Beyond pharmacy blog
All posts from: May 2012
The eighth season of BBC2’s Springwatch is upon us. As usual, I am not watching it live but recording it so that I can skip through the inane witterings of the presenters and the repetitive footage of creatures with which the programme-makers are obsessed — playful otters, noble red deer, cute seal pups, etc.
Water shortages and hosepipe bans have been in the news recently and even those of us who live in the wetter parts of the UK were asked to conserve water to avoid environmental droughts. Of course, the problem is much more acute in other parts of the world, so as well as saving water we should also think about new ways of collecting it.
THE 50,000 inhabitants of the Faroe Islands, a self-governing dependency of Denmark, may soon be the first nation to be offered full genome sequencing and thus the possibility of a new era of personalised medicine.
Marketing and advertising firms often promote products by highlighting an ingredient with an exotic-sounding name and hinting of a mysterious past. This is particularly so with the toiletries we sell in our community pharmacies.
If you have experienced the unpleasant effects that a vindaloo can have on your gastrointestinal tract, then you may be surprised to learn that a spice used in most curries is being investigated as an adjunct in the treatment of advanced bowel cancer.
Found across tropical Africa, Aneilema aequinoctiale is a perennial flowering shrub that can grow to 2m. Its leaves and their leaf-sheaths are covered in fine, hooped trichomes that make them feel sticky when touched — hence the English vernacular name, clinging aneilema.
Nanotechnologists in Spain have used the world’s most sensitive scales to measure the smallest unit of mass — the yoctogram — according to New Scientist. One yoctogram (yg), at just one septillionth of a gram, is a hundred times less than the previous smallest mass ever measured (a 10th of a zeptogram).
The British inventor Trevor Baylis, best known for his wind-up radio, celebrates his 75th birthday this Sunday. Baylis got the inspiration for his invention in 1989 after watching a television programme about the spread of AIDS across Africa. The spread of AIDS could be limited by educating people via radio broadcasts, but most had no electricity and could not afford batteries.
In these days of astounding technological advancement it is reassuring to know that some relatively simple devices have not yet been replaced by something containing a microchip: the tuning fork, for example.
As pharmacists we often find it interesting to distinguish between natural and synthetic ingredients. Caffeine is an example of an ingredient that is present naturally in drinks such as coffee, tea, guarana and maté and is also found in “energy drinks” and cola-type soft drinks that usually contain synthetic caffeine.
Preliminary findings from a Unilever study suggest that an older variety of apple, the Egremont Russet, contains up to 10 times more of a phytonutrient than some modern varies.
Despite the growing research interest in medication adherence during the past decade, little work has been done to see whether there are differences between women and men in terms of adherence.
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