The popular spice turmeric packs more than just flavor — it shows promise in fighting devastating viruses, Mason researchers recently discovered.
Curcumin, found in turmeric, stopped the potentially deadly Rift Valley Fever virus from multiplying in infected cells, says Aarthi Narayanan, lead investigator on a new study and a research assistant professor in Mason’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases.
Mosquito-borne Rift Valley Fever virus (RVF) is an acute, fever- causing virus that affects domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats, as well as humans. Results of the study were publishedthis month in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
“Growing up in India, I was given turmeric all the time,” says Narayanan, who has spent the past 18 months working on the project. “Every time my son has a throat infection, I give (turmeric) to him.”
There’s more work to do before curcumin-based pharmaceuticals become commonplace, Narayanan emphasizes. She plans to test 10 different versions of curcumin to determine which one works the best. She also intends to apply the research to other viruses, including HIV.
Narayanan has long wanted to explore the infection-fighting properties of turmeric, in particular its key component, curcumin. “It is often not taken seriously because it’s a spice,” she says.
But science is transforming the spice from folk medicine to one that could help a patient’s body fight off a virus because it can prevent the virus from taking over healthy cells. These “broad-spectrum inhibitors” work by defeating a wide array of viruses.
“Curcumin is, by its very nature, broad spectrum,” Narayanan says.
“However, in the published article, we provide evidence that curcumin may interfere with how the virus manipulates the human cell to stop the cell from responding to the infection.”
Kylene Kehn-Hall, a co-investigator on the study, adds, “We are very excited about this work, as curcumin not only dramatically inhibits RVFV replication in cell culture but also demonstrates efficacy against RVFV in a mouse model.”
CHICAGO — A new paper just published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry uses extensive Freedom of Information Act findings to detail an extremely troubling off-label medical intervention employed in the U.S. on pregnant women to intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for sex normalization purposes.
The paper is authored by Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is co-authored by Ellen Feder, associate professor of philosophy and religion at American University, and Anne Tamar-Mattis, executive director of Advocates for Informed Choice.
The pregnant women targeted are at risk for having a child born with the condition congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), an endocrinological condition that can result in female fetuses being born with intersex or more male-typical genitals and brains. Women genetically identified as being at risk are given dexamethasone, a synthetic steroid, off-label starting as early as week five of the first trimester to try to “normalize” the development of those fetuses, which are female and CAH-affected. Because the drug must be administered before doctors can know if the fetus is female or CAH-affected, only one in eight of those exposed are the target type of fetus.
The off-label intervention does not prevent CAH; it aims only at sex normalization. Like Diethylstilbestrol (DES) — which is now known to have caused major fertility problems and fatal cancers among those exposed in utero — dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid. Dexamethasone is known — and in this case intended — to cross the placental barrier and change fetal development. Experts estimate the glucocorticoid dose reaching the fetus is 60 to 100 times what the body would normally experience.
The new report provides clear evidence that:
- For more than 10 years, medical societies repeatedly but ultimately impotently expressed high alarm at use of this off-label intervention outside prospective clinical trials, because it is so high risk and because nearly 90 percent of those exposed cannot benefit.
- Mothers offered the intervention have been told it “has been found safe for mother and child” but in fact there has never been any such scientific evidence.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has indicated it cannot stop advertising of this off-label use as “safe for mother and child” because the advertising is done by a clinician not affiliated with the drug maker.
- A just-out report from Sweden in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism documents a nearly 20 percent “serious adverse event” rate among the children exposed in utero.
- Clinician proponents of the intervention have been interested in whether the intervention can reduce rates of tomboyism, lesbianism and bisexuality, characteristics they have termed “behavioral masculinization.”
- The National Institutes of Health has funded research to see if these attempts to prevent “behavioral masculinization” with prenatal dexamethasone are “successful.”
- The United States’ systems designed to prevent another tragedy like DES and thalidomide — involving de facto experimentation on pregnant women and their fetuses — appear to be broken and ineffectual.
In this year’s annual mobile-phone throwing contest held in Finland Ere Karjalainen has smashed the world record by throwing his phone 101.46 meters.
Ryanomics is and always has been a con game, although to be fair, it has become even more of a con since Mr. Ryan joined the ticket. …To focus things a bit more, let’s talk — as most budget discussions do — about what’s supposed to happen over the next 10 years. …On the tax side, Mr. Ryan proposes big cuts in tax rates on top income brackets and corporations….and the revenue loss from these cuts comes to $4.3 trillion over the next decade. On the spending side, Mr. Ryan proposes huge cuts in Medicaid, turning it over to the states while sharply reducing funding relative to projections under current policy. That saves around $800 billion. He proposes similar harsh cuts in food stamps, saving a further $130 billion or so, plus a grab-bag of other cuts, such as reduced aid to college students. Let’s be generous and say that all these cuts would save $1 trillion. On top of this, Mr. Ryan includes the $716 billion in Medicare savings that are part of Obamacare, even though he wants to scrap everything else in that act…..so if we add up Mr. Ryan’s specific proposals….he effect would be to increase the deficit by around two and a half trillion dollars.”
It’s worth recalling how Ryan became a semi-household name. It wasn’t a Republican strategy to put him forward. As Ryan Lizza recounts in his New Yorker profile of Ryan, it was a Democratic strategy to put Ryan forward. Ryan, he writes, “was caught between the demands of the Republican leaders, who wanted nothing to do with his Roadmap, and his own belief that the Party had to offer a sweeping alternative vision to Obama’s. Ryan soon had an unlikely ally, in Obama himself.” While Republicans were trying to keep Ryan quiet, the Obama administration was trying to make him famous. They saw his plans as the clearest distillation of the GOP’s governing philosophy — and they thought it would drive voters towards the Democrats. We’ll know in November whether that was a genius strategy or an epic miscalculation.
It seems every time I come across a story about the Mars Curiosity rover there will be many people commenting on the technology used starting with "Why don’t they just..?" and usually pointing out things like: the processor in their smart phone is way faster than the one of Mars, or they have way more memory on their iPad, or their digital camera is way better than the one sending back pictures. These "Why don’t they just..?" questions are both annoying and to be expected.
A good way to see how hard it is to build and operate a rover would be to build one designed for operation in an inhospitable part of Earth. Launch it via a high-altitude balloon with parachute descent and then operate it without GPS over a slow, high latency radio link.
This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution. Factories like the one here in the Netherlands are a striking counterpoint to those used by Apple and other consumer electronics giants, which employ hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers.
“With these machines, we can make any consumer device in the world,” said Binne Visser, an electrical engineer who manages the Philips assembly line in Drachten.
In their minds, the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today. The analogy is not only to the industrialization of agriculture but also to the electrification of manufacturing in the past century, Mr. McAfee argues.
I’m intentionally not including the quote from Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, as I think his crudeness distracts from the big picture. But the impact of this in China is going to be interesting. Outsourcing of manufacturing to China has been a huge boon to poor people there. (The working conditions may be questionable, but it has undoubtedly raised the average quality of life, no?) Are robotics going to interrupt that development? Is the Chinese government going to respond to retain employment?
The last time I ate a hamburger, I spent the night in the emergency room. There wasn’t anything wrong with the hamburger itself—aside from being a bit overdone—but it sent me into anaphylactic shock.It wasn’t always this way. Before last July’s “Hamburger Incident,” as I’ve come to think of it, meat and I had a long and happy history together. I grew up in a steak-and-potatoes sort of family, and one of my proudest achievements is chowing down on llama meat when I was on a college trip in South America. At the time of the Hamburger Incident, I had just returned to my native North Carolina after three years’ exile in the West, and I was looking forward to eating proper pulled pork barbecue again almost as much as I was looking forward to seeing my family.Unbeknownst to me, a recent bug bite had squelched my dreams of greasy, vinegar-sauced deliciousness. It turned out, I eventually learned, that thanks to a single nip from Amblyomma americanum, the lone star tick, I was now violently allergic to meat.
An 87-year-old Denver man was formally charged with multiple marijuana-related felonies on Friday: possession with intent to distribute-more than 100 pounds, cultivation-more than 30 plants, and possession of marijuana-more than twelve ounces.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office says that Edward Bogunovich was growing more than 400 marijuana plants in the backyard of his west Denver home. The number of plants exceeds that which “he was allowed for medical cultivation,” according to a Denver DA’s Office press release.
According to Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, a medical marijuana patient “may engage in the medical use of marijuana, with no more marijuana than is medically necessary to address a debilitating medical condition.” Further, section 14 states that a patient’s medical use of marijuana is lawful as long as the patient has “no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana” and “no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a useable form of marijuana.”
Bogunovich is also accused of possessing tools and material indicative of “distribution beyond personal and provider use,” the Denver DA’s Office says.
Bogunovich has been released from the Denver Detention Center on a $10,000 bond.
olice say a man accidentally shot himself in the buttocks at a Nevada movie theater during a showing of “The Bourne Legacy.”
Police in Sparks, Nev., say the 56-year-old man’s injuries are not life-threatening and no others were hurt.
Authorities say the man had a permit to carry a concealed firearm. The man told officers the gun fell from his pocket Tuesday night as he was adjusting himself in the seat and that it discharged when it dropped to the floor.
Another proud member of the well-regulated militia.
Rep. Todd Akin, the newly-christened GOP Senate nominee in Missouri, said in an interview airing Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy.
Explaining his no-exceptions policy on abortions, Akin was asked why he opposes abortion even when the pregnancy is the result of rape.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin added: “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Akin issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying he misspoke.
Or, in other words, somebody smacked him in the head and told him what a stupid fuck he was to say so in an election year.
Christ, what an asshole.