The book of science

Tom Sharp

Henry Hallett Dale, George Barger, Otto Loewi neuroscience



One pill makes you larger

In addition to chemical neurotransmitters, ions (such as zinc ions) and soluble gases (such as nitrogen monoxide) act as neurotransmitters, and gap junctions allow direct electrical communication between cells. In order to produce acetylcholine from the vagus nerve of the first frog’s heart, Otto Loewi electrically stimulated the nerve.

With the ergot fungi, we go full circle. Its medical uses and hallucigenic effects were well known in the Middle Ages. It contains both the first-known neurotransmitter and the alkaloid ergotamine, which is used to synthesize lysergic acid, an analog of and precursor for synthesis of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

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