Monthly Archives: June 2009

Low Doses of Allergens May Cure Food Allergies ?

Researchers have found some success treating allergic children with very, very low doses of the allergenic substances such as milk or peanuts. One study had 33 children with peanut allergies eat peanut protein powder equivalent to one-thousandth of a peanut. Four of the children had to drop out because of allergic reactions, but six of nine children who stuck with the program for a few years are currently reaction-free regarding peanuts.
……..eating peanut butter sandwitch
Previous attempts to desensitize people to food allergies often triggered potentially life-threatening reactions. But the new studies use just the protein within foods such as milk and peanuts that trigger allergic reactions.

Researchers still consider this to be a very early and experimental method, and warn parents not to try it at home. There is still always the risk of triggering dangerous allergic reactions.

Sources:
Live Science June 9, 2009
The Washington Post June 9, 2009

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Hi-tech ‘Trojan Horse’ Can Kill Cancer Cells

Australian researchers are set to begin human trials of a tiny nano-cell that acts as a “Trojan horse” against cancer cells; a breakthrough they say may curb the need for debilitating chemotherapy.

The technology could eventually allow cancer sufferers to receive treatment as outpatients, rather than being hospitalised for lengthy bouts of chemotherapy, according to the researchers.

Himanshu Brahmbhatt from Sydney-based biotechnology company EnGeneIC said the research — outlined in the journal Nature Biotechnology — had the potential to reduce the side-effects of cancer treatment and make it cheaper.

Brahmbhatt said the technology allowed medics to target cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue, a major problem with existing chemotherapy treatments.

“Essentially you need to get the drug directly inside the cancer cell and not slug the body,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

While researchers have been working on using nano-cells against cancer for at least five years, Brahmbhatt said the latest version had proved 100% effective treating cancers in mice which were resistant to conventional chemotherapy.

The cells were loaded with anti-cancer medications and deployed in “waves” to combat cancers, he said.

“The first wave of Trojan horses goes in there and disables the resistance mechanisms inside the cancer cell,” he said.

“Interestingly, these cancer cells are totally receptive to repeated waves of these Trojan horses.

“We can send in these nano-cells again and again and each time we can load them up with different types of armaments against cancer.”

The cells will be tested on long-term cancer patients at three Melbourne hospitals later this year.

Brahmbhatt said the nano-cells used less drugs than conventional treatments, making them cheaper to administer.

The targeted treatment also means they have less side-effects than chemotherapy, he said.

“(Cancer treatment) effectively can change to literally an outpatient therapy, where the patient simply comes in once or twice a week,” Brahmbhatt said.

“You can receive the treatment in a very short period of time and you can go about your normal life and not have any of these horrific toxic side effects.”

Source: The Times Of India

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Washing Hands Properly Stops Contagious Disease to Spread

Most people know that washing your hands can help to prevent passing on nasty viruses and bacteria. But how many people just flick their hands under a dribbling tap and think that will do? Now hopeless hand washers will be caught with glowing green fingers by a good hand-washing test.
………….-washing-hands
A new hand-washing training kit uses a cream containing a harmless dye that glows green in ultraviolet light to show up shoddy hand washing. Demonstrators put a blob of cream on people’s hands and send them away to wash them. When they come back, they are often amazed at how much glowing green dye remains on their fingers. If the dye were a microbe, they would be standing a good chance of infecting themselves and passing it on to other people.

The glowing cream can also be used to show how viruses such as those that cause colds and flu can survive on hard surfaces and be spread from hand to hand. Just touching a doorknob that has had a little of the special cream applied to it can make people’s fingers turn green under UV light — and then when they touch another person’s hand the green glow gets passed on.

Sources:
Science Daily June 3, ’09
Society for General Microbiology June3,’09

Irritability ‘Key to Bipolar Disorder’

Parents, please note — want to know where your child is suffering from bipolar disorder? It’s simple for a study says that irritability should be considered when diagnosing for the condition.
………………irritable children
Researchers at Bradley Hospital in Providence have found that some kids with bipolar disorder experience manic episodes without extreme elation — one of the hallmarks of the disorder — and are diagnosed based on irritable mood.

“Diagnosing kids with bipolar disorder is challenging. One of the chief controversies is whether irritability should be included among the criteria for this diagnosis because it can also overlap with a number of other psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“Our findings confirm that while irritable-only mania is uncommon, it does exist — particularly in younger children — and should be considered in a bipolar diagnosis,” Jeffrey Hunt, who led the study, said in a statement.

For their study, the researchers quantified frequency and severity of manic symptoms — including irritability and elation — in 361 children, all between the ages of 7 and 17, already diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The researchers found 10% of children were irritable-only and about 15% were elated-only. Nearly three-quarters experienced both elation and irritability, the findings revealed.

The study has been published in the latest edition of the ‘Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry‘.

Source:
BBC NEWS:28Th. June. ’09

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Butterfly Weed

The entire blooming flower head of the Butterf...

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Asclepias tuberosa
Family: Asclepiadaceae (ass-kle-pee-ad-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Common Name: Butterfly Weed,Butterfly Milkweed
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: tuberosa (too-ber-OH-suh) (Info)
Habitat:Dry open areas.Native  to Eastern and southern United States

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial which can reach 64cm in height (25inches) .The stem is hairy and branches near the top forming several flower heads. The juice is milky.Leaves are evergreen and  colorful  and fragrant.The leaves are alternate. Leaves can reach 13cm in length (5inches). Each narrow, firm leaf is entire.The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 1cm wide (0.4 inches). They are bright orange. Blooms first appear in early summer and continue into late summer. The corolla reflexed exposing the five erect hoods, the horn is small.Fruits are showy and are edible.A pod filled with tiny seeds each with a tuff of silky hairs which become airborne.


Click to see the ifferent pictures of Butterfly weed:

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Historical Lore: The pods of milkweeds may be eaten if boiled twice discarding the first water to remove the bitter taste.

Medical Uses: Listed in the U. S. Pharmacopeia in the 19th century the root was once widely used for lung problems such as asthma and bronchitis. It was made into a tea or sometimes eaten raw. Large doses of the root were sometimes used as a purgative. The root was also applied to sores.

Omaha Indians ate the raw root to treat bronchitis and taught the pioneers to do the same. It is an expectorant; it promotes coughing that raises phlegm. It also contains cardiac glycosides and an estrogen-like substance. It is a component of Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound (1875 to 1960) advertised for use in “womb trouble, sick headache, and nervous breakdowns”.

Warning: Contains cardiac glycosides which are toxic in large amounts.Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/73/
http://www.mobot.org/GARDENINGHELP/PLANTFINDER/Plant.asp?code=B490
http://2bnthewild.com/plants/H166.htm
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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