Health & Spirit

A Fishy Drug Problem

Scott LaFee on

Seeking to learn more about the biology of addiction, researchers at the University of Utah have built a system that allows zebrafish to give themselves small doses of hydrocodone, an opioid synthesized from codeine.

After a week, according to STAT, the fish started taking risks if it meant they could get another dose and when the hydrocodone was taken away, they became anxious and stressed, apparent signs of withdrawal.

Zebrafish are a longtime, helpful model for investigating human biology. By showing similar behaviors, researchers hope to better understand the basic mechanisms of addiction afflicting people.

Body of Knowledge

Fingernails grow at 0.02 inches per week, four times faster than toenails. This translates to .0028 inches in a day or 0.000119 inches per hour. The middle fingernail grows fastest; the thumb slowest.

Get Me That, Stat!

Two of the downsides of an aging population: You go to the doctor more often and there's a greater chance you won't hear what he or she tells you. In a recent survey of 100 adults, researchers at University College Cork in Ireland reported that 43 said they had misheard a physician, nurse or both during either a primary care visit or hospital stay.

The study didn't look at whether any of the miscommunications resulted in medical errors but noted that the prevalence of errors generally rises with patients' age.

Life in Big Macs

One hour of showering burns 136 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.2 Big Macs. It also wastes a lot of water.


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