Health officials in California have issues a recall for and are warning state residents against eating Red Vines black licorice twists. A recently-tested batch contained as much as 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving—more than double the daily recommended 6 microgram dosage. Anybody that's recently bought a one-pound bag of this candy (with a 02/04/13 expiration date) is strongly urged to dispose of them immediately. But—but, but what am I going to use for a straw now? [SFAppeal]
The human brain is packed with cannabinoid receptors that play a crucial role in controlling memory, mood, appetite and pain. However, according to a report published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, a mutation in the gene that regulates these receptors' development, gene CNR1, may lead to increased rates of addiction and obesity.
Dr Alasdair MacKenzie, who helped lead the team from the University's Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics, explains:
We chose to look at one specific genetic difference in CNR1 because we know it is linked to obesity and addiction. What we found was a mutation that caused a change in the genetic switch for the gene itself-a switch that is very ancient and has remained relatively unchanged in overthree hundred million years of evolution, since before the time of the dinosaurs. These genetic 'switches' regulate the gene itself, ensuring that it is turned on or off in the right place at the right time and in the right amount.
It is normally thought that mutations cause disease by reducing the function of the gene, or the switch that controls it. In this case however, the mutation actually increased the activity of the switch in parts of the brain that control appetite and pain, and also-and most especially-in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is affected in psychosis.
The research team hopes that these findings will lead to a new round of cannabis-derived anti-inflammatory agents and pain killers that don't also instigate addictive or psychotic side effects as the current generation does in 12-percent of patients. [Phys Org - Image : Daisy Daisy / Shutterstock]
Beautiful, functional, and the only way to make the Michael Bay series tolerable. Too bad it doesn't transform into a vaporizer too. [Nerd Approved]
Manuel. Manuel! MANUEEEEL! [Boing Boing]
Buying weed seeds on the Internet is actually easier than buying a gun—there are thousands of online shops hawking the latest and greatest strains. Unfortunately, many of these outlets aren't exactly on the up-and-up, so who can you trust? High Times has some suggestions. [High Times -Image: Olena Simko / Shutterstock]