What even is cannabis hyperemesis syndrome? Medical experts answer 5 big questions
Plus: You can now procreate by postcard (sort of).
TGIF friends, you did it. It’s Friday, the final day of my working week and the day most associated with Venus, goddess of love. In the spirit of romance, our top story today is about scromiting.
This deeply unpleasant sounding term describes a deeply unpleasant phenomenon, Katie MacBride reports. Healthcare workers call it “cannabis hyperemesis syndrome,” in which people who use marijuana experience uncontrollable vomiting and abdominal pain, often accompanied by screaming. Vomiting + screaming = scromiting.
Bet you didn’t see that one coming, and nor, frankly, did I. I’m Claire Cameron, the managing editor at Inverse. Keep scrolling to learn more about this strange and rare weed side effect, and for more stories on why scientists are mailing sperm to each other and how poisonous animals survive themselves.
Freeze-dried sperm postcards could help guarantee humanity's future — Scientists figured out how to transport freeze-dried mouse sperm preserved in between thin sheets of paper, making it safer, easier, and cheaper to send. Elana Spivack has more:
This isn’t a quirky new subscription package for animal DNA straight to your mailbox, but a potential strategy to safely, cheaply, and efficiently transport biological material.
With this postcard, researchers from the University of Yamanashi in Japan have unlocked a method to store and send freeze-dried genetic material at room temperature for up to three days. And perhaps even more incredibly — once at its destination, scientists can use the DNA in the sperm to produce healthy offspring.
The innovation could one day enable scientists to keep a cache of sperm cards in the way one might save baseball cards, with different species in different slots of an album, ready to use when needed.
In other words, it may be possible to procreate by postcard.
- See if bigger is always better
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- Can you inherit stress? Sperm study reveals link to mood
Habitable planet and more: 4 takeaways from groundbreaking space study — Researchers identified a possible planet within the L 98-59 star system’s habitable zone, about 35 light-years away from Earth. Jennifer Walter explains the findings — and offers a visual feast for the eyes in her latest story for Inverse.
In a study published August 5 in Astronomy & Astrophysics, researchers report a few discoveries about the L 98-59 system, which looks quite a bit like our own.
Small planets are notoriously tough to locate. Incredibly, the closest planet to the star is only half so massive as Venus, Walter reports. And L 98-59b is the smallest planet astronomers have measured with the radial velocity technique, which looks for small changes in a star's velocity to detect a planet.
This rocky planet is composed of similar materials to Mars or Venus. Studying it could help us learn more about how these types of bodies are formed.
Read these next:
- Is Jupiter's moon Ganymede habitable? Scientists make a vital discovery
- Scientists now have some ultra-prime targets to look for aliens
- A new study on red dwarf stars could resolve the paradox of alien life
Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome: 5 scientific answers to “scromiting” — “Scromiting,” or cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, has been making headlines, but experts tell Inverse reporter Katie MacBride the research is still too scarce:
“I don’t think anyone would tell you this condition isn’t real,” Sheila Vakharia, deputy director of the Department of Research and Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance, tells Inverse.
“What I am saying is the fact that we have made drugs illegal has made it impossibly hard to study these in isolation to truly understand what they do in the human body.”
The leading theory is that long-term, daily cannabis use dysregulates the endocannabinoid receptors in the stomach, leading to abdominal pain and vomiting. But while the condition very much exists, experts say the flurry of panicked headlines overstate what we actually know about CHS and how prevalent it is.
If you’re a cannabis fan, don’t despair: There are effective treatments for the syndrome. Here, Inverse answers five essential questions about cannabis hyperemesis syndrome — a situation that ultimately demands more research and a more nuanced understanding.
Read these next:
- Is weed harmful to dogs? How to prevent marijuana poisoning in pets
- Scientists discover the ancient birthplace of marijuana
- Delta-8 THC: The Wild West of cannabis chemistry
The strange reason why poisonous animals survive their own toxins — Scientists suggest poisonous frogs and birds survive their own poisons by producing toxin sponges, revealing new information about evolutionary adaptation. Tara Yarlagadda reports:
A team of researchers sought to better understand how animals like the golden poison frog — pictured above — and the Pitohui poison bird survive the toxins within their bodies.
The Pitohui poison bird (Uropygialis meridionalis) lives in New Guinea, while the golden poison frog’s habitat is native to Central and South America. These two animals stand out because of the lethal batrachotoxin found in their skin and feathers.
Batrachotoxin is a small molecule that alters the body’s sodium channels. Sodium-ion channels help provide electrical signals to cells and are essential to the body’s physiology, dealing with everything from movement to brain function.
Researchers thought these creatures must survive their toxins by developing protein mutations that mean their sodium-ion channels are resistant to the poison.
But it turns out that’s not the case at all. The truth, it seems, is more complicated than researchers had suspected.
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Perseid Shower 2021: How to watch and seven stunning images — Don't miss the most glorious skywatching event of summer 2021, the Perseid meteor shower. Here's when it reaches its peak and how to get the best view, according to Jennifer Walter.
August brings with it many things, but one of the most spectacular is the Perseid meteor shower. Each year, this pageant of shooting stars lights up the summer night sky like no other. In truth, the meteor shower is actually pieces of the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle that break off as it flies through the inner Solar System.
As the shards burn up in the atmosphere, they create a stunning nighttime show.
In ideal conditions — a viewing spot from the Northern Hemisphere and no clouds — you could spot up to 50 meteors per hour.
- Perseids: You need to see 2021’s brightest celestial shower in the summer sky
- Astronomers discover new dwarf planet or strange comet on eccentric orbit around the Sun
- Milky Way’s comets baffle scientists with a “unlikely” discovery
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- Before we go: It’s International Beer Day. But also happy birthday to Melissa George (45), Soleil Moon Frye (45), Robin van Persie (38), Travis Kalanick (45), and M. Night Shyamalan (51, pictured) (Source: @AP_Planner)
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