Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 07 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:392

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When a new scientific discipline emerges, publishers are rarely far behind They were particularly fast off the blocks with Cloning, the new quarterly specialist journal devoted to the science of cloning It's edited by one of Dolly's creators and contains the usual mix of original research and reviews, as well as policy updates on cloning You can see what it looks like on the website (, but to read the content you have to subscribe.

Drug treatment for cocaine addiction took a step forward last week when scientists reported the discovery of an agent with the potential to reduce addicts' cravings for cocaine (Nature 1999;100:371-5) BP897 is a partial agonist at the dopamine D3 receptor, which is thought to be involved in the reinforcing effects of cocaine. If the rat experiments translate to humans (always a big if) this agent could launch a new generation of treatments for this increasingly desperate problem.

Buprenorphine works in a similar way—at a different receptor—to attenuate heroin craving, and is emerging as an alternative to methadone for heroin addicts. Prescrire International, a pharmacology review journal, gave buprenorphine a cautious welcome this month, concluding that it was a real advance in treatment (1999;19:102-6). The editors warn, however, that maintenance treatment with high dose buprenorphine …

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