This is a neuron on nicotine

When a person takes a puff on a cigarette, nicotine floods into the brain, latching onto receptors on the surface of neurons and producing feelings of happiness. But nicotine does not simply stay on the surface of cells — the drug actually permeates into neural cells and alters them from the inside out. Now, a team of scientists has developed a protein sensor that glows in the presence of nicotine, allowing the researchers to observe nicotine’s movements in cells and reveal more about the nature of nicotine addiction. Continue reading “This is a neuron on nicotine”

Father’s nicotine use can cause cognitive problems in children and grandchildren

A father’s exposure to nicotine may cause cognitive deficits in his children and even grandchildren, according to a study in mice publishing on October 16 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Pradeep Bhide of Florida State University in Tallahassee and colleagues. The effect, which was not caused by direct secondhand exposure, may be due to epigenetic changes in key genes in the father’s sperm. Continue reading “Father’s nicotine use can cause cognitive problems in children and grandchildren”

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