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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts by Prospector PJ

Singing and natural selection

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 11 Jun 2014

They arrive in the UK in April and, if you live in the south of England, you may have been lucky enough to hear their beautiful singing, although they are difficult to spot. If you have not heard one yet, you may have missed your chance because they generally sing only until early June and leave for warmer climes from July onwards.

Finding uses for sensory blending

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 11 Jun 2014

Synaesthesia can be described as a “union of the senses”, where two or more of the five senses are involuntarily and automatically joined together. Some synaesthetes experience colour when they hear sounds or read words. Others experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination.

Food, not so glorious food

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 11 Jun 2014

Stealth approach to health

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 30 Apr 2014

Researchers at the University of Nottingham school of pharmacy have developed “stealth compounds” that can be activated by specific biomarkers.

Importance of picking the right font

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 30 Apr 2014

The US government could save almost $400m a year by changing the typeface it uses for printed documents, according to a 14-year-old Pittsburg schoolboy.

Some paradoxes in biology

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 30 Apr 2014

Diagnosis by ear wax

Posted by: Prospector PJTue, 18 Mar 2014

Ear wax, or cerumen, could reveal a great deal of information about an individual, such as health status, personal identity, gender and sexual orientation, researchers have suggested.

Crystal clue to early life on earth

Posted by: Prospector PJTue, 18 Mar 2014

A crystal discovered in the Jacks Hills region of Western Australia has been found to be 4.4 billion years old. Its analysis suggests that the earth could have supported life 4.3 billion years ago — almost a billion years before the oldest fossil records.

Hats off to Doctor Guillotin

Posted by: Prospector PJTue, 18 Mar 2014

Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the eponymous French physician who called for a humane device to carry out death penalties, died 200 years ago this week.

Disappearing medical devices

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 5 Feb 2014

Tiny biocompatible electronic devices could soon be available to implant for pain relief or tackle infection for a specific period before dissolving completely. These “transient electronics” can generate localised heat to fight infection or stimulate nerve endings to reduce pain. They do not require risky surgical procedures for removal after performing their role.

Scientific nonsense

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 5 Feb 2014

Best known for his nonsense poetry, Edward Lear was also a brilliant artist, described by Sir David Attenborough as “probably the best ornithological illustrator that ever was”.

Diseases diagnosed by bees

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 5 Feb 2014

The father of English clockmaking

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 13 Nov 2013

Thomas Tompion, regarded as “the father of English clockmaking”, died 300 years ago this week. His work includes some of the world’s most historic and important clocks and watches. Examples still working today can be found in Buckingham Palace, the British Museum and the Science Museum.

LSD birthday

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 13 Nov 2013

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was first synthesised by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz laboratories in Basel on 16 November, 75 years ago. Hofmann was working on a research programme into clinically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives, but only discovered LSD’s psychedelic properties five years later when he accidentally swallowed an unknown quantity.

Dr Arbuthnot’s claims to fame

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 13 Nov 2013

“Nosopoetic” sounds like an important clinical term that should be in pharmacists’ vocabulary. But do not worry: I am not highlighting a gap in your knowledge; rather, a potentially useful word that never caught on.

Scientists identify top 10 smells

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 2 Oct 2013

Humans?can detect up to 10,000 different aromas, but a team of scientists has now proposed that these aromas can be grouped into just 10 categories.

Life on Mars? Coming soon

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 2 Oct 2013

Displaying the colour of health

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 2 Oct 2013

A syringe that changes colour has been designed to tackle the 1.3 million deaths caused every year by unsafe injections. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 40 per cent of the 40 billion injections given annually are delivered with reused and unsterilised syringes.

Mr Lea, Mr Perrins and a singular sauce

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 21 Aug 2013

Treating acrophobia

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 21 Aug 2013

A recent study goes some way to explaining the origins of a fear of heights (acrophobia), which is apparently neither innate nor due to experience of falling.

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