that not only can the chemical residue left behind by cigarette smoking find its way into “smoke-free” buildings, but it can then attach itself to aerosol particles suspended in the air that are easily inhaled by our lungs. Read More >>

science
One Reason Alcohol May Give You Bad Breath 

The perils of drinking too much alcohol run deep—even if there’s still an ongoing debate as to how much is too much. A new study published Monday in Microbiome suggests one of those perils is a mouth filled with potentially harmful bacteria. Read More >>

drugs
Scientists Are Working on a Bath Salts Vaccine to Block the Scary High

Researchers at the University of Arkansas are trying to create a vaccine for a class of drugs most infamously, if wrongly, accused of turning people into face-eating zombies commonly known as bath salts. And their latest results in rats, presented this week at the annual Experimental Biology conference, suggest that they’re on the right path. Read More >>

science
Ketamine Nasal Spray Relieves Suicidal Thoughts, but Doctors Worry About Abuse Risk

Ketamine, a drug that’s been retooled as a “breakthrough” in depression treatment, is one step closer to becoming mainstream medicine, thanks to the results of a Phase II clinical trial published this week in the American Journal of Psychiatry. But some experts are wary of creating a new drug-abuse crisis by introducing a potentially addictive drug to millions of new users. Read More >>

drugs
Just One Puff of Low-THC Weed Can Help Ease Sadness, Study Finds

It might take just one puff of cannabis to quickly if temporarily dull depression, depending on the strain, suggests a new study published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders. But smoking weed for too long might also make you sadder over time, the researchers found. Read More >>