The mu-opioid receptor is one of the biomolecules that contributes directly to human addiction, affected by many different drugs. An aspect of the protein that researchers have been fascinated by is that small changes in its makeup have larger effects on human behavior. A change in just one amino acid of the protein could result in a very large change for the organism it makes up. Researcher Jill Turner has been studying the mu-opioid receptor and its amino acids, actually finding that a change in the amino acid sequence can lower susceptibility to various addictive behaviors, from alcoholism to smoking to drug abuse.

“Adding to the fund of knowledge about the opioid receptor, [Turner] adds, will increase the clinical potential that already exists for personalized medicine.”

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