‘More people are using the cannabis plant as modern basic and clinical science reaffirms and extends its medicinal uses. Concomitantly, concern and opposition to smoked medicine has occurred, in part due to the known carcinogenic consequences of smoking tobacco. Are these reactions justified? While chemically very similar, there are fundamental differences in the pharmacological properties between cannabis and tobacco smoke. Cannabis smoke contains cannabinoids whereas tobacco smoke contains nicotine. Available scientific data, that examines the carcinogenic properties of inhaling smoke and its biological consequences, suggests reasons why tobacco smoke, but not cannabis smoke, may result in lung cancer.’
Posts tagged as: biomed
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sunday, November 29, 2009
‘An Italian doctor has been getting dramatic results with a new type of treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, which affects up to 2.5 million people worldwide. In an initial study, Dr. Paolo Zamboni took 65 patients with relapsing-remitting MS, performed a simple operation to unblock restricted bloodflow out of the brain – and two years after the surgery, 73% of the patients had no symptoms. Dr. Zamboni’s thinking could turn the current understanding of MS on its head, and offer many sufferers a complete cure. [..]
It’s generally accepted that there’s no cure for MS, only treatments that mitigate the symptoms – but a new way of looking at the disease has opened the door to a simple treatment that is causing radical improvements in a small sample of sufferers.
Italian Dr. Paolo Zamboni has put forward the idea that many types of MS are actually caused by a blockage of the pathways that remove excess iron from the brain – and by simply clearing out a couple of major veins to reopen the blood flow, the root cause of the disease can be eliminated.’
Saturday, June 27, 2009
‘Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around “as high as a kite”, a government official has said.
Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine.
She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops. [..]
Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids, said the wallaby incursions were not very common, but other animals had also been spotted in the poppy fields acting unusually.
“There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles,” he added.’
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
‘When his wife needed a kidney transplant, Dr. Richard Batista gave her one of his, attorney Dominic Barbara said.
Now that Dawnell Batista has filed for a divorce, Richard Batista wants his kidney back as part of his settlement demand. Or, Barbara said Wednesday, his client wants the value of that kidney: An estimated $1.5 million.
The case is being heard in Supreme Court in Mineola.’
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
‘Here we present a 31-year-old man with prelingual deafness who had motor and vocal tics as well as coprolalia expressed through sign language. He would feel a compulsion to use the sign for “cunt” (see Fig. 1: [top]) in contexts (grammatical and social) that were not appropriate. This is essentially the sign for the medical term “vagina” except that the sign is pushed toward the person at whom it is aimed and accompanied by threatening body language and facial expression. The patient would then feel embarrassed about the compulsion and aim to disguise it as another sign. Commonly, this would be the sign for “petrol pump” (see Fig. 2: [bottom]). This can also be used to symbolise a small watering can.’
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
‘The cab of Paul Goncalves’ truck looks more like a hospital room than the helm of a mighty 18-wheeler.
It even caught the attention of Montreal police earlier this week, as Goncalves, a transport-truck driver who lives in Kitchener, made his way through Quebec.
Goncalves says he has no choice: It’s the only way he can keep a close eye on the toddler at the end of a length of intravenous tubing and a bag of life-saving solution.
“I’ll tell you, life has been so miserable,” Goncalves said Tuesday after carefully dressing a shunt that drains liquid from the brain of his constant passenger — his two-year-old son, Pauly. Pauly was born with hydrocephalus, an accumulation of spinal fluid on the brain. Doctors recently removed a brain cyst. In his short life, Pauly has had five brain operations.’
Friday, October 24, 2008
‘Researchers at the University of Cambridge said Thursday they have found that a drug originally developed to treat leukaemia can halt and even reverse the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).
In trials, alemtuzumab reduced the number of attacks in sufferers and also helped them recover lost functions, apparently allowing damaged brain tissue to repair so that individuals were less disabled than at the start of the study.
“The ability of an MS drug to promote brain repair is unprecedented,” said Dr Alasdair Coles, a lecturer at Cambridge university’s department of clinical neurosciences, who coordinated many aspects of the study.
“We are witnessing a drug which, if given early enough, might effectively stop the advancement of the disease and also restore lost function by promoting repair of the damaged brain tissue.”‘
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
‘A man who claims chemicals in his sofa caused a serious heart problem is to sue its supplier and manufacturer. [..]
Mr Green said he first suffered blisters, then breathing problems, followed by pneumonia and finally heart failure, which doctors have told him has left half his heart damaged.
“At first I just couldn’t catch my breath, I thought it was just a cold or flu, but it just escalated from there,” he said. [..]
He claims sachets of anti-mould fungicide placed under the sofa cushions to keep the leather fresh were responsible.
The sachets contained the chemical dimethyl fumarate.’
Sunday, September 14, 2008
‘It is the baby turtle that proves two heads really are better than one.
While its siblings grow at a the usual steady pace, this tiny creature is speeding ahead.
The reason for its extraordinary growth spurt is simple: having two heads mean it eats twice as fast. [..]
Water World spokesman Jimmy Hu said: ‘We got it two weeks ago and it’s growing fast, probably because it can eat twice as fast as the others.
‘It was mixed among many other turtles and we only discovered it this week.’
Mr Hu added: ‘It’s very rare to see a turtles with two heads, we plan to keep it and raise it carefully for future research.”
‘Doctors treating a 14 year old boy from India were shocked to find a 2cm long fish had “slipped” up his penis and into his bladder.
The patient, who was admitted to hospital with complaints of pain, dribbling urine and acute urinary retention spanning a 24-hour period, gave an interesting explanation.
Details of the case, which was documented in The Internet Journal of Urology, have revealed that the patient claimed that the fish “slipped” into his penis while he was maintaining his aquarium.’
Thursday, September 11, 2008
They are the toughest animals on the planet – and now scientists have discovered that they can even survive in space.
The tiny creatures, known as tardigrades or water bears, are certainly strange-looking with their eight chubby legs, little claws and probing heads.
Some experts have compared their shape with jelly babies or moles but tardigrades they should not be judged by their ‘cute’ appearance. They are virtually indestructible – they will not die even if they are boiled, frozen, squeezed under pressure or desiccated.
In fact, they can be completely dried out for years – and then spring back to life as if nothing had happened.
Now researchers have revealed that tardigrades – which usually measure no more than a millimetre in length and live in moss – have withstood the airless extremes of space.’
‘Chemicals in marijuana may be useful in fighting MRSA, a kind of staph bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics. Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests.
Some synthetic cannabinoids also showed germ-killing capability. The scientists note the cannabinoids kill bacteria in a different way than traditional antibiotics, meaning they might be able to bypass bacterial resistance. At least two of the cannabinoids don’t have mood-altering effects, so there could be a way to use these substances without creating the high of marijuana. [..]
In the study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, researchers call for further study of the antibacterial uses of marijuana. There are “currently considerable challenges with the treatment of infections caused by strains of clinically relevant bacteria that show multi-drug resistance,” the researchers write.
New antibacterials are urgently needed, but only one new class of antibacterial has been introduced in the last 30 years. “Plants are still a substantially untapped source of antimicrobial agents,” the researchers conclude.’
Saturday, August 16, 2008
‘Meet Gordon, probably the world’s first robot controlled exclusively by living brain tissue.
Created from cultured rat neurons, Gordon’s primitive grey matter was designed at the UK’s University of Reading by scientists who unveiled the neuron-powered machine yesterday.
Their groundbreaking experiments explore the vanishing boundary between natural and artificial intelligence, and could shed light on the basic building blocks of memory and learning, a lead researcher said.
“The purpose is to figure out how memories are stored in a biological brain,” said Kevin Warwick, a professor at the University of Reading and one of the robot’s principle architects.’
Friday, August 15, 2008
‘A Cambodian father and mechanic learned the hard way not to inflate children when he inserted an air hose designed to fill car tyres into his five-year-old son’s anus and blew him up, local media reported on Thursday.
The Khmer-language Rasmei Kampuchea daily reported Try Sienghym was “playing” with his son Sok Sambo when the incident took place.
The paper said the child’s stomach became distended and his concerned mother rushed him to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
“The father very much regrets playing like this now,” the paper quoted a family member as saying.’
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
‘A scriptwriter in Hollywood has become the first person to order a commercial firm to clone a pet. Bernann McKinney paid a Korean company US $50,000 for five copies of Booger – her beloved pit bull terrier who died recently.
The lab used ear tissue from the diseased dog to re-create Booger. The five puppies were born from two surrogate mothers in late June, according to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. [..]
McKinney became deeply attached to Booger after it allegedly saved her life by chasing off a ferocious mastiff. [..]
Ra Jeong-Chang is the CEO of RNL Bio – the company that did the cloning for McKinney. He said his next project will be cloning camels for Middle East sheikhs.’
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
‘A baby dying from kidney failure was saved when her doctor designed and built her a dialysis machine from scratch in his garage.
Millie Kelly was too small for conventional NHS machines, so Dr Malcolm Coulthard and a colleague constructed a scaled-down version.
Two years later, her mother Rebecca says she is “fit as a fiddle”. [..]
Rebecca, from Middlesbrough, said: “It was a green metal box with a few paint marks on it with quite a few wires coming out of it into my daughter – it didn’t look like a normal NHS one.
“But it was the only hope for her – even when she got hooked up to the dialysis machine, they said that every hour was a bonus.
“She’s fine now, a normal two-year-old – I just can’t thank him enough for saving my baby’s life.”‘
Saturday, August 2, 2008
‘Surgeons have performed the world’s first double arm transplant.
The 16-hour operation was carried out last Friday on a farm worker who lost both arms in an accident.
The 54-year-old man was given the arms of a teenage boy who is believed to have died in a road crash. [..]
The patient, who lost his arms in a threshing machine six years ago, is said to be recovering well from the surgery. Doctors said he regained consciousness on Sunday and smiled at his wife. [..]
He said it was difficult to forecast the psychological effect on the man of having the arms of a youth 35 years his junior.’
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
‘Sleep patterns in middle-aged women can increase their risk for stroke, researchers in the United States have found. The greatest increase in stroke risk — 70 percent — was noted among women who slept 9 hours or more per night, according to their report in the medical journal Stroke.
A link between sleep duration and mortality has previously been noted in a number of studies, but evidence of an association between sleep patterns and cardiovascular disease has been lacking, Dr. Jiu-Chiuan Chen, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and co-researchers note. [..]
After following the group for an average of 7.5 years, the researchers found that 1,166 women experienced an ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked. This prevents oxygen from reaching the brain and the brain’s tissue begins to die.
Upon further analysis, Chen’s group found that women with a sleep duration of 6 hours or less, 8 hours, or 9 hours or more increased the risk of stroke by 14 percent, 24 percent, and 70 percent, respectively, compared with sleeping 7 hours.’
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
‘Katie Holmes has been wearing gloves and long sleeve shirts with the sleeves pulled down over her hands, in order to cover their freakish purple coloration.
It’s rumored that Katie may have taken part in a Scientology purification ritual that caused her hands to turn purple.
According to reports, the purification ritual is called the Purification Rundown or Purif, which is the process of taking ‘vitamin bombs’ to get ‘toxins’ out of their bodies.
It’s reported that in almost every single case, Scientology founder Hubbard recommends dosages in his teachings that are well above the safe limits, in some cases as much as 142 times more than the toxic level. The side effects of such huge overdoses range from liver damage, hair loss, brain swelling and nausea up to fatal heart and respiratory failure.’
Monday, July 21, 2008
‘Family members are angry and speaking out after Dayton police used a stun gun on a woman who is blind and suffering from cancer. Police said they were looking for a suspect when they knocked on Denise Harris’s door Thursday morning. But according to both police and witnesses, things quickly got out of hand and Harris was tased.
“She was able to force herself down on to the floor and not be cooperative, grabbing on to the detective. A taser was dry stunned onto her arm to control her hand movement, then she was cuffed,” said Sgt. Charles Anderson.
Her family said she was yelling at officers because she was scared.
“She was terrified. She was extremely terrified,” said Harris’s niece, Dionna. “She was scared because the person identified themselves as a police officer. But she’s been robbed before by someone using the same technique.” [..]
“She’s blind and they pulled her off her Futon, handcuffed her and tased her because he said she swung at him. She can’t see,” said Harris’s sister Elvita Harris. “I’m very frustrated and upset. Dayton police need to implement a sensitivity program.”
Neighbors said they told officers she was blind and sick.’
Thursday, July 17, 2008
‘Up to 30 partygoers at an outdoor rave have been partially blinded by a laser light show.
Health officials confirmed 12 cases of laser-blindness from the event, with reports suggesting up to 17 more.
Some of those affected have lost up to 80 per cent of their vision.
Guests at the Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, Russia, began seeking medical help days after the show, complaining of vision problems.
Lasers like these were erected inside giant tents at the Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, Russia, after heavy rain. Up to 30 ravers suffered permanent damage to their vision.
Heavy rain had forced organisers of the event, which took place on July 5 in the town 50 miles outside Moscow, to put up tents for the all-night dance party.
The lasers, which are designed to illuminate the sky, were reflected by the canopy into the eyes of the ravers, burning their retinas.’
Friday, July 11, 2008
‘Scientists have identified about two dozen genes that control embryonic stem cell fate. The genes may either prod or restrain stem cells from drifting into a kind of limbo, they suspect. The limbo lies between the embryonic stage and fully differentiated, or specialized, cells, such as bone, muscle or fat.
By knowing the genes and proteins that control a cell’s progress toward the differentiated form, researchers may be able to accelerate the process – a potential boon for the use of stem cells in therapy or the study of some degenerative diseases, the scientists say.
Their finding comes from the first large-scale search for genes crucial to embryonic stem cells. The research was carried out by a team at the University of California, San Francisco and is reported in a paper in the July 11, 2008 issue of “Cell.”
“The genes we identified are necessary for embryonic stem cells to maintain a memory of who they are,” says Barbara Panning, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF, and senior author on the paper. “Without them the cell doesn’t know whether it should remain a stem cell or differentiate into a specialized cell.”‘
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
‘Controlling blood pressure from middle-age onwards may dramatically reduce the chances of developing dementia, researchers have said.
Two studies support a link between high blood pressure and dementia risk – with one by an Imperial College London team suggesting treatment could cut this.
This study, by published in the Lancet Neurology journal, found blood pressure drugs reduce dementia by 13%.
The Alzheimer’s Society said better control could save 15,000 lives a year. [..]
The precise reasons why high blood pressure might increase the risk of dementia are not fully understood although many scientists believe that it can starve the brain of bloodflow and the oxygen it carries.’
Thursday, July 3, 2008
‘The secret of how the cold sore virus manages to persist for a lifetime in the human body may have been cracked by US scientists.
The herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) can lie dormant in facial nerves, emerging periodically to cause sores.
A Duke University Medical Center team may have uncovered how it can reactivate itself from a dormant state.
The finding, published in the journal Nature, could eventually lead to new treatments.
When fighting a virus, the immune system relies heavily on the protein chemicals produced by the virus which it uses to help mark it for destruction.
Herpes viruses manage to evade the immune system by shutting down production of these proteins completely, and remaining in this state for long periods before starting to replicate again.’
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
‘So, I pay my money to Ms. Rainbow and she leads me back to a louder darker room divided by cubicle walls. She pushes me down on a worn, dirty vinyl couch and takes off her clothing. She was smooth shaven and her nipples were that perfect color of dusty rose against heavy cream colored skin. She turned around and began rubbing herself against my lap, and I let my hands begin to wonder. She kept me away from the most private of private areas but other than that I had free run of the amusement park.
No attachment, no connection, just drunk hands on drunk skin and a blissfully thought free moment.
Then I felt it. [..]’
‘The “spiritual” effects of psilocybin from so-called sacred mushrooms last for more than a year and may offer a way to help patients with fatal diseases or addictions, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
The researchers also said their findings show there are safe ways to test psychoactive drugs on willing volunteers, if guidelines are followed.
In 2006, Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues gave psilocybin to 36 volunteers and asked them how it felt. Most reported having a “mystical” or “spiritual” experience and rated it positively.
More than a year later, most still said the experience increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction, Griffiths and colleagues report in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
“This is a truly remarkable finding,” Griffiths said in a statement. “Rarely in psychological research do we see such persistently positive reports from a single event in the laboratory.”‘
Saturday, June 28, 2008
‘A Washington woman said she filed a federal lawsuit accusing a Miami hospital of “anti-gay animus” after workers refused to let her see her dying partner.
Janice Langbehn and her partner Lisa Marie Pond, both aged 39, intended to enjoy a vacation cruise with three of their four children, marking the women’s 18 years as a couple in February 2007, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.
The trip abruptly ended when Pond had a massive stroke as the ship was preparing to leave port, the newspaper said.
She was taken to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Langbehn said workers would not let her see her ailing partner.
A social worker allegedly said the couple was in an “anti-gay city and state.”‘
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
‘Biologists at Harvard University have determined that some African frogs carry concealed weapons: When threatened, these species puncture their own skin with sharp bones in their toes, using the bones as claws capable of wounding predators. [..]
“It’s surprising enough to find a frog with claws,” says Blackburn, a doctoral student in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. “The fact that those claws work by cutting through the skin of the frogs’ feet is even more astonishing. These are the only vertebrate claws known to pierce their way to functionality.”
“Most vertebrates do a much better job of keeping their skeletons inside,” he adds.
Blackburn first became aware of the clawed frogs while conducting fieldwork in the central African nation of Cameroon. When he picked up one of the hulking fist-sized frogs, it flailed its hind legs violently, scratching him and drawing blood.’
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
‘Grief is universal, and most of us will probably experience the pain grief brings at some point in our lives, usually with the death of a loved one. In time, we move on, accepting the loss.
But for a substantial minority, it’s impossible to let go, and even years later, any reminder of their loss — a picture, a memory — brings on a fresh wave of grief and yearning. The question is, why? Why do some grieve and ultimately adapt, while others can’t get over the loss of someone held dear?
Reporting in the journal NeuroImage, scientists at UCLA suggest that such long-term or “complicated” grief activates neurons in the reward centers of the brain, possibly giving these memories addiction-like properties [..]’