Immunology

Second DNA-sensing pathway in humans discovered

A team of researchers at Washington State University has discovered a second DNA-sensing pathway that initiates an antiviral response to foreign genetic material in human cells. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Millions quarantined as China scrambles to halt virus

China has quarantined millions of people and urged its citizens to delay overseas travel as it scrambles to stop a deadly coronavirus epidemic from spreading further.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Strokes on a plane? On-board facial paralysis wasn't what it seemed

Alan J. Hunter from Oregon Health & Science University was a passenger on a recent airline flight when he responded to a flight attendant's request for a "doctor on board." The flight attendant suspected that a young male ...

Health

Easy wheezy: A straightforward path to asthma control

Researchers at Swinburne have created a device that lets users assess and track their own respiratory condition. The device is currently in clinical trials in hospitals in Melbourne, Sydney and the UK.

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Drug

A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.

In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being." Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.

Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opioids or hallucinogens. They may be used for perceived beneficial effects on perception, consciousness, personality, and behavior. Some drugs can cause addiction and/or habituation.

Drugs are usually distinguished from endogenous biochemicals by being introduced from outside the organism.[citation needed] For example, insulin is a hormone that is synthesized in the body; it is called a hormone when it is synthesized by the pancreas inside the body, but if it is introduced into the body from outside, it is called a drug.[citation needed] Many natural substances, such as beers, wines, and psychoactive mushrooms, blur the line between food and recreational drugs, as when ingested they affect the functioning of both mind and body and some substances normally considered drugs such as DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) are actually produced by the human body in trace amounts.

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