An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever

From An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever.

A tiny snail may offer an alternative to opioids for pain relief. Scientists at the University of Utah have found a compound that blocks pain by targeting a pathway not associated with opioids. Research in rodents indicates that the benefits continue long after the compound have cleared the body. The findings were reported online in the February 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [continue]

Scorpions for breakfast and snails for dinner

From the New York Times: Scorpions for Breakfast and Snails for Dinner.

In Beijing, where my family lives, I once returned home from a restaurant with a doggy bag full of deep-fried scorpions. The next morning, I poured them instead of imported raisin bran into my 11-year-old son’s cereal bowl. I wanted to freak him out. The scorpions were black and an inch long, with dagger tails.

“Scorpions!” shrieked my son, Roy. “Awesome!”

I had to stop him from chomping them all then and there, like popcorn. Then an idea struck him. “Dad, can I take them to school as a snack?”

This is what eating is like in my household. My children eat anything. My 9-year-old daughter reaches for second helpings of spinach, and when we eat out I have to stop her brother, now 13, from showing off the weird things he’ll consume by ordering goat testicles. Think of a child staging a sit-in at his suburban dinner table because there’s a fleck of dried parsley on his breaded fish finger, and you have imagined everything my children are not.

So when I read of American parents who hide spinach in brownie mix and serve it for dessert (“Your kids will never guess,” Parents magazine promised), it spurs me to offer advice to my compatriots back home. [continue]