Organic chemistry is a chemistry subdiscipline involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and organic materials, i.e., matter in its various forms that contain carbon atoms. Study of structure includes using spectroscopy and other physical and chemical methods to determine the chemical composition and constitution of organic compounds and materials. Study of properties includes both physical properties and chemical properties, and uses similar methods as well as methods to evaluate chemical reactivity, with the aim to understand the behavior of the organic matter in its pure form (when possible), but also in solutions, mixtures, and fabricated forms. The study of organic reactions includes both their preparation—by synthesis or by other means—as well as their subsequent reactivities, both in the laboratory and via theoretical (in silico) study.
The range of chemicals studied in organic chemistry include hydrocarbons, compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen, as well as compositions based on carbon but containing other elements. Organic chemistry overlaps with many areas including medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, organometallic chemistry, and polymer chemistry, as well as many aspects of materials science.
The effects of MDMA (or ecstasy) on the human brain and body are complex. The biochemical effects induced include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine release, and can act directly on a number of receptors, including α2-adrenergic (adrenaline) and 5-HT2A (serotonin) receptors. (DHEA), and the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin (which may be important in its occasional production of water intoxication or hyponatremia).
It is not understood how the chemical effects of MDMA induce its psychoactive effects. Most explanations focus on serotonin release. MDMA causes serotonin vesicles in the neurons to release quantities of serotonin into the synapses. Studies using pretreatment with an SSRI to block the ability of MDMA to release serotonin in volunteers suggest serotonin release is necessary for most psychoactive effects of MDMA in humans. Released serotonin stimulates several receptors that are believed to contribute to the experiential effects of MDMA. Laboratory rodent experiments have shown MDMA to activate oxytocin-containing neurons in the hypothalamus by stimulating 5-HT1A receptors. This appears to contribute to some of the social effects of MDMA: upon administering a drug that blocked brain receptors for oxytocin, the effects of the drug on social behavior were reduced. A second serotonin receptor, 5-HT2A receptors (which are important for the effects of hallucinogens), makes mild contributions to MDMA effects. When the receptor was blocked, volunteers given MDMA reported decreases in MDMA-induced perceptual changes, emotional excitation, and acute adverse responses. In contrast, blocking these 5-HT2A receptors had little effect on MDMA-induced positive mood, well-being, extroversion, and most short-term sequelae. One possible explanation for some of these 5-HTA-mediated effects is that 5-HT2A stimulation inhibits dopamine release.
Science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics,
pharmacodynamics, therapeutic use, and toxicology.
Pharmacology (from Greek φάρμακον, pharmakon, "poison" in classic Greek; "drug" in modern Greek; and -λογία, -logia "study of", "knowledge of") is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.
A social issue (also called a social problem or a social situation) is an issue that relates to society's perception of a person's personal lives. Different cultures have different perceptions and what may be "normal" behavior in one society may be a significant social issue in another society. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues. Some issues have both social and economic aspects, such as immigration. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as wars.
Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man and Common Sense, addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue.