Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Protein Zombies

The high that doesn't die:
FosB is part of the activating protein AP1, which is involved with regulating gene expression in response to a range of stimulus, including stress and bacterial infections.

Due to a constant supply of drugs, such as heroin, FosB turns into DeltaFosB, which is increasingly stimulated in cases of chronic use and even influences growth factors and structural changes (neuronal plasticity) in the brain - approximately in the region where memory is formed.

The evidence that the modified protein lingers after death was discovered by the Medical University of Vienna's Department of Forensic Medicine, which examined tissue samples from the nucleus accumbens (an area of the brain) of 15 deceased heroin addicts.

'Using highly sensitive detection methods, DeltaFosB was still detectable nine days after death,' the team explained.
The addicted dead?

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