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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts by Glow-worm PJ

Oncolytic virotherapy

Posted by: Glow-worm PJTue, 3 Jun 2014

Glioblastomas are tumours arising from star-shaped cells called astrocytes, which make up the supportive tissue of the brain. They are highly malignant because the cells divide quickly and are supported by a large network of blood vessels. They also have finger-like tentacles that make complete surgical removal almost impossible, and treatment has traditionally consisted of a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

George Wells Beadle

Posted by: Glow-worm PJTue, 3 Jun 2014

The Nobel prize winning geneticist George Wells Beadle died 25 years ago on 9 June 1989. Born on 22 October 1903, in Wahoo, Nebraska, he graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1926 and began working on the genetics of wheat, for which he was awarded his PhD in 1931.

Milk vetch as an anticancer agent

Posted by: Glow-worm PJTue, 3 Jun 2014

Beware the ides of March

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 12 Mar 2014

The ides — the 15th day — of March, has for more than 2,000 years been connected with the murder of Julius Caesar, led by the senators Cassius and Brutus.

Secret in the eye of the chicken 

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 12 Mar 2014

Research over the past 15 years shows that materials exhibiting a so-called disordered hyperuniform state have unique properties involving transmission and control of light waves.

Originator of cybernetics

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 12 Mar 2014

Tuesday 18 March marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Norbert Wiener, the founder of cybernetics, who made some of the 20th century’s most significant contributions to mathematics.

Making use of electric spider webs

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 29 Jan 2014

Oxytocin — the “hug hormone”

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 29 Jan 2014

Oxytocin is a powerful neuropeptide hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland. It acts mainly as a neuromodulator in the brain. It plays an important role in social bonding and intimacy among mammals, and is released during and after childbirth, having an influence on maternal bonding.

Hodgkin and action potential

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 29 Jan 2014

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born on 5 February 1914 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, into a family of Quakers. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, to study zoology, chemistry and mathematics, graduating in 1936.

New hope for autism

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 18 Dec 2013

The incidence of autism in the US has increased by 78 per cent in the past decade, affecting one in 88 children nationwide. Traditional research has studied autism as a genetic disorder affecting the brain, but recent studies have demonstrated links between various physiological markers and the condition.

Seeds that clean water

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 18 Dec 2013

The moringa tree, Moringa oleifera, is a drought-resistant native of the Himalayas, although it is grown in many other tropical and subtropical areas. Most parts of the plant are eaten, and they are an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The fresh leaves contain almost 10 per cent protein and are also a valuable source of vitamins A, B and C, as well as iron, copper and manganese. The pods and seeds contain high levels of the mono-unsaturate oleic acid.

A prescription for Christmas pudding

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 18 Dec 2013

Christmas pudding, or plum pudding, has been an essential part of Christmas for over 200 years. In medieval times raisins were known as plums, and the origin of plum pudding is likely to be frumenty, or plum porridge, a mixture of boiled cracked wheat and raisins, often served with meat as part of the main course.

Breast milk and HIV

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 6 Nov 2013

Healthcare agencies are keen to maintain the nutritional and immunological benefits of breastfeeding in developing countries, even in infants whose mothers are HIV positive. Infant retroviral drug prophylaxis can reduce the rate of infection, but other issues such as cost, toxicity and drug resistance can limit its effectiveness.

Typhoid puzzle solved

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 6 Nov 2013

The 75th anniversary of the death of Mary Mallon falls on 11 November 2013. She is better known as Typhoid Mary, the first person in the US to be identified as an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid.

Limpet use in the fight against cancer

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 6 Nov 2013

Diesel and his engine

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 25 Sep 2013

Fat hen for lame horses

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 25 Sep 2013

Fat hen, Chenopodium album, is a native, annual summer flowering plant, found on cultivated land and waste ground. It can be an invasive and troublesome weed, particularly among root vegetable crops, although in Britain it is often grown alongside sugar beet to act as a trap crop for the beet leafhopper insect.

New hope in deadly fungal infections

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 25 Sep 2013

Father of physiology

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 3 Jul 2013

Claude Bernard is often referred to as the father of modern experimental physiology. He was born 200 years ago, on 13 July 1813, in France. He left college to work in a druggist’s shop, and devoted his spare time to writing vaudeville comedies.

Using NETs to ensnare bacteria

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 3 Jul 2013

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