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NIH Record  
Vol. LXVI, No. 17
  August 15, 2014
Science Writer Explains Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Talk to Journalists
NIH Helps Knock Out Hunger in 2014
Leaders Point Way to Advancing Women In Biomedical Careers
NICHD, Fogarty Help Build Research Capacity in Africa
NIEHS Laughs Its Way into Ethical Compliance
Friends of NICHD Host Capitol Hill Briefing On Health Disparities
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NIDA’s Huestis Warns of Adverse Cognitive Effects of Marijuana; Some Therapeutic Uses Seen

NIDA’s Dr. Marilyn Huestis discusses potential therapeutic uses, and dangers, of marijuana.
NIDA’s Dr. Marilyn Huestis discusses potential therapeutic uses, and dangers, of marijuana.

A Lipsett Amphitheater full of eager attendees listened intently, some of them perhaps hoping to hear validating evidence of the merits of marijuana. But the jury’s still out: while marijuana has some therapeutic potential, more research is needed. What we do know, said Dr. Marilyn Huestis, chief of the chemistry and drug metabolism section at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is that the harmful effects of marijuana last longer than you may realize. The primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is stored in the body after chronic, frequent marijuana use.

The national debate over marijuana’s safety rages on. Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. This year, Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana outright. About 12 percent of Americans age 12 and older reported using marijuana in the past year, according to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. But is cannabis consumption safe?


Idea Mapping Can Help People Be More Creative, Nast Says

Author Jamie Nast
Author Jamie Nast
Diagrams that use words, color and pictures to organize information can help people be more creative and plan more efficiently, said author Jamie Nast at a Deputy Director for Management Seminar in Masur Auditorium recently.

“Idea mapping is a powerful whole-brained visual thinking tool that enhances memory, note-taking skills, thought organization, planning, creativity and communication,” said Nast, co-founder of NastGroup.

Based on Roger Sperry’s “split brain” research, it was discovered that the brain’s left and right hemispheres function differently. The areas of dominance in the left hemisphere include: logic, listing, linearity, words, numbers, analysis and sequence. The areas of dominance in the right hemisphere include: color, rhythm, imagination, day dreaming, spatial and gestalt. Idea mapping leverages both sides of the brain. The combination of left plus right increases creativity.