Marijuana May Hold Promise As Treatment For PTSD

More than 5 million people suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) annually, and new research suggests that cannabis may help them find relief and may even offer better care than the current class of drugs commonly used to treat the disorder.

According to research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the administering of synthetic cannabinoids to rats after a traumatic event can prevent behavioral and physiological symptoms of PTSD by triggering changes in brain centers associated with the formation and holding of traumatic memories.

The study adds to a growing body of research that “contributes to the understanding of the brain basis of the positive effect cannabis has on PTSD,” the researchers note.

While cannabinoids occur naturally in the cannabis plant, this research was done with WIN 55,212-2, a synthetic cannabinoid that produces a similar, effect to that of THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive compound. The researchers specifically looked at the effect of this synthetic cannabinoid on exposure to trauma reminders. Among individuals who suffer from trauma, it is common for non-traumatic events (for instance, sirens going off) to evoke the memory of the traumatic event, thus amplifying the negative effects of the trauma.

In the first —> Read More Here

Discovery Of Vast Buried Canyon In Tibet Has Scientists Buzzing

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Researchers have made a surprising discovery in Tibet, unearthing an ancient canyon buried deep under sediment along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in the southern part of the country.

The canyon is thousands of feet deep in some places and is believed to have been carved by a river three million to seven million years ago.

“I was extremely surprised,” Dr. Jean-Philippe Avouac, professor of geology at Caltech in Pasadena, Calif. and one of the researchers, said in a written statement. “When I first saw the data, I said, ‘Wow!’ It was amazing to see that the river once cut quite deeply into the Tibetan Plateau because it does not today. That was a big discovery.”

(Story continues below image.)

This Google Earth image looks down the Yarlung Tsangpo valley, where the ancient canyon lies about 800 to 900 meters below the present-day river.

Evidence of the buried canyon was first seen in data collected last year by China Earthquake Administration engineers who were drilling along the river. To determine when the canyon formed and when it was buried, the researchers measured levels of two radioisotopes — beryllium-10 and aluminum-26 — in samples of sediment collected from the drilling. —> Read More Here

Along Bhutan’s River Valleys to Find Black-Necked Cranes

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On his final field inspection with the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), Geographer Keith Clarke writes about his experience in Bhutan and reflects on his eight-year term with CRE. National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell is leading the CRE on a tour of the Himalayan country to meet with grantees, listen to briefings from government officials and environment groups, and observe science, exploration, and conservation in the field. The Society has funded nearly two dozen grants in Bhutan, two of which are active.

PHOBJIKA VALLEY, BHUTAN–CRE field excursions are always a whirlwind of exhausting travel and rapid information-absorption, interspersed with lifelong memory experiences and unforgettable in-your-face lessons about world geography. Earlier this week was no exception. We rose far later than usual, as there was no dawn animal watch—the previous day we rose at 5 to catch a glimpse of the white-bellied heron (Grus nigricollis). After a rousing breakfast presentation on the future of National Geographic from CEO and President Gary Knell, it was back to the buses for a 4-hour drive to the Phobjika Valley.

We drive in four buses, each named for one of the four dignities: Dragon, Tiger, Snow Lion, and our bus, Garuda. The —> Read More Here

Gray Wolf Seen In Arizona For First Time In Decades, Wildlife Officials Say

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A female gray wolf from the Northern Rockies traveled hundreds of miles into northern Arizona, marking the species’ first appearance in the region in more than 70 years and the farthest journey south, wildlife officials confirmed Friday.

A wolf-like animal had been spotted roaming the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the adjacent national forest since last month. Biologists collected its scat and sent it to a University of Idaho laboratory for testing, verifying what environmentalists had suspected based on its appearance and a radio collar around its neck.

“The corroboration is really good to get,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Biologists don’t know the wolf’s age or from where it traveled. The radio collar wasn’t transmitting a signal, and cold weather forced biologists to suspended efforts to capture the animal and replace the collar.

The Idaho lab might be able to glean more details about the wolf from its DNA, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jeff Humphrey said that could take several weeks or months.

“We’ll let this wolf be a wolf where it’s at, and if it decides it’s going to move back north, it can do that,” he said. “Or if somebody —> Read More Here

If You Blast Your Wine With Sound Waves, Does It Taste Better? We Tried To Find Out

Here’s a weird one to bust out at your next dinner party: A new machine says it can make your wine taste better by blasting it with sonic energy.

The Sonic Decanter recently reached its $85,000 goal on Kickstarter, with more than 700 investors jumping in to support the project. (There are still a couple of days left for others to nudge their way in for a discounted rate on the product.) It purports to use ultrasound energy to change the molecular properties of non-carbonated red and white whites, making the drink “smoother” and more flavorful.

Wine connoisseurs may wonder exactly how this is superior to a normal decanting process, which involves pouring wine into a separate bottle to remove sediment. According to a video on the Kickstarter page, the Sonic Decanter removes oxygen from the wine — the opposite of what normal decanting does — which supposedly helps preserve flavor for longer.

We found the Sonic Decanter to be something of a mixed bag, at least in its current, pre-production form. The makers sent The Huffington Post a prototype unit to put to the test. Editors from HuffPost Tech and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/taste/" —> Read More Here

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