Wednesday, June 19, 2002

We Stare Unblinkingly at the Future

News from the pharmacy: sleep is now optional. The drug modafinil, marketed by pharmaceutical company Cephalon, Inc. under the brand name Provigil, can allegedly keep you up with no sleep or adverse side effects of traditional stimulants for two days straight. If you want to catch a regular eight hours of sleep after those two days, you can stay up for another 40 hours straight before you'll finally need to catch up. Originally developed for narcoleptics, this drug has already sparked images of supersoldiers and a post-human future. Most likely, however, Cephalon will make the bulk of its money from replacing Mountain Dew and No-Doz in the arsenal of every procrastinating college student, long-haul trucker and overworked medical resident.


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