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November 2010
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New Cuddle Drug: Meth

In Time, Maya Salavitz reports on a new study indicating that:

... at least in low, oral doses — the effects of methamphetamine may be much more like those of ecstasy than previously believed, increasing sociability and playfulness, and belying its bad name. What's more, the study finds that the empathetic behavior exhibited by ecstasy users may result from a reduced ability to read certain social cues, rather than any enhancement in sharing other people's feelings.

Okay, the MDMA part makes sense to me. Oxytocin (released by MDMA) calms my amygdala, making me less vigilant. So, I can relax. In fact, this seems to be what happened, according to the article:
"We found that the drug actually decreased the capacity to read negative emotion, specifically fear," says Bedi. Reducing the detection of fearful faces might increase "empathetic" behavior — even while reducing the ability to accurately read feelings — by making people more likely to get closer to strangers, rather than maintaining distance because of fear.

BTW: The researchers cautioned that dosage and safety were critical elements of this study. If you're huffing on the meth at home, you might not feel as huggy.

New Patent Application for Carbetocin for Autism

Marina Biotech has applied for a patent on the methods of using carbetocin to treat symptoms of autism. Carbetocin is an artificial form of oxytocin.

Eric Hollander of the Seaver Institute, the researcher who, with Jennifer Bartz, first showed oxytocin's efficacy in reducing the symptoms of autism, also had applied for a patent on such.

He was working with Nastech, a now-defunct biotech company that had developed new ways of delivering drugs via inhalant. Hollander originally administered oxytocin to adults with ASD intravenously.

Nastech also had applied for a patent on using carbetocin to treat symptoms of autism. In my 2005 blog post on this, I mistakenly said it had received the patent. I should have said its patent application was published. That application is no longer available on the USPTO site.

I will leave it to patent nerds to figure out if there's any connection between Marina Biotech and Nastech, and where Hollander's application stands -- and fits in. Here's info on the Marina patent on FreshPatents.



What Women Want

What do women want? Men may be surprised to know that it's difficult for us to figure that out ourselves, let alone express it to you.

It's easy for women to work on making themselves someone a man will want, but our own desires can get buried under all the accoutrements.

I took part in a discussion of this led by Nicole Daedone, founder of OneTaste. Here's a short video that distills the essence.