Phony Pharmaceuticals, Counterfeit Medicine as Dangerous as Street Drugs.

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Fraudulent pharmacies have popped up all over the internet, to take advantage of the high profits that can be made off of selling pharmaceutical drugs. These sites often offer cheap prices and discounts on otherwise expensive medications. They also usually allow the purchase of prescription medicines without the need for a prescription. Often-times the medicines sold online are counterfeit medicines, and while they may seem like a suitable alternative to expensive prescription drugs, they are harmful. The manufacture, warehousing, distribution, and sale of counterfeit drugs is a criminal enterprise, and worldwide problem affecting the healthcare system. Globally, the counterfeit pharmaceutical drug trade is a multibillion dollar industry, and ten percent of the worlds medicines are counterfeit.

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#Phdlife: Friday In the Lab

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I finally completed sample collection for all my experimental treatment groups. Very taxing undertaking, as I had four groups done in triplicate and the corresponding appropriate controls.

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It’s Friday, and I forget that means nothing to me, because I’m not on a 9 to 5 schedule. So, there went any lofty ideas I may have had about taking it easy, and having a half day. I decided to go for the three-hour colorimetric assay – decided to take the productive I want to graduate route. The only problem is that it is still Friday, and some people leave by 6pm and it was already 3pm and I still had sample preparation to complete before I could even get started. Continue reading

The Truth about Cow’s Milk

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The public has a negative perception of drinking animal milk, precisely cow’s milk, with many critics citing that no other mammal, besides humans, continue to drink milk into adulthood. Milk has also gained a bad reputation for containing hormones. The natural assumption that has followed, is that milk is not healthy or beneficial for humans. Cows Milk has been associated with possibly causing increased risks for developing Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and certain cancers, but what exactly is in milk, and is drinking milk good for you?

What is milk? Continue reading

Heroin Chic: The Art of Imitating Life

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images-7.jpegHeroin use in the United States has grown over the past decade into a national epidemic. What was once viewed as a drug of abuse for indigent war veterans in the 1970s and Black urban males in the 1980s has revealed itself to be in all geographical regions, in both genders, and in all races; but primarily amongst Caucasians. While the current heroin epidemic is far from glorified, there was a time —not so long ago, when such addiction was trendy.

In the 1990’s the opioid narcotic heroin was glamorized by pop culture where it featured heavily in “drug movies” such as, The Basketball Diaries, Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, and Requiem for a Dream, and adopted in the Fashion and Art as what came to be known as: “Heroin Chic”.  Heroin Chic was blamed for the highest resurgence of heroin use for youths since the 1970’s. Continue reading

Fetal Bovine Serum Price Increase Impacts Research and Development

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The price of Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) has drastically increased! At my university, we typically requested FBS from a large in-house supply purchased wholesale from an external source. One reason for this was to maintain consistency, as fetal bovine serum tends to vary from batch to batch. However, purchasing this way kept cost down ­– one half liter bottle of FBS could run around 500 dollars. Recently, the department sent out a notification that each lab would no longer be able to obtain a bottle of FBS, without it counting against its weekly budget. Going forward, 200 dollars will be deducted, reducing the overall funds available for the weekly purchase of other lab supplies.

Yesterday, I asked the Chairman’s secretary why this change had been made. She only knew that the price had gone up exponentially, but not why. So, I decided to do some investigatory work of my own. People often don’t understand that research is very expensive and time consuming work. An increase in the cost of supplies, means a decrease in how far the budget can be stretched, and an increase in the time it takes to get in essential supplies. Continue reading

Bath Salts Still Responsible for the Zombie Apocalypse

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Bath salts” may still be responsible for the zombie apocalypse. A Florida man ate another mans face, again! The first time it happened was in Miami, 2012. Most recently 19-year-old, Austin Harrouff attacked and stabbed to death a couple in their own garage, and then commenced to eat the face of the male victim. The last time designer drugs commonly referred to as “bath salts” were implicated in the cause of such heinous cannibalism. The toxicology reports however, did not find the drugs in his system, and now that it has happened again, people are hesitant to blame the incident on a drug induced psychosis, but are suspecting a mental health illness.

However, it is very likely that bath salts are the cause and I’m going to tell you why. Continue reading

Film on Apples and Why Fruits Spoil

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So, I was tagged in a users video on Facebook captioned “Look what happens when you pour boiling water over an apple! Is this wax? What do you think it is?”

As the water was poured over the apple, a filmy substance began to whiter away from the skin of the apple.  Some people were genuinely shocked to discover that a wax was overlaid on the surface of the apple (in all actuality it did appear alarmingly gross and disconcerting). This wax is what is referred to in the food industry as edible surface coatings or biopolymers.

Why are fruits and vegetables coated?

To explain why fruits and vegetables are coated, it first needs to be explained why fruits spoil or decay. People often don’t think of it this way, but fruits and vegetables are alive. They are literally living tissue just like you and I, and they undergo respiration. Once fruits and vegetables are picked or harvested, they continue to respire. Apart from the “vine” they no longer have an external source of energy; they cannot eat or drink. Instead they used up their internal supply of stored starches and sugars. As they use up this supply they begin to age and decay. Essentially they die!  Continue reading

The U.N. Admits What Science Already Proved about Cholera in Haiti

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January 12, 2010 Haiti was hit with a massive and devastating earthquake. It’s expected that following such a natural disaster, homes, public buildings, and roads would be damaged, and many lives lost in the rubble. One can even imagine that people will be without lights, food, and housing for extended periods of time, but what is forgotten is that in the aftermath of  an earthquake, there comes flooding. Flooding of rivers and land, and the flooding of humanitarian aid workers from afar. Tragically, this flooding has led to the introduction of a pathogen into Haiti that has claimed the lives of many and complicated the recovery from the 2010 earthquake, that leveled the country. The pathogen responsible is Vibrio Cholerae, which causes Cholera. Although pandemic, Cholera had not been seen in Haiti in over a century.

Since Haiti had not been touched by this disease in a century, then where did the  Cholera come from?

Recently, the United Nations has publicly acknowledged and taken responsibility for the outbreak in Haiti; though it had already been researched and reported that Cholera entered Haiti with the influx of U.N. troops from parts of the world where Cholera is endemic.

 

The first victims lived near a base housing 454 United Nations peacekeepers freshly arrived from Nepal, where a cholera outbreak was underway, and waste from the base often leaked into the river. Numerous scientists have since argued that the base was the only plausible source of the outbreakNew York Times

 

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Psychologically Transmitted Disease: Heroin Addiction

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Heroin has regained the attention of the media, as its use is now reported to be of epidemic proportions. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the amount of deaths related to opioids including heroin has quadrupled since 1999 to 2014. Today the incidence of heroin abuse is seen primarily in White males, in young people —both male and female, ages 18-25, and in states occupying the Midwest region of the  United States. The reason for this recent epidemic has been associated with the use of prescription opioid painkillers. In fact, non-medical use of prescription opioids is a major risk factor for heroin use.  In addition, the cost of heroin has decreased,  its purity increased, and its availability is still readily attainable.

With so many people currently dying from heroin, government officials and policy makers are struggling with how to cope with an epidemic that is neither air-borne, vector-borne, or food-borne, but born out of the psychology of pain. Recently, media attention and public debate has surrounded the establishment of heroin clinics as a solution to the death crisis. Addicts may go to heroin clinics to receive injections of heroin, and in case of overdose, the antidote Naloxone (Narcan). Astonishing as it may seem, this is not the first time there has been a heroin epidemic, and neither is the idea of giving heroin to addicts at heroin clinics novel. Continue reading