No magic pill to cure alcohol dependence yet


A new study has found no reliable evidence for using nalmefene, naltrexone, acamprosate, baclofen or topiramate to control drinking in patients with alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder. At best, some treatments showed low to medium efficacy in reducing drinking, but those findings were from studies with a high risk of bias. None demonstrated any benefit on health outcomes.

Dating? A magic formula to predict attraction is more elusive than ever


Dating websites often claim attraction between two people can be predicted from the right combination of traits and preferences, but a new study casts doubt on that assertion. The study, which used speed dating data, found a computer could predict who is desirable and how much someone would desire others — who’s hot and who’s not — but it could not unravel the mystery of unique desire for a specific person.

Magic enzymes in 'magic' mushrooms analyzed


Little fungi pack a punch: ‘Magic mushrooms’ of the Psilocybe species produce psychoactive compounds that alter perception when ingested. Recently, the effects on the neuronal system caused by their ingredient psilocybin have attracted the interest of pharmacologists. Scientists have now identified four of the enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of psilocybin. Researchers describe the biosynthetic pathway and introduce a synthetic route that could form the basis of biotechnological production.