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can it get any more absurd? vaccine for stress..

Posted by wicked blu Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CALIFORNIAN scientists believe they are closing in on the first vaccine for stress.

The goal is to produce a single injection that would help us relax without slowing down.

The quest for the lifetime cure to stress is being led by Robert Sapolsky, professor of neuroscience at Stanford University, who after 30 years of research believes he can now alter the brain chemistry to create "focused calm".

Dr Sapolsky says he is on the path to a genetically engineered alternative to yoga, pills and advice to relax - itself a recognised cause of tension.

After early setbacks, the Stanford team has adapted a herpes virus to carry engineered "neuroprotective" genes deep into the brain to neutralise the rogue hormones before they can damage the brain. The virus is now shown to work on rats.

"To be honest, I'm still amazed that it works," Dr Sapolsky recently told Wired magazine. He warns that human trials are years away, "but we have proved that it's possible. We can reduce the neural damage caused by stress".

Last week a colleague, calling the potential vaccine "the Sapolsky Shot", was jubilant: "In humans, this engineered virus would short-circuit the neural feedback caused by stress, that lingering feeling of tension after a crisis has passed.

"It would leave you fresher and ready to deal with another threat; so you can maintain your drive, but with more focused calm rather than bad temper and indigestion. This could change society."

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