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 LSD, mescaline and brain receptors

LSD, mescaline and brain receptors

That the brain has specific receptors for various drugs is now an established fact, but it took a long, strange trip by George K. Aghajanian, M.D. ’58, HS ’61, FW ’63, a pioneer in neuropharmacology, to turn that theory into a certainty.In 1958, for his thesis research, Aghajanian said at a Leadership in Biomedicine lecture in January, he compared the effects of mescaline and LSD in animals and speculated that the receptors mediating their effects were closely linked. But he faced a largely dubious senior faculty in psychiatry. “There was the belief at the time that the brain was not relevant to psychiatry,” he said.In the ensuing decades,...

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Genomics and personalized medicine

Genomics and personalized medicine

As the sequencing of the human genome approaches its fifth anniversary, Francis S. Collins, M.D.,...

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Breakfast matters, even if it’s just a doughnut

Breakfast matters, even if it’s just a doughnut

Conventional wisdom took a recess when Howard Taras, M.D., told an audience at pediatric grand...

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Vaccines and the flu virus of 1918–1919

Vaccines and the flu virus of 1918–1919

In 1918, with the world in the grippe’s grasp, researchers were desperate for a way to stem the...

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