Study finds heart disease drug reduces racism


Researchers from Oxford University released a new study in the international medical journal Psychopharmacology showing that taking propranolol reduces “implicit negative racial bias.”


Thirty-six white people were used in the study, with half getting propranolol and the other half getting a placebo. Researchers then used a feeling thermometer to rate how “warm” they felt toward different groups.

Researchers found that the heart disease drug “significantly lowered heart rate.” They also found that there was no significant difference between the propranolol and placebo groups toward religious or sexual prejudice.

“The main finding of our study is that propranolol significantly reduced implicit but not explicit racial bias,” researchers concluded.


Micro needles could make getting a shot pain-free

Scientific American:

Nobody likes getting shots. But what if you could make the needles so tiny that they broke the skin painlessly? Engineers from Tufts University have created such micro-needles—made from the major protein in silk, fibroin.

The researchers created molds for arrays of needles just 500 microns tall and 10 microns wide. That’s a tenth the width of the average human hair. They then poured a solution of fibroin mixed with a drug into the molds. The resulting micro-needles are dried and undergo further processing.

In tests, a patch containing numerous micro-needles successfully released the drug, which maintained its biological activity. The tiny needles are too short to reach the nerves under the skin, so they can deliver drugs without the pain of a traditional shot. Even better, they can gradually release medication over time. While skin patches and slow-release pills are currently used for this purpose, they only work with certain kinds of medication. The new micro-needle system could make the gradual delivery of many drugs smooth as silk.


A common sleeping pill can wake up vegetative patients for an hour a day

The Guardian:

For three years, Riaan Bolton has lain motionless, his eyes open but unseeing. After a devastating car crash doctors said he would never again see or speak or hear. Now his mother, Johanna, dissolves a pill in a little water on a teaspoon and forces it gently into his mouth. Within half an hour, as if a switch has been flicked in his brain, Riaan looks around his home in the South African town of Kimberley and says, “Hello.” Shortly after his accident, Johanna had turned down the option of letting him die.


It all sounds miraculous, you might think. And in a way, it is. But this is not a miracle medication, the result of groundbreaking neurological research. Instead, these awakenings have come as the result of an accidental discovery by a dedicated - and bewildered - GP. They have all woken up, paradoxically, after being given a commonly used sleeping pill.

This is from 2006 but I saw it floating around Reddit today and it blew my mind.