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NIDA Notes Articles: Genetics

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Ethnic Groups Have Contrasting Genetic Risks for Nicotine Addiction

October 2009

Describes research exploring differences and similarities in the genetic profiles of African-Americans and European-Americans who are heavy smokers.

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Epigenetics: The Promise of a New Science

March 2008

Discusses the role of epigenetics, the study of cellular mechanisms that control gene expression and its impacts on health and behavior, in addiction research.

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Dr. Joni Rutter Q&A: How Basic Science Is Tackling Addiction

May 2014

One of NIDA’s goals is to try to understand the individual differences that contribute to whether or not someone who takes a drug will become addicted to it. Dr. Rutter’s research focuses on three types of differences: Environmental, developmental, and genetic and epigenetic.

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Dr. David Jentsch Receives the 2011 Waletzky Memorial Award

July 2012

Dr. J. David Jentsch is the recipient of the 2011 Jacob P. Waletzky Memorial Award for Innovative Research in Drug Addiction and Alcoholism. Dr. Jentsch and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, are studying genetic and neurochemical factors that influence individual differences in inhibitory control.

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DESPR Identifies Drug Abuse Trends and Seeks Solutions

November 2009
Discusses the work of NIDA’s Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, organized to track drug use and provide empirically based information for researchers and service providers.

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Cocaine Can Mobilize Stored Dopamine

March 2008

Describes a study showing that cocaine, which increases dopamine levels, also can tap into an intracellular dopamine reserve pool.

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Chromosome 17 Harbors Opioid Dependence Genes

March 2008

Describes the work of researchers who have found a statistical link between one region on chromosome 17 and an increased risk of opioid dependence.

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Animal Study Suggests Marijuana May Affect Future Offspring’s Susceptibility to Heroin

February 2015

Can marijuana use put offspring at heightened risk for opiate addiction, even if the use stops before the offspring are conceived? Results from a recent NIDA-funded study are consistent with other studies suggesting that a parent’s history of drug use, even preconception, may affect a child’s brain function and behavior.

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A Genetic Nexus of Obesity and Smoking

October 2014

Research shows that some gene variants that influence body mass index also shape smoking behaviors.


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