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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts by Roger Poole

Hi-tech and low-tech applications for origami

Posted by: Roger PooleFri, 9 Oct 2015

Using basic paper folds to make intricate designs has a wide range of scientific applications, including making paper batteries and origami stents.

The importance of collecting dirt

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 1 Jul 2015

Several important drugs have been identified from soil samples. Researchers in the USA are currently analysing new samples of dirt for potential therapeutics.

Video microscope to avert life-threatening serious adverse drug reaction

Posted by: Roger PooleThu, 21 May 2015

A new smartphone-based microscope can help to identify the presence of one species of parasitic worm when a patient is being treated for another, to help prevent drug complications.

Onion skin cells make an effective muscle actuator

Posted by: Roger PooleThu, 21 May 2015

Treating onion skin cells with sulphuric acid and gold allow them to be used as a muscle simulator.

Could crossing your fingers alter pain levels?

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 8 Apr 2015

The thermal grill illusion is a sensory ‘trick’ first demonstrated by a Swedish physician, Torsten Thunberg, in 1896.

Developing antibacterial plastics

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 8 Apr 2015

Researchers in America have developed some bioplastics, made with albumin, soy or whey, that have antibacterial properties.

Possible new antivenom from one of the oldest surviving mammal families

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 8 Apr 2015

Opossums have a naturally high level of immunity to certain types of snake venom. The opossum peptide responsible for this immunity has potential as an antivenom.

Possible new treatment for Lyme disease

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 25 Feb 2015

Lyme disease in humans is caused by the bite of a tick infected with one of three closely related species of bacteria. The antihistamine loratadine has potential as a new treatment for the disease.

More evidence that fat is the sixth primary sense of taste

Posted by: Roger PooleTue, 24 Feb 2015

Along with salt, sour, sweet, bitter and umami, our taste buds may be able to detect fat, research suggests.

Beethoven’s musical electrocardiograms

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 14 Jan 2015

Could Beethoven have suffered from cardiac arrhythmia? His music suggests he could have.

Remembering a very useful mollusc: A californica

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 14 Jan 2015

The mollusc Aplysia california has proved to be valuable in studying the mechanisms of movement, learning and memory.

Pointer's rot: one of the oldest known occupational diseases

Posted by: Roger PooleTue, 30 Dec 2014

Making needles by hand was a risky job because of the likelihood of contracting “Pointer’s rot”, a crippling lung disease caused by inhaling dust from ground metal and grindstone.

What is a hospital ship?

Posted by: Roger PooleWed, 24 Dec 2014

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus, a ship that has been helping with the Ebola crisis in west Africa, is equipped with a 100-bed medical complex, but it cannot be classified as a hospital ship. Roger Poole explains.

Phantom pharmacist returns to scene of his error

Posted by: Roger PoolePJ, 1 November 2014, Vol 293, No 7834

Roger Poole tells the spooky story of the pharmacist who hanged himself after accidentally poisoning his apprentice.

Finger snap silenced by Ebola

Posted by: Roger PooleTue, 14 Oct 2014

People in Liberia have been advised not to shake hands in the traditional manner because of fears that this may spread the Ebola virus, writes Roger Poole.

Collision avoidance using optic flow

Posted by: Roger PooleFri, 19 Sep 2014

Roger Poole explains how bumblebees and zebrafish manage to navigate their surroundings while avoiding collisions

On parade with Marmite

Posted by: Roger PooleFri, 19 Sep 2014

Marmite contains a high concentration of thiamine. Roger Poole explains why soldiers in World War I had to eat it — like it or not.

Components from renewable resources

Posted by: Roger PooleMon, 18 Aug 2014

Developing viable alternatives from renewable sources is a priority and recent reports of a partnership between the Ford Motor Company and Heinz to use waste tomato material gives us an idea of what might happen in the future

New use for old drug

Posted by: Roger PooleMon, 18 Aug 2014

Roger Poole describes how neostigmine, administered as a nasal spray, can help save the lives of snakebite victims

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