Your brain on opioids

The biology of America’s biggest drug problem

Your brain on opioids

There’s no mystery to what’s driving America’s growing drug overdose problem: opioid painkillers. Whether in heroin or prescription Vicodin and OxyContin, opioids are responsible for more than 40 percent of the 47,055 fatal overdoses recorded in the U.S. in 2014.

But while almost everyone has heard about opioids, few of us understand how they work and why they are so frequently abused. In recent years, however, researchers have made remarkable progress in figuring out some of the complex biochemistry behind how opioids affect the brain. Read More…

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environment

PODCAST: New wind turbines are for the birds

PODCAST: New wind turbines are for the birds

Engineers place more powerful wind turbines further apart, but still can’t save the birds

Hot pavement, cool ideas

Finding alternatives to sweltering asphalt is harder than it looks

environment

Majestic birds or rats with wings?

Majestic birds or rats with wings?

The ubiquitous city pigeon may not deserve its bad reputation

The original ant farms

The remarkable leafcutter ant is spurring some wild ideas about agriculture, medicine and the nature of ecosystems

environment

Generic drugs offer $73 billion savings

Generic drugs offer $73 billion savings

Prescribing generic medications may offer a solution to America’s pricey healthcare system

Illuminating the flu

A new technology could make it easier for researchers to fight a host of diseases

environment

What’s inside my pumpkin spice latte?

What’s inside my pumpkin spice latte?

Despite the name, the flavoring often has little in common with actual pumpkins.

Getting ready for a real-life “The Martian”

Interplanetary travel requires tackling the same problems Matt Damon did — only better

social science

Is digital photography real?

Is digital photography real?

Searching for truth in digital photojournalism

I f*****d up

After you screw up, your brain slows down — and researchers are getting closer to understanding why