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Everything posted by badchad

  1. There is no specific definition of "addiction"; and it is not quantifiable. The definition that I am most fond of is simply: "uncontrollable drug craving and seeking". There are a number of factors contributing to addiction and it depends heavily on the individual. One of the more famous examples of factors contributing to addiction OTHER than the substance itself was vietnam. In a nutshell it basically says that while american soldiers had ready access to, and use of heroin while in vietnam a follow up study done years after the fact found that the percentage of soldiers still using the substance was very small. With this in mind I'm inclined to agree with YT2095. The said individual exposed to nicotine may be cranky and irritable, however they would not crave or seek the drug because they wouldn't realize their withdrawal was due to lack of nicotine. A good example of how a person may become tolerant to (or experience withdrawal from) a drug without being "addicted".
  2. Well if you're interested in biological sciences you're best bet would be attempting a Ph.D. If thats the case, once you're working for your doctorate the laboratory you graduate from, and your publications weigh in far more heavily than the institution IMO.
  3. Interesting problem. I'm no expert, but I've isolated RNA before. Generally speaking, RNA is very unstable. Usually, people trying to isolate RNA have the opposite problem (e.g. it's constantly degrading, and you have to use all sorts of RNAse inhibitors and such). I would think you could easily degrade the RNA simply by touching it. I guess this wasn't much help....
  4. Just a couple suggestions. I think it would help if you clearly defined what your looking for. What types of "effects" are you going to look at? Are you looking at overall behavioral effects? Effects on receptor second messengers? Receptor down regulation? etc. etc.
  5. I'm going to disagree. A teacher usually has undergone professional training in order to obtain certification to teach. Thus, he/she should be knowledgeable in the subject they teach. Home schooling may be possible in the very early grades, however in my case, once I get to 6th grade we had individual teachers for each subject. SO, for instance, my 6th grade science teacher only taught science and should be more knowledgeable (not simply in content, but also in methods of teaching) then a parent. At the college level there is no comparison. You can't get a college level education at home. College professors have a much greater command of knowledge then any "lay person".
  6. Well, anecdotally it doesn't seem so farfetched that intelligence is hereditary. You certainly inherit a lot of physical characteristics from your parents. In addition one can see particular personalty traits that seem to be inherited (e.g. I'm "outgoing" like my mom, compulsive like my father etc.). Granted environment plays a large role but the idea of inherting intelligence seems plausible to me. Back to the argument at hand (as someone previously stated) even if intelligence is inherited, knowledge is not. Thus we should continue to advance as a society because our collective knowledge is increasing.
  7. badchad

    Rat Dissection

    My NIDA grant calls for killing approximately 225 rats during the course of my studies.
  8. Is there any scientific evidence related to this phenomenon? Or does one become an "empath" simply because he/she thinks that they are "deep and emotional". How would one know they can "feel someone on a different level"? (a level which may be greater than a "normal" person)
  9. Why would I measure the effects of aspirin versus marijuana? Because the last sentence of the initial thread was: Now to answer the thread question of "marijuana VS. Prozac" the same argument holds true. The subjective effects of antidepressants and marijuana are very different (this can be extended to habit forming potential and health risks although that is a much more lengthy discussion). Additionally, the mechanisms of action are quite different, antidepressants working primarily through serotonergic/norepinephrine neurotransmitter systems; marijuana through cannabinoid receptors.
  10. If you've ever smoked, ingested, or otherwise experienced the subjective effects of marijuana it would be safe to say, that it is different than say, taking aspirin. Pharmacologically speaking (in an oversimplified manner) marijuana acts through cannabinoid receptors. Off hand, I cannot recall any "legal drugs" which work this way, although I'm sure if anyone has info to the contrary, they will provide it.
  11. Differences between marijuana and legal drugs? Well, you need to be more specific when you say "legal drugs". In general, drugs within the same class have similar effects. However to answer your question, marijuana is completely different than "legal drugs".
  12. Well someone commented on how plasma wasn't as good of quality as a conventional CRT. However, plasma screen sizes are (obviously) much larger than can be achieved with a CRT.
  13. Okay Kindria, the honest answer to your question is that your suggesting something that is completely impossible to do. You may re-read the thread to see all the problems associated with such an experiment. However, you seem enthusiastic, an unable to accept "no" for an answer so I'll give you a hypothetical experiment. As a side note to those who will criticize ME, trust me I realize the difficulties of such an experiment, I'm just offering advice. A simple experiment: 1. Show human subjects extremely violent images, video etc. while performing an MRI and or PET scan. This will in essence show areas of the brain which "light up" or are otherwise activated in response to violence. You've identified the areas of the brain which are prone to "negative behavior". 2. Use your toxin, cut off blood supply, or some other way destroy these areas of the brain. 3. If you've chosen correctly you'll have a non-violent happy person. 4. Publish results, claim your nobel prize. 5. DO the procedure on yourself. 6. Live happily ever after.
  14. Well, from my own research I can tell you that Dr. Richard A. Glennon was able to correlate the potency of hallucinogenic substances with affinity for the 5-HT2 receptor. He did it using the drug-discrimination assay, which involves training rats to determine the subjective effects of hallucinogens. Glennon RA, Titeler M, McKenney JD (1984) Evidence for 5-HT2 involvement in the mechanism of action of hallucinogenic events. Life Sci 35:2505-2511 Thus, it seems as though in the specific instance of using the drug-discrimination assay; the correlation between rats and humans is fairly "accurate" (although there are exceptions).
  15. Interesting to hear what other countries do and about "transfer" Ph.D's and such. Several programs here in the U.S. allow you to do a Ph.D. directly after a bachelors degree (without any masters); In fact, at my university, a masters means nothing. There are masters students in my Ph.D. program and they are expected to take about 5 years to finish the same as candidated directly out of undergrad. Also, (at least in the more typical "science" fields) our Ph.Ds are paid for in full. That is, since we're bascially slave labor for a professor, ALL tuition fees are paid for/waived. In addition to that we receive a small stipend ($20,000/year U.S.). I do agree with what most here have said however, seems to me the degree is designed to break your soul, and is often more a test of endurance. Just my two cents as usual.
  16. Interesting. Are you sure the person applied an "ink" to tint the windows? When I've had my windows tinted, they usually just add a layer of plastic to the window. It's like adding a thin piece of plastic wrap or sticker to the surface. To smooth out the air bubbles in the plastic however, they need to get the window very wet so they can sort of squeez the bubbles out from under the plastic. I'm not sure why your tinting "Crackled" but it seems to result from the alcohol (obviously). When I had my windows done, they technician specifically stated not to use "regular" glass cleaner since it would ruin the tint. I had to buy special glass cleaner specifically made for tinted windows (I assume it was alcohol free somehow).
  17. I tend to agree with Capn, although I guess it depends on your definition of psychology. I know professors in the Department of Psychology here at my school who use animal models in their studies. For instance, I'll be with a professor who specializes in microdialysis. She uses the technique to obtain quantitative data in carefully controlled experiments just as an investigator would in any area of "science". On the other hand, there are probably psychologists who work through surveys and the use of subjective opinions to gather information. Some may tend to call this an "Art" but again, these experiments are more than likely carefully planned and subject to the rigors of the scientific method. All in all, I'd go for "Science" rather than "Art".
  18. I agree with Blike. Physician's should be doing all the prescribing, they're trained to better understand the boddy as a whole, and not just its interactions with drugs. Here at the University of Buffalo we have a pharmacy program which is designed to be done in one shot (no pun intended). Basically, as an undergraduate you apply to the "Pharm D" program and in total it's 6 years. Not bad for a large starting salary. It's my impression you can specialize even further and gain more responsibility although I'm not positive of this (e.g. making highly specific drug "cocktails" for HIV patients). All in all I think pharmacists are valuable, however I feel their overpaid. Seems to me the large majority take orders from an M.D. and thus, lay responsibility on someone else.
  19. Just a quick comment. Frostrunner, the article you provided was on alopecia. If I'm not mistaken, alopecia is different than what is considered "normal" male pattern baldness, am I not? Although I have heard only quips and small tidbits of info, I think I agree with your first post, that baldness is in fact inherited from your mother's side.
  20. Well, since we're on the topic of reports, I found a clinical study refuting the idea. Although admittedly, I only read the abstract. PUBMED link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15034588 I also found what may be the original paper describing this phenomenon. PUBMED link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=8985605 You can read up if you wish. From my knowledge of receptor's I tend to agree with jdurg.
  21. If this were true, how come we haven't identified very many of these "environmental factors"? Also, how do you explain the twin studies which have been carried out in the study of the major psychological disorders? As identical twins are genetically identical, why is there such a high incidence of psychological disroders amongst twins?
  22. Of course theres a genetic disposition. People inherit their physical characteristics just like anything else. For instance, I have had the wonderful oppurtunity of inheriting the "shortness" gene from my mother. As you may have guessed, I'm not that great of a basketball player. I could practice side-by-side with Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O'neal, but I'll never be as good. In a simpler sense, think of a high school sports team. Generally speaking the team goes through the same workouts. Yet you'll find some players are better than others. My friends father was short and quite stocky, he inherited this phenotype as well, thus, he'll be a better powerlifter than I will since shorter limbs are conducive to the sport. In short, physical characteristics which make someone good at sports can be inherited like anything else.
  23. Interesting, I was envisioning antisense RNA as simply be "added" to a person (e.g. via injection). In theory using a virus would be a better solution (although I don't know how you would "program" a virus to synthesize a particular piece of RNA). I'm ony familiar with antisense RNA being used in laboratory animals as a way to temporarily "knock out" a particular gene/protein. I guess the "size" of the piece of RNA depends upon the size of the protein/gene you want to control. Interesting nonetheless...
  24. I'm not familiar with RNAi. However I would think it would be fairly specific as it would only bind it's complementary strand. From the little that I know, my feeling is that antisense RNA isn't as effective as it theoretically could be. I tihnk one of the main problems is it's breakdown. The body will recognize the foreign material and break it down rather quickly. In addition you may need enough of the antisense RNA to block protein synthesis.
  25. badchad

    Homosexual Gene?

    It seems to me there are a number of variables that effect homosexuality. Genetics certainly seems to be one factor. I can't find a reference but I believe it has been shown that there is a statistically significant increase in homosexuality among second born suns. IMO it seems there is not a single gene responsible for what I feel is a complex behavior. It rather probably a combination of genes, along with environmental factors that contribute to homosexuality. $0.02
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