Saturday, December 23, 2006


Spray away obesity?: "Dieters may find some welcome assistance from a new nasal spray that could help resist the appetizing aromas of cinnamon bun stands, pizza parlors or tempting bakeries. Compellis Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Massachusetts said it will begin human trials next year of a nasal spray designed to fight obesity by blocking the senses of smell and taste. It won a patent for the product this month. 'The pleasurable effect of eating is all stimulated by smell and taste,' Christopher Adams, the company's founder and chief executive, told Reuters Tuesday. 'The premise is that olfactory activity that controls both smell and taste is a trigger and a feedback mechanism to eat. If you have some kind of reduced sense of smell or taste, you tend to eat less,' he said. The product, known as CP404, is among the latest devices and treatments under development in the multibillion-dollar fight against obesity." [How absurd can the obesity war get?]

CT, MA may join NY in trans fat idiocy: "Artery-clogging artificial trans fats could soon be banned in Connecticut. Two weeks after the New York City Board of Health voted to make the Big Apple the first city in the nation to ban artificial trans fats in restaurant food, two Republican state senators in Connecticut proposed similar legislation Wednesday. ... Connecticut politicians are not the first to consider a trans fat ban in the wake of New York City's action. A Massachusetts lawmaker proposed a similar bill this week. Bans are being considered in Philadelphia and Cleveland as well."

Magic mushrooms appear to relieve OCD: "A preliminary study of the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms has found it is effective in relieving the symptoms of people suffering from severe obsessive compulsive disorder, a University of Arizona psychiatrist reports. Dr. Francisco A. Moreno led the first FDA-approved clinical study of psilocybin since it was outlawed in 1970. The results of the small-scale study are published in the latest edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Moreno said the study's intent was only to test the safety of administering psilocybin to patients, and its effectiveness is still in doubt until a larger controlled study can be conducted. But in each of the nine patients in the study, psilocybin completely removed symptoms of the disorder for a period of about four to 24 hours, with some remaining symptom-free for days."

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