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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

Spider peptides battle superbugs and cancer

As antibiotic resistance rises and fears over superbugs grow, scientists are looking for new treatment options. One area of focus is antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which could someday be an alternative to currently prescribed antibiotics, many of which are becoming increasingly useless against some bacteria. Now, a team reports in ACS Chemical Biology that they have improved the antimicrobial — and anticancer — properties of an AMP from a spider.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Full Story

House dust spurs growth of fat cells in lab tests

Poor diet and a lack of physical activity are major contributors to the world’s obesity epidemic, but researchers have also identified common environmental pollutants that could play a role. Now one team reports in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that small amounts of house dust containing many of these compounds can spur fat cells to accumulate more triglycerides, or fat, in a lab dish.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Full Story

The Fart Pill: Could It Get The Nobel Prize?

Could hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the gas that causes the odour of farts, ever receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine? Dr. Rui Wang, an internationally known Canadian researcher, reports that one day we may have a “fart pill” that fights one of our great killers, hypertension.

Passing flatus affects Kings, Queens and the rest of us. Who hasn’t been at a dinner party when we’d prefer to be in the Sahara Desert so we could pass flatus? It’s also hard to research how much flatus is normal. After all, no doctor wants to say, “I’m a specialist in farts.” But research reveals that most people fart 15 to 25 times a day.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, August 14, 2017 - Full Story

New sensors could enable more affordable detection of pollution and diseases

When it comes to testing for cancer, environmental pollution and food contaminants, traditional sensors can help. The challenges are that they often are bulky, expensive, non-intuitive and complicated. Now, one team reports in ACS Sensors that portable pressure-based detectors coupled with smartphone software could provide a simpler, more affordable alternative while still maintaining sensitivity.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, August 10, 2017 - Full Story

Exposure to toxins in e-cig vapor varies depending on scenario

E-cigarettes are often perceived to be less harmful than their traditional counterparts, but they could still expose the people who “vape” and those around them to harmful compounds. Researchers now report in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that heavy use and secondhand emissions could lead to inhaled levels of toxins that exceed set exposure limits. But under typical use, secondhand exposure would have a lower impact on health than second- and third-hand cigarette smoke.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Full Story

An end to cavities for people with sensitive teeth?

An ice cold drink is refreshing in the summer, but for people with sensitive teeth, it can cause a painful jolt in the mouth. This condition can be treated, but many current approaches don’t last long. Now researchers report in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a new material with an extract from green tea that could fix this problem — and help prevent cavities in these susceptible patients.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - Full Story

Puritanical Lies about Alcohol

Are you becoming as skeptical as I am about public information? Fake political news? Alternative facts about the state of the world’s economy? So, now I ask how honest is medical news?  Of course everyone knows that consuming stupid amounts of alcohol is unhealthy. But puritans and some doctors can’t accept the proven fact that moderate amounts of alcohol can prolong life.

Professor Keith Scott-Mumby, an internationally known U.K. expert on alternative medicine, echoes what I have written over the years, that people who drink moderately live longer on average than teetotalers or those who drink to excess. In fact, there are over 20 studies that confirm this. In court it’s a criminal offense to withhold truth, so why doesn’t the same principle hold true in medicine?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, August 7, 2017 - Full Story

Synthesizing the human genome from scratch

For the past 15 years, synthetic biologists have been figuring out how to synthesize an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. They’ve tackled the genomes of microbes, but now one large consortium has its sights set on the human genome. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, explores Genome Project-write (GP-write) and the technical and ethical challenges it faces.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, August 4, 2017 - Full Story

Indoor air in schools could add to children’s exposure to PCBs

The U.S. banned PCBs nearly four decades ago, but they persist in the environment and have been found in animals and humans since then. Now researchers report in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that concentrations of airborne PCBs inside schools could result in some students inhaling the compounds at higher levels than they would consume through their diets. Exposure through both are lower than set limits, but cumulative amounts, researchers caution, could be concerning.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, August 4, 2017 - Full Story