martyros writes: An Author's perspective on illegal downloads of their work, with actual numbers. From the article: "It’s going out of print in hardcover because demand for it has dwindled to 10 or so copies a month. This means I will never get a royalty check for this book. By all appearances, nobody wants it anymore. But those appearances are deceiving. According to one download site’s stats, people are downloading SHADOWED SUMMER at a rate of 800 copies a week. When the book first came out, it topped out at 3000+ downloads a week. If even HALF of those people who downloaded my book that week had bought it, I would have hit the New York Times Bestseller list....And let me tell you guys the sales figures on SHADOWED SUMMER had a seriously detrimental effect on my career. It took me almost two years to sell another book. I very nearly had to change my name and start over."
martyros writes: Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine are performing clinical trials of a cocaine vaccine which teaches the immune system to attack cocaine, preventing it from giving a high. The vaccine is made by attaching inactivated cocaine molecules to the outside of inactivated cholera protiens. When the immune system attacks the cholera protiens, it also "learns" the cocaine molecules as well. The result is that the immune system "recognizes the potent naked drug when it's ingested. The antibodies bind to the cocaine and prevent it from reaching the brain, where it normally would generate the highs that are so addictive."
martyros writes: According to a recent study by a psychology study at the University of Michigan, a fleeting look of anger is actually a reward for people with high testosterone levels. In the study, they first measured testosterone levels of the participants, then had the participants perform a "learning task" in which complex key sequences were followed by either an angry face, a neutral face, or no face at all. Participants with high testosterone levels compared to the group learned the key sequence with the angry face faster than the other sequences, while participants with moderate or lower testosterone did not. The effect emerged even more strongly when the angry faces were presented subliminally (i.e., too fast for conscious identification). According to Michelle Wirth, lead author of the study, "Better learning of a task associated with anger faces indicates that the anger faces were rewarding, as in a rat that learns to press a lever in order to receive a tasty treat. In that sense, anger faces seemed to be rewarding for high-testosterone people, but aversive for low-testosterone people."