Plants for Pain
Painkillers have a small family tree. Most of the used, and sometimes abused, pain medications available have roots in either the willow tree or the poppy. Aspirin, originally derived from willow bark or other plant extracts, works on the same molecular pathways as medications with more recent origins, including the crop of highly targeted COX-2 inhibitors. And researchers time and again returned to the opium poppy to derive effective, often addictive, painkillers such as codeine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Researchers are taking new approaches to understand and combat chronic pain (see Gains in Pain Research), but little has changed in 5,000 years. These two time lines depict the histories for these major drug classes.
--Compiled by Brendan A. Maher
Researchers have criticized their countries’ initiatives, which some suspect were launched in reaction to a perceived anti-science sentiment from the Trump administration.
The University of California files a brief in its appeal challenging the ruling that the Broad Institute’s group would retain its CRISPR genome-editing patent.
By Shawna Williams
The technique, demonstrated in mice using engineered mesenchymal stem cells, has potential for both diagnosis and treatment.
News Analysis Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts
Features Grass Routes
Researchers are discovering a suite of new locations and functions of endocannabinoid receptors that play roles in sickness and in health.
The Nutshell Studies Retracted After UCLA Investigation
Most of the authors have had papers pulled in the past.
The Nutshell Trump Nominates Sam Clovis to Lead USDA Research
The choice of an economics professor and climate change denialist is slammed by science advocates.
- Current Issue
- Archived Issues
- Bio Business
- Capsule Reviews
- Critic at Large
- Freeze Frame
- Lab Tools
- Modus Operandi
- Online First
- Reading Frames
- Scientist to Watch
- Speaking of Science
- Special Section
- The Basics
- The Literature
- Thought Experiment