The hottest research topic in biotechnology is that of smart drugs, which will enhance memory and concentration, either to counter the effects of ageing or to give younger people a competitive advantage. (These drugs are also called cognitive enhancers or nootropics, from the Greek no-os, “mind” and tropos, “a turning”). Though many such drugs already on the market work through a placebo effect, a new class called amperkines show promise of a genuine pharmacological effect. They work by enhancing the action of a neurotransmitter chemical in the brain called AMPA (which is short for alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole- propionic acid) which handles virtually all routine transmissions of electrical impulses across synapses. The word is formed from the abbreviation AMPA, plus the Greek word kinein, “to move”, and is a trademark of the University of California at Irvine, where the initial research was carried out.
Search World Wide Words
Recently added pieces
Boot and trunk; Zoilism; Fish-faced; Poach; Immensikoff; Habiliments; The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker; Agister; The Word at War; Not so green as you’re cabbage-looking; Peely-wally; Draw a line in the sand; Porphyrogeniture; Set one’s cap at; Epicaricacy; Furthest and farthest; Hide one’s light under a bushel; Jentacular.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!