Today in Research: Weed Does and Does Not Impair Memory

Discovered: Unprecedented ocean acidification, weed does and doesn't impair memory, a strike against wine snobs, and California isn't that fat anymore.

  • Weed does and doesn't impair memory. Marijuana definitely does something to one's brain. But -- to the delight of many pot heads -- it isn't as simple as that. Smoking marijuana doesn't have a direct effect on the brain's most vital neurons, finds new research. "We have found that the starting point for this phenomenon -- the effect of marijuana on working memory -- is the astroglial cells," said Giovanni Marsicano. Those astroglial cells are what the study refers to as "passive support cells long believed to play second fiddle to active neurons," which to us reads as less important parts of the brains. Smoke on. [Cell Press]
  • California isn't that fat anymore. In the American war on obesity, California has made progress. Sort of. A teeny-tiny bit, at least. It is not that the state no longer has an issue. It hasn't gotten skinnier. In fact, it's still getting fatter. Just not at the same fast rate as before. "While childhood obesity is still on the rise (two percent more children were overweight and obese in 2008 than in 2003), the rate of increase is slowing," explains the write-up. It's a step! [UC Davis]

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