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  • October 21, 2015
  • 03:05 PM

A brief history of opium-based medicines named after people

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Back in the days before stringent rules governing the sale of drugs, store shelves were awash with medications bearing pretty labels extolling their ability to fix all sorts of diseases. Many were patent medicines containing lots of alcohol and/or opium, which of course on their own can temporarily numb pain and perhaps convince you that your particular illness isn't quite so bad. These medicines were often named after people involved in their creation and were generally useless aside from the b........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2015
  • 04:30 PM

The pharmacology of flatulence

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Drugs do many, many things. Some of these we want, others not so much. The latter get called side effects. One of the less-desired yet relatively benign side effects associated with many drugs is an uptick in the fart department. While perhaps humorous to some, this outcome is generally viewed as unpleasant due to the associated bloating and pain, not to mention the embarrassing sensory assault that is a barrage of toots.... Read more »

Danzl DF. (1992) Flatology. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 10(1), 79-88. DOI: 10.1016/0736-4679(92)90015-L  

  • October 9, 2015
  • 05:25 PM

Changing body colours with drugs and poisons

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

It's time for yet another colour post! Deadly poisons and useful drugs can cause regions of your body to take on a different colour from normal. In addition to being super weird, these unexpected colours often provide a valuable clue for doctors looking to make a diagnosis. Let's look at a couple of examples...... Read more »

  • October 5, 2015
  • 05:12 PM

Weird colours of bones and teeth

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I like making lists about living things. Colour is a great starting point for such lists, whether they're about body parts infected by microbes or the origins of science words. For this post, I'm going to look at how bones and teeth can take on a bunch of strange colours...... Read more »

  • September 30, 2015
  • 08:55 AM

Twins of Different Seasons

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

Twins are born near the same time, that’s one of the things that makes them twins. But do they have to be born close to one another? The record is twins born 104 days apart. The key is to get the twins past 25 weeks so the lungs will be mature enough, but if one twin is delivered, the second might be subjected to delayed interval delivery to give the lungs longer to grow.... Read more »

Reinhard, J., Reichenbach, L., Ernst, T., Reitter, A., Antwerpen, I., Herrmann, E., Schlösser, R., & Louwen, F. (2012) Delayed interval delivery in twin and triplet pregnancies: 6 years of experience in one perinatal center. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 40(5). DOI: 10.1515/jpm-2011-0267  

Padilla-Iserte, P., Vila-Vives, J., Ferri, B., Gómez-Portero, R., Diago, V., & Perales-Marín, A. (2014) Delayed Interval Delivery of the Second Twin: Obstetric Management, Neonatal Outcomes, and 2-Year Follow-Up. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, 64(5), 344-348. DOI: 10.1007/s13224-014-0544-1  

Lewi, L., Devlieger, R., De Catte, L., & Deprest, J. (2014) Growth discordance. Best Practice , 28(2), 295-303. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2013.12.003  

  • September 15, 2015
  • 04:13 PM

Weird drug logic

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

In the past, pharmacology was a rather, shall we say, murky area of study. Figuring out how to treat an ailment using a drug sometimes involved a lot of educated guessing, and oftentimes the information backing up a guess wasn't particularly solid. Let's look at a couple of examples of the historically weird logic behind drug treatments...... Read more »

  • August 24, 2015
  • 05:05 PM

Argania spinosa has goat ornaments and makes a useful oil

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Argania spinosa (argan) is a tough little tree endemic to a limited area in southwestern Morocco and a bit of very western Algeria (Tindouf). Patchy forests of the tree cover about 800,000 hectares of the semi-arid Sous valley. These represent a unique biotope and have been designated a fancy UNESCO biosphere reserve. The presence of the forests slows desertification, as the drought-resistant trees act to stabilize the soil. Argan trees can live up to 250 years and are able to make do ........ Read more »

Monfalouti HE, Guillaume D, Denhez C, & Charrouf Z. (2010) Therapeutic potential of argan oil: A review. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 62(12), 1669-75. PMID: 21054392  

Paris C, Herin F, Reboux G, Penven E, Barrera C, Guidat C, & Thaon I. (2015) Working with argan cake: A new etiology for hypersensitivity pneumonitis. BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 18. PMID: 25888313  

  • August 18, 2015
  • 05:10 PM

A short history of a tree-killing anesthetic gas

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Ethylene is a colourless gas that was widely used as a general anesthetic in the 1920s through 1940s. It apparently works pretty well at knocking people out and is less toxic than the chloroform and ether that proceeded it on the surgical floor. However, its flammability and outright explosiveness when mixed in certain proportions with oxygen, coupled with the development of decidedly less flammable halothane and related compounds in the 50s and 60s, led to eventual obsolescence.In addition to b........ Read more »

Lin Z, Zhong S, & Grierson D. (2009) Recent advances in ethylene research. Journal of Experimental Botany, 60(12), 3311-3336. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erp204  

  • July 16, 2015
  • 08:45 AM

How to Succeed at Clinical Genome Sequencing

by Daniel Koboldt in Massgenomics

Whole-genome sequencing holds enormous potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Although this approach is the only way to capture the complete spectrum of genetic variation, its application in clinical settings has been slow compared to more targeted strategies (i.e. panel and exome sequencing). Everyone talks about cost as the main contributing factor for […]... Read more »

Taylor JC, Martin HC, Lise S, Broxholme J, Cazier JB, Rimmer A, Kanapin A, Lunter G, Fiddy S, Allan C.... (2015) Factors influencing success of clinical genome sequencing across a broad spectrum of disorders. Nature genetics, 47(7), 717-26. PMID: 25985138  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 04:03 PM

Journal Club: Starlings on Prozac: How pharmaceuticals may affect wildlife

by GrrlScientist in Maniraptora

SUMMARY: Recent research suggests that the commonly prescribed psychiatric drug, Prozac, occurs at environmentally relevant concentrations that can significantly alter behaviour and physiology in wild birds .. Read more... Read more »

Bean, T., Boxall, A., Lane, J., Herborn, K., Pietravalle, S., & Arnold, K. (2014) Behavioural and physiological responses of birds to environmentally relevant concentrations of an antidepressant. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1656), 20130575-20130575. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0575  

Crockett, M., Siegel, J., Kurth-Nelson, Z., Ousdal, O., Story, G., Frieband, C., Grosse-Rueskamp, J., Dayan, P., & Dolan, R. (2015) Dissociable Effects of Serotonin and Dopamine on the Valuation of Harm in Moral Decision Making. Current Biology, 25(14), 1852-1859. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.05.021  

Markman, S., Müller, C., Pascoe, D., Dawson, A., & Buchanan, K. (2011) Pollutants affect development in nestling starlings Sturnus vulgaris. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48(2), 391-397. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01931.x  

  • June 30, 2015
  • 01:55 PM

Bipolar Disorder: Novel Clinical Trials II

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

This is the second post reviewing recent novel trials for the treatment of bipolar disorder.Again, for my sources I am using are and PubMed.Clicking on the study title will take you to the site for more detailed protocol information.Allopurinol Maintenance Study for Bipolar DisorderThis completed study examined the effect of 300 to 600 mg per day of allopurinol on mania prevention. Allopurinol is a drug used primarily for the treatment of gout or kidney ston........ Read more »

  • June 26, 2015
  • 01:06 PM

Oak bump medicine

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

I own a couple of neat old medical books. One was published in 1935 and is entitled The Canadian Formulary. It's essentially a cookbook for pharmacists, particularly ones who plied their trade at the military hospital in Kingston, Ontario (there's a stamp on the inside cover). The book contains some interesting recipes, to say the least, which is what you get when your ingredient list includes arsenic, lead, mercury, strychnine, and chloroform.One recipe in particular that recently caught my eye........ Read more »

  • June 25, 2015
  • 12:42 PM

Bipolar Disorder: Novel Clinical Trials I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

To finish out the bipolar disorder topic month I will review some of the novel clinical trials in this is a valuable resource in searching for active and recently completed clinical trials.Here are some of the rostered trials from this site related to bipolar disorder that caught my attention.Sensoril for Bipolar DisorderSensoril is the trade name for the natural product ashwagandha an herbal extract from the herb Withania somnifera. This trial was sponsored through ........ Read more »

  • June 9, 2015
  • 04:44 PM

Cobalt speeds us up and slows us down

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

Cobalt is a relatively hard and brittle metal that can be used to make fancy magnets and is typically found along with copper and nickel in the Earth's crust. It's silver-white in appearance, but when combined with aluminum and oxygen it forms pretty blue compounds such as cobalt blue. Owing to its various effects on the human body, our lives can intersect with cobalt in many ways. One of the things the metal or molecules that contain it tend to do is alter our mobility, speeding us up or s........ Read more »

Ho EN, Chan GH, Wan TS, Curl P, Riggs CM, Hurley MJ, & Sykes D. (2015) Controlling the misuse of cobalt in horses. Drug testing and analysis, 7(1), 21-30. PMID: 25256240  

Liao Y, Hoffman E, Wimmer M, Fischer A, Jacobs J, & Marks L. (2013) CoCrMo metal-on-metal hip replacements. Physical chemistry chemical physics, 15(3), 746-56. PMID: 23196425  

  • June 5, 2015
  • 12:04 PM

Bipolar Disorder Guidelines: NICE Update

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Clinicians treating bipolar disorder and patients with a bipolar disorder diagnosis are aided by the availability of expert opinion guidelines.In the last post, I reviewed a study that found decreased rates of suicidal behavior in bipolar patients treated with antidepressant drugs.This review prompted me to look for a recent consensus update on assessment and treatment of bipolar. One recent update came from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or NICE. This guideline is free........ Read more »

Kendall T, Morriss R, Mayo-Wilson E, Marcus E, & Guideline Development Group of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2014) Assessment and management of bipolar disorder: summary of updated NICE guidance. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 25258392  

  • June 4, 2015
  • 11:58 AM

Antidepressants Linked to Lower Suicide in Bipolar Disorder

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Bipolar disorder is known to have a marked increased lifetime risk for suicide.There has been limited study of the effect of specific interventions in the risk of suicidal behavior and completed suicide.A recent study has added to our understanding of this topic using data from the Collaborative Depression Study or CDS.The CDS is a large longitudinal stud funded by the NIMH that enrolled a large sample of subjects with bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder and unipolar depression.Subject were ........ Read more »

Leon AC, Fiedorowicz JG, Solomon DA, Li C, Coryell WH, Endicott J, Fawcett J, & Keller MB. (2014) Risk of suicidal behavior with antidepressants in bipolar and unipolar disorders. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 75(7), 720-7. PMID: 25093469  

  • June 2, 2015
  • 12:34 AM

Poisons once used as medicines

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

The difference between a poison and a medicine is often not clear. Side effects are essentially ways in which a medicine can harm us but it's alright because the effects usually aren't too bad and we otherwise get healed. Antibiotics often cause an upset stomach, but they also prevent us from dying of an infected paper cut. A more extreme example is cancer drugs, which are often highly toxic but are deemed necessary in order to defeat a greater evil. Even still, there are substances for which th........ Read more »

  • May 12, 2015
  • 02:07 PM

Rabbit roulette: Atropinesterase and the ability to handle deadly nightshade

by Rosin Cerate in Rosin Cerate

All mammals possess an armament of enzymes capable of breaking apart various groups of molecules. These enzymes are typically named after their target. Peptidases act on peptides, lactase hones in on lactose, and so on. The enzyme-driven breakdown of molecules serves a wide variety of functions, including acquisition of nutrients from food and broken down cell parts, regulation of communication processes between and within cells, and detoxification of potentially harmful plant-derived substances........ Read more »

Harrison, P., Tattersall, J., & Gosden, E. (2006) The presence of atropinesterase activity in animal plasma. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, 373(3), 230-236. DOI: 10.1007/s00210-006-0054-5  

  • May 6, 2015
  • 08:18 AM

Polypill For Heart Disease May Improve Compliance, Reduces Costs

by Marie Benz in Medical Research Interviews and News Interview with: Hueiming Liu | BA (Hons), MBBS, MIPH Research Fellow, Renal & Metabolic Division The George Institute for Global Health NSW Australia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Liu: Cardiovascular disease is a major cause … Continue reading →
The post Polypill For Heart Disease May Improve Compliance, Reduces Costs appeared first on Medical Rese........ Read more » Interview with: Hueiming Liu | BA (Hons), MBBS, MIPH. (2015) Polypill For Heart Disease May Improve Improve Compliance, Reduces Costs. info:/

  • April 30, 2015
  • 08:41 PM

This Month in Blastocystis Research (APR 2015)

by Christen Rune Stensvold in Blastocystis Parasite Blog

A post on trending Blastocystis research and on advances in the discoveries of plant extracts with anti-Blastocystis activity.... Read more »

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