Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Valentine's Day Gift to our Readers...

Whether you have a special someone with whom to celebrate today or whether you just are a special someone, we wish you a Happy Valentine's Day! And here are just a few links to stories that popped up when I googled Valentine's Day + bioethics:

- Love is a powerful drug: “Love is a drug,” says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love.” “The ventral tegmental area is a clump of cells that make dopamine, a natural stimulant, and sends it out to many brain regions” when one is in love. “It’s the same region affected when you feel the rush of cocaine.”

- From the Situationist Blog: "It’s all about dopamine, baby, this One Great True Love, this passionate thing we’d burn down the house and blow up the car and drive from Houston to Orlando just to taste on the tip of the tongue.

You crave it because your brain tells you to. . . .Dopamine. God’s little neurotransmitter. Better known by its street name, romantic love. Also, norepinephrine. Street name, infatuation."

- Valentine's Day stories from NPR.

- And for those who prefer to celebrate, ahem, 'privately' or putting it another way, celebrate privacy, a little Valentine's Day gift from a federal court in Texas: A federal appeals court has struck down a Texas law that makes it a crime to promote or sell sex toys, stating that "Whatever one might think or believe about the use of these devices, government interference with their personal and private use violates the Constitution." Full opinion here.

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