Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 6th Jan 2008

The Science of Addiction

A pre-war bottle of Heroin (c) Mpv_51 @ wikipedia

Hooked on the Naked Scientists? This week we're looking into the science of addiction, finding out how smoking alters the teenage brain, why a mixture of brain chemistry and psychological habits make drugs hard to kick, and how addiction re-wires the brain in a similar way to school.  Also, how a good night's sleep could stave off diabetes, why traffic pollutes your IQ and why your next prescription could be a placebo!  Plus we bring you the first in our series of Rising Stars, young researchers reporting from the coalface of science, and in Kitchen Science we show you how to levitate a squid!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 12:23 - Brain Change for Teenage Smokers

    One of the most common addictions on Earth is the addiction to cigarettes, so tobacco and nicotine addiction. A very interesting study has been done by Professor Leslie Jacobsen, she's at Yale University School of Medicine, looking at how smoking affects the brains of teenagers...

  • 36:44 - Rising Stars - Hippocampi and Taxi Drivers

    Each term Cambridge University’s Rising Stars project helps young researchers to tell the world about their work. We teamed up with a group of rising stars so that you can find out what the next generation of top scientists are up to. Seeing as we’ve been talking about the brai...

  • 40:13 - Why do Diets Fail?

    It’s that time of the year when everyone is thinking, ‘how many inches extra, feet, pounds, stone have I gained over Christmas? How am I going to get rid of it all?’ Well we thought we’d take a look at the science of dieting and we’ve invited Dr Toni Steer. She’s from the MRC Hu...

  • 44:35 - Why do wires tangle?

    I listened to the Naked Scientists podcast while walking across America, and I have a question about tangling wires - I would put my MP3 player into a pocket, and whenever I pull it out the wires are completely tangled up. In fact, they're so tangled I couldn't have done it on p...

  • 52:40 - What is ageing?

    What is ageing? Is it caused by cumulative damage to cells as a result of every day life or is it genetically programmed and if it is can we prevent it with, say, gene modification?

  • 54:11 - Are high doese of vitamin C useful?

    Vitamin C: Some scientists believe it’s the panacea for everything and other scientists seem to think the effects of vitamin C [presumably this is large doses] are negligible. What’s the general scientific gist of it?

  • 56:18 - Why do you go red when sunburnt?

    I’ve heard on one of your podcasts about sunburn and the damage it imparts but I was wondering what’s the actual cause of the redness in sunburn. What specific damage to the skin causes the redness that remains over days after the initial UV exposure? What are we seeing that’s ha...

  • Why do I get headaches when I stop drinking coffee?

    I’m a high school teacher and music teacher in Brisbane, Australia. I really enjoy listening to the podcast version of the programme whilst I’m having a cup of tea or coffee. About a month ago I decided to cut back on my caffeine intake and decided to quit cold turkey. Unfortuna...



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What about sexual addiction? Is there really such a thing as a sex addict? Karen W., Tue, 8th Jan 2008

I think an addiction indicates you are no longer in control, the thing you are addicted to has control over you.  I'm sure you can quit this forum at any time... Stby, Thu, 10th Jan 2008

Absolutely right !!

Great Post Stby !!(welcome).....yes... habits can be controlled.......An addiction reverses that and controls the person..........but can (with immense willpower and help) be eventually overcome.. neilep, Thu, 10th Jan 2008

Yep...I saw a program about it !!....can't remember the actual condition was NOT Nymphomania....but it does exist Karen. neilep, Thu, 10th Jan 2008

Yep...I saw a program about it !!....can't remember the actual condition was NOT Nymphomania....but it does exist Karen.

Just found this link neilep, Thu, 10th Jan 2008

Yep...I saw a program about it !!....can't remember the actual condition was NOT Nymphomania....but it does exist Karen.

Thanks Neily. I will have to check it out.. Karen W., Thu, 10th Jan 2008

Thanks Neily.. I am going to copy it and give it to someone I know! Karen W., Thu, 10th Jan 2008

Are all addictions bad ?....some addictions may be called good habits !!

Like....being a member of this forum ! neilep, Thu, 5th Nov 2009

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