Trazodone, a common antidepressant, at 100x magnification, by Lars Bech of Naarden, The Netherlands. 

Trazodone, a common antidepressant, at 100x magnification, by Lars Bech of Naarden, The Netherlands. 

Are we at risk of losing all of our progress with antibiotics?
According to Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization, a world where our antibiotics fail to heal is inching closer to reality, as bacteria build resistances to antibiotics that could render every antibiotic scientists have painstakingly developed useless. Chan states that it could be “the end of modern medicine as we know it,” making routine operations impossible, canceling out the utility of antibiotics against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and even simple cuts.

According to Chan:


Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill. Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials. Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units. For patients infected with some drug-resistant pathogens, mortality has been shown to increase by around 50 per cent. A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it.

Read More

Are we at risk of losing all of our progress with antibiotics?

According to Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization, a world where our antibiotics fail to heal is inching closer to reality, as bacteria build resistances to antibiotics that could render every antibiotic scientists have painstakingly developed useless. Chan states that it could be “the end of modern medicine as we know it,” making routine operations impossible, canceling out the utility of antibiotics against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and even simple cuts.

According to Chan:

Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill. Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials. Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units. For patients infected with some drug-resistant pathogens, mortality has been shown to increase by around 50 per cent. A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it.

Read More

An ectopic pregnancy is an abnormal pregnancy that occurs outside the mother’s uterus, ultimately resulting in the fetus’s inability to survive, often failing to develop at all. These pregnancies most commonly occur with the fallopian tubes, but have been known, in rare cases, to occur in the ovary, stomach area, or cervix.
Otherwise known as tubal pregnancies, these are often caused by blockage or slow egg movement through the fallopian tubes, often due to hormonal imbalances. But some of these pregnancies can be caused by birth defects of the fallopian tubes, complications of a ruptured appendix, endometriosis, or scarring caused by previous pelvic surgery.
Ectopic pregnancies occur in 1%-2.5% of all pregnancies, with higher risk having been observed in women over 35, women with multiple sexual partners, and pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization.

An ectopic pregnancy is an abnormal pregnancy that occurs outside the mother’s uterus, ultimately resulting in the fetus’s inability to survive, often failing to develop at all. These pregnancies most commonly occur with the fallopian tubes, but have been known, in rare cases, to occur in the ovary, stomach area, or cervix.

Otherwise known as tubal pregnancies, these are often caused by blockage or slow egg movement through the fallopian tubes, often due to hormonal imbalances. But some of these pregnancies can be caused by birth defects of the fallopian tubes, complications of a ruptured appendix, endometriosis, or scarring caused by previous pelvic surgery.

Ectopic pregnancies occur in 1%-2.5% of all pregnancies, with higher risk having been observed in women over 35, women with multiple sexual partners, and pregnancies resulting from in vitro fertilization.

jtotheizzoe:

How To Synthesize Sudafed from Meth
Frustrated by how difficult it is to buy Sudafed these days? Tired of being looked at like a meth addict when you sign your name and give away half of your personal information to get some simple nasal decongestant? So were these chemists*

A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material.  Moreover,according to government maintained statistics, N-methylmphetamine is becoming an increasingly attractive starting material for pseudoephedrine, as the availability of Nmethylmphetamine has remained high while prices have dropped and purity has increased [2].  We present here a convenient series of transformations using reagents which can be found in most well stocked organic chemistry laboratories to produce psuedoephedrine from N-methylamphetamine.

A journal article worth of The Onion. Please don’t try this. Please.
(* and by “these chemists” I of course mean “people who do not actually exist”)

THEY STOLE MY LIFE’S WORK!

jtotheizzoe:

How To Synthesize Sudafed from Meth

Frustrated by how difficult it is to buy Sudafed these days? Tired of being looked at like a meth addict when you sign your name and give away half of your personal information to get some simple nasal decongestant? So were these chemists*

A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material.  Moreover,according to government maintained statistics, N-methylmphetamine is becoming an increasingly attractive starting material for pseudoephedrine, as the availability of Nmethylmphetamine has remained high while prices have dropped and purity has increased [2].  We present here a convenient series of transformations using reagents which can be found in most well stocked organic chemistry laboratories to produce psuedoephedrine from N-methylamphetamine.

A journal article worth of The Onion. Please don’t try this. Please.

(* and by “these chemists” I of course mean “people who do not actually exist”)

THEY STOLE MY LIFE’S WORK!

This is a colored X-ray of a patient who swallowed several foreign objects such as a spoon and a blade. (via)

This is a colored X-ray of a patient who swallowed several foreign objects such as a spoon and a blade. (via)

Pictured here is a colored X-ray of a 60 year-old schizophrenic woman’s chest after inhaling a foreign body that was 24mm diameter. The object is visible lodged in the bronchus of the lung. (via)

Pictured here is a colored X-ray of a 60 year-old schizophrenic woman’s chest after inhaling a foreign body that was 24mm diameter. The object is visible lodged in the bronchus of the lung. (via)

Skin Cultures
Once upon a time, when a patient required suffered from severe burns, surgeons would be forced to graft pigskin as temporary bandage of sorts. But with modern technologies, we have the ability to remove human skin from alternate locations of the body and even use substitutes engineered through either synthetic means or from collagen of certain animals, such as sharks or cows. 

Skin Cultures

Once upon a time, when a patient required suffered from severe burns, surgeons would be forced to graft pigskin as temporary bandage of sorts. But with modern technologies, we have the ability to remove human skin from alternate locations of the body and even use substitutes engineered through either synthetic means or from collagen of certain animals, such as sharks or cows. 

Via the Center for Disease Control:

This patient’s hand reveals a scabies infestation of the mite species Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis.
The scabies rash manifests itself as pimple-like eruptions, especially within the webbing between the fingers, the skin folds on the wrist, elbow or knee, the penis, breast, and shoulder blades.

Via the Center for Disease Control:

This patient’s hand reveals a scabies infestation of the mite species Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis.

The scabies rash manifests itself as pimple-like eruptions, especially within the webbing between the fingers, the skin folds on the wrist, elbow or knee, the penis, breast, and shoulder blades.

Rare Ectopic Pregnancy Deaths Rise Abruptly in Florida

The rate of ectopic pregnancy deaths rose abruptly in Florida in 2009 and 2010, according to a new government report. Ectopic pregnancy is a rare condition where a fertilized egg implants in a woman’s body in a place other than the uterus, such as in an oviduct.
There were 11 ectopic pregnancy deaths in Florida in 2009 and 2010; there were 13 deaths during the 10-year period between 1999 and 2008 in the state, according to the report.
That means Florida’s mortality rate from ectopic pregnancy in 2009 and 2010 reached 2.5 deaths per 100,000 live births, climbing from 0.6 deaths per 100,000 live births for the years between 1999 and 2008, which was in line with the national mortality rate for the condition at the time.
The increase appears to be linked with illicit drug use and delays in seeking health care, the researchers concluded, after studying information surrounding the deaths.

Image: Ultrasound of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy with pelvic hemorrhage.

Rare Ectopic Pregnancy Deaths Rise Abruptly in Florida

The rate of ectopic pregnancy deaths rose abruptly in Florida in 2009 and 2010, according to a new government report. Ectopic pregnancy is a rare condition where a fertilized egg implants in a woman’s body in a place other than the uterus, such as in an oviduct.

There were 11 ectopic pregnancy deaths in Florida in 2009 and 2010; there were 13 deaths during the 10-year period between 1999 and 2008 in the state, according to the report.

That means Florida’s mortality rate from ectopic pregnancy in 2009 and 2010 reached 2.5 deaths per 100,000 live births, climbing from 0.6 deaths per 100,000 live births for the years between 1999 and 2008, which was in line with the national mortality rate for the condition at the time.

The increase appears to be linked with illicit drug use and delays in seeking health care, the researchers concluded, after studying information surrounding the deaths.

Image: Ultrasound of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy with pelvic hemorrhage.

Allergic to His Own Semen?
Yes, it’s possible. While it’s more common for women to be allergic to semen, some men have reported allergic reactions to their own semen. 
Last year, two male cases of postorgasmic illness syndrome reported to Journal of Sexual Medicine were confirmed by blood tests. These men experienced flu-like symptoms, in addition to eye and nose reactions, anytime between seconds and hours after ejaculation.
Treatment is available for the unlucky few afflicted. Hyposensitation therapy, which involves injecting small doses of their own semen while over time increasing the dosage, led to significant improvement after three years of treatment.

Allergic to His Own Semen?

Yes, it’s possible. While it’s more common for women to be allergic to semen, some men have reported allergic reactions to their own semen. 

Last year, two male cases of postorgasmic illness syndrome reported to Journal of Sexual Medicine were confirmed by blood tests. These men experienced flu-like symptoms, in addition to eye and nose reactions, anytime between seconds and hours after ejaculation.

Treatment is available for the unlucky few afflicted. Hyposensitation therapy, which involves injecting small doses of their own semen while over time increasing the dosage, led to significant improvement after three years of treatment.

Via the Center for Disease Control:

This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by norovirus virions, or virus particles.
Noroviruses belong to the genus Norovirus, and the family Caliciviridae. They are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, nonenveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Norovirus was recently approved as the official genus name for the group of viruses provisionally described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV). See PHIL 10703 for a black and white version of this image.
The symptoms of norovirus illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults.

Via the Center for Disease Control:

This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by norovirus virions, or virus particles.

Noroviruses belong to the genus Norovirus, and the family Caliciviridae. They are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, nonenveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Norovirus was recently approved as the official genus name for the group of viruses provisionally described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV). See PHIL 10703 for a black and white version of this image.

The symptoms of norovirus illness usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, children experience more vomiting than adults.

Via the Center for Disease Control:

This 1995 transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphologic changes in this tissue sample isolate brought on due to an Ebola hemorrhagic fever infection, including the presence of numbers of Ebola virions.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976.
The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. The virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called the Filoviridae. There are four identified subtypes of Ebola virus. Three of the four have caused disease in humans: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, and Ebola-Ivory Coast. The fourth, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.

Via the Center for Disease Control:

This 1995 transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphologic changes in this tissue sample isolate brought on due to an Ebola hemorrhagic fever infection, including the presence of numbers of Ebola virions.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976.

The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Africa, where it was first recognized. The virus is one of two members of a family of RNA viruses called the Filoviridae. There are four identified subtypes of Ebola virus. Three of the four have caused disease in humans: Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan, and Ebola-Ivory Coast. The fourth, Ebola-Reston, has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.

Unethical Testing of STDs

In the 1940s and 50s, John Cutler led many health studies considered highly unethical by today standards, all of which were approved and funded by the US Public Health Service.

In 1944, Cutler and his team began work on a prison experiment in Terre Haute, Indiana. This study infected inmate volunteers with STDs to test a prophylactic method.

Two years later, in 1946, Cutler began studies in Guatemala that eventually exposed 1,308 prisoners, soldiers, and patients at a psychiatric hospital to STDs. In addition, his team took blood from 1,384 orphans and other children to assess STD diagnostic tests. According to evidence, all of these studies took place without the consent of the subjects.

After seven years, Cutler averted his attention to Sing Sing prison in New York, where he started work on an experiment in which syphilis is injected into inmate volunteers, some of whom had received an experimental vaccine.

Read about these experiments and more

A Closer Look at Who’s to Blame for the Black Death

In the 14th century, the Black Death ravaged Europe, killing over a third of the continent’s population. This pandemic was caused by the bubonic plague, a bacterial infection characterized by swollen, painful lymph nodes called buboes. 

The plague is caused by transmission of the bacterium yersinia pestis. According to genetic research, this microbe evolved in China over 2,600 years ago and has “followed humans around the globe.” Untreated this bacterium will kill between 50-90% of those infected, but with treatment, mortality ads drop to about 15%.

The methods of transmission of this bacterium are likely the main cause of its prevalence in the 14th century. These microbes travel on fleas that pick up the bacterium from infected rats, as rats are highly susceptible to plague, just as humans are. These fleas then spread the disease when they attempt to feed off another host. Thus explaining why outbreaks among humans are often accompanied by rodent deaths, known as rat falls.

The top photographs display a petri-dish culture of the bacterium and a microscopic image of the bacteria in blood cells, while the bottom two photos show the black rats and fleas known for spreading these microbes to humans.

Silver as a Chemotherapy Drug
The value of silver has long been known for its beauty in jewelry, utensils, and its conductive properties. But a new property in making the headlines. Researchers have now found that the metal is just as effective as leading chemotherapy treatments, yet greatly reduces the side effects. 
Currently, cisplatin is the main drug used in the treatment of a wide range of cancers. The drug contains platinum with groups of molecules attached, creating a complex that reacts with DNA in cancer cells. These molecules that surround the platinum atom are the determining factor in how reactive and effective the treatment is. However, platinum is toxic to our systems, causing the many of the chemotherapy side-effects.
Basing her hypothesis off of previous studies indicating that silver compounds could be effective in killing cancer cells, Charlotte Willans from the Univerity of Leeds, along with her colleagues, created compound with silver atoms replacing platinum atoms. Upon attaching different types of carbene ligands to the silver atoms, the team incubated the compound with breast and colon cancer cells for almost a week, testing different concentrations of the substance.
The new compound based off of silver was concluded to be just as effective as cisplatin when it came to effectively attacking both types of cancer cells. Silver complexes which contained a ligand with two bonds proved more effective than those with a single bond, probably because they are more stable.
When implicated in biological functions, silver is far less toxic to healthy cells than platinum, making this study an important step in finding effective, non-toxic cancer treatments.

Silver as a Chemotherapy Drug

The value of silver has long been known for its beauty in jewelry, utensils, and its conductive properties. But a new property in making the headlines. Researchers have now found that the metal is just as effective as leading chemotherapy treatments, yet greatly reduces the side effects. 

Currently, cisplatin is the main drug used in the treatment of a wide range of cancers. The drug contains platinum with groups of molecules attached, creating a complex that reacts with DNA in cancer cells. These molecules that surround the platinum atom are the determining factor in how reactive and effective the treatment is. However, platinum is toxic to our systems, causing the many of the chemotherapy side-effects.

Basing her hypothesis off of previous studies indicating that silver compounds could be effective in killing cancer cells, Charlotte Willans from the Univerity of Leeds, along with her colleagues, created compound with silver atoms replacing platinum atoms. Upon attaching different types of carbene ligands to the silver atoms, the team incubated the compound with breast and colon cancer cells for almost a week, testing different concentrations of the substance.

The new compound based off of silver was concluded to be just as effective as cisplatin when it came to effectively attacking both types of cancer cells. Silver complexes which contained a ligand with two bonds proved more effective than those with a single bond, probably because they are more stable.

When implicated in biological functions, silver is far less toxic to healthy cells than platinum, making this study an important step in finding effective, non-toxic cancer treatments.