Posts Tagged ‘China’

Television helpful to drug addicts

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Television can do more than we think. Apparently, just watching a five minute video can help whitewash memories of past drug use in former heroin addicts.A new study shows that it can ease their cravings. This happens because these videos weakens the mental ties between drug related paraphernalia and the desire to use. This method may be a very strong way to help people struggling with addiction. 

This method seems to cripple the connection between using a drug and cues that remind someone of using. Researchers decided to first test this idea on animals such as rats. Next, they moved on to people who were dealing with heroin addiction in China.

This study involved 66 people going under a two-step process. First, they watched a video of a natural scene or of people using heroin. The heroin scene was a quick reminder for the addicts. Each time they remember something, the drug user becomes fragile and vulnerable. Participants spend about an hour more watching drug related movies and slide shows. There were people using fake heroin in these clips and slides shows.This was a trial called “extinction session.” The researchers varied the time between the reminder and the extinction sessions. This process was repeated for two days.

The tests shows that the memories of people who had drug reminders 10 minutes before the extinction sessions reported less craving for heroin. Even bodily responses were chagned as well. There were changes in blood pressure.

Researchers are very interested in this study. They want to do more outside of the lab and see if this relationship exists between drug craving and drug relapse.

This was such an interesting article. I believe that there could be some relationship between craving and relapse. What do you guys think? Read the article for more detail and for who these researchers are.



Rare Mineral Dispute with China

April 1, 2012 2 comments

The ore monazite

On March 13 of this year, the United States, Japan, and the EU opened up a lawsuit against China who controls a whopping 95% of some of the rarest minerals in the world. Natural resources battles are fought not only over oil and water, but over minerals around the world that are used to produce a lot of technology- computers, TVs, cell phones, car parts and batteries, and much more. Many of these rare minerals that are being fought over are minerals that are located in small amounts that do everything from hydraulic breaking in cars, making the vivid colors we see on our televisions, powering fluorescent lighting, and most importantly as alternate forms on energy.

The new trade action seeks to force China to loosen export restrictions that other nations argue has kept the price of rare-earth metals artificially high outside the People’s Republic. The U.S. Department of Energy says that deployment of clean energy technology could be slowed in the coming years by supply challenges for at least five rare-earth metals. Scientists all around the world are searching more frantically every day for new breakthrough technologies for their countries with these alternative mineral energies, and are optimistic about getting China to “share” outside of the monopoly that they have on these alternate energy minerals.

The WTO action this month amounts to an opening act in a process that could take months or years. The United States, Europe, and Japan argue that China imposes several unfair export restraints on the critical materials, including quotas, duties, and high pricing requirements. Officially, the nations have requested “consultations” with China;however,  if those negotiations fail to achieve a resolution in 60 days, the countries that launched the complaints may request establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to begin getting more serious about the rights to these minerals. This will definitely be an interesting process to follow in the next few months, considering how “green Earth” crazy many people in the United States and around the world have become. The outcome of this action against China will definitely have a large impact on the next few years’ alternative energy plans.