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Comments by Lei Yu,Indiana University School of Medicine
This description of the genetic sequence of the molecular receptor for "morphine-like drugs" marks the end of a 20-year quest, according to Lei Yu, a professor of medical and molecular genetics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
"The pain-relieving properties of the poppy plant and opium from its juice have been known for several thousand years, and the opioids are still the most potent agents known to us," he remarks. Opioids include morphine, its synthetic analogs, as well as endorphins--analgesic substances produced by the body in response to such stress as pain. Named for morphine, the f receptor is the molecular target for these drugs. Determining...
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