Watch Out Gay Boys!

January 18, 2008

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The SuperBug of the year MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is in the news again.  Now a new possible route of infection is causing a spike in MRSA cases in gay men.  You boys have to be careful.  MRSA often initially looks like a small dotted rash or allergic reaction, and people ignore it until it gets severe.  But it can be fatal or cause serious disfiguring.  The treatment must be done promptly and involves expensive antibiotics usually through IV.  Everyone should be careful in situations where they may be exposed like the gym or a hospital.  But new research indicates gay man are more likely to be infected than straight men (13 times more so in San Francisco).  So before the general public starts blaming gay men for yet another disease, be safe, be healthy, and be informed.

Here are some of the important points from a Reuters article on the topic:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A drug-resistant strain of potentially deadly bacteria has moved beyond the borders of U.S. hospitals and is being transmitted among gay men during sex, researchers said on Monday.

They said methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is beginning to appear outside hospitals in San Francisco, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.

About 30 percent of all people carry ordinary staph chronically. It can be passed by touching other people or by depositing the bacteria on surfaces or objects.

The best way to avoid infection is by washing the hands or genitals with soap and water, Diep said.

Read the Article Here

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Oprah Takes Over

January 17, 2008

Oprah is taking over the world. Or at least having a large influence on it. With millions of viewers and an ever growing audience, Oprah is talking to whoever will listen. And many are listening. Hell I don’t even watch her show, but I listen to what books I should read. But this time she is endorsing more than a book or gadget. She is endorsing Barack Obama for president. Many believe it is about seeing a black president or jumping on the rockstar like following for Obama.

But I know the truth, it is just one stop on her way to world domination. It is important to have friends in powerful places. The President of the United States is a pretty powerful position. Some have said my theories on Oprah are a little far fetched. But I’ve always know she was a conquerer. From the news, to the talk show, to the made for tv movies, to book club, to the Broadway shows, to the magazine, to the South African school and now to endorsing a presidential candidate.

But now she has gone to far!! She is getting her own tv channel. The Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN, will premier in 2009.  So you wonder why is this so terrible?  No one is forcing me to watch it.  The problem is the channel will be replacing Discovery Health Channel.  I love the Discovery Health Channel.  “Incredible Medical” is the most compelling show on television, I have been late to work in order to see the final diagnosis.  Plus shows like “Baby Baby”, “Adoption stories”, and “Babies: Special Delivery” are the only shows on television that can make me cry.

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Good Medicine, Bad Behavior

January 13, 2008

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You might be wondering where the “Good Medicine, Bad Behavior” exhibit is showing. The answer: the DEA Museum. Although it may just be my ignorance, but did anyone know there was a DEA Museum? Well I am going to a wedding in October that is in Virginia and my mom cut an ad out for this museum in case we want to go.  Hopefully we’ll check it out and then I will promptly fill you in on what exactly a DEA museum entails.

I feel like it was designed for pharmacy school field trips.

The ad reads:

“This interactive exhibit delves into prescription drug abuse and explores the history of drug abuse from period pharmacies to rogue internet pharmacies.”

DEA Museum

700 Army Navy Drive Pentagon City Arlingotn, VA 22202

www.deamuseum.org


Stem Cells Used to Cure SSA

December 7, 2007

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Encouraging new research published in Science indicates that stem cells can be used to cure sickle cell anemia. The study used iPS cells and was done in mice. The sickle cell mice were treated with iPS therapy, and cured of the sickle cell without complication. The expected complications of using iPS in treatment are rejection and tumor growth. Rejection was controlled in this experiment, because the cells were identical (because they came from the mice) and it has been 4 months and still no tumor development. There is a lot of support for using the iPS cells they come from skin, not from embroynic cells.

“Induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells, are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. They can morph into all of the more than 200 cell types in the body but are derived from skin, not from embryos. Mouse iPS cells were first derived earlier this year, and scientists reported last month to great fanfare that they had created similar cells from human skin.”

Although it will be many years before this technique could start appearing in humans clinically, it is still promising. The sickle cell diseases are just one group of genetics disorders, thousands of other genetic disorders could potentially be helped with similar technology. Although these “alternative” stem cells are showing great promise, most prominent geneticists want to clear up any confusion about the cells. They are inferior to using embryonic stem cells. Hopefully the world will just appreciate this discovery for the medical miracle it is and not attempt to use it for propaganda. The iPS stem cells have been touted by President Bush and some religious conservatives as the perfect and equal alternative to stem cells. But in reality, embryonic stems would make the research far simpler and expedite the discovery process.

Scientists Cure Mice Of Sickle Cell Using Stem Cell Technique

Read the full Article By Rick Weiss

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 7, 2007


Love, Violence, and Glue?

December 4, 2007

Imagine the scene – You are standing in the kitchen with your partner on a cold winter evening over the holidays. You get in one of those mega arguments . You call her fat, she calls you mean, tears are shed and voices are raised. She’s swinging her arms and trying to slap at you, you are trying to hold her still. Next thing you know she’s holding a knife…and wham… crazy bitch cuts you. Bloods everywhere. Previously there were only two courses of action.

Option 1: Go to the hospital before you bleed to death/pass out. Basically admit to the world you got owned. Since everyone will know what happened you will be forced to break up.

Option 2: Bleed to death/pass out. She’ll feel really bad for a few days, but won’t respect you anymore so you can expect more beatings for the duration of the relationship. You’ll be forced to stay with her forever because you feel like you can’t do any better.

But now there is an option 3..

Option 3: super glue up the cut and be a man about it. face the possibility of a banging scar and a nasty infection (thats what antibiotics are for anyway). she is so relieved you are okay, and so happy you are not going to the police/hospital, that you can expect some serious sex and attention from the crazy bitch.

Call it the secret life of Super Glue.

(NyTimes: Link)

During the Vietnam War, emergency medics began using the all-purpose glue to seal

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battle wounds in troops headed for surgery. The glue was so good at stemming bleeding that it was credited with saving many lives.

Nowadays, professional athletes often close small cuts with Super Glue or similar products to get back in the game in a hurry. The glues are also used by veterinarians, and many people keep a tube around the house to help them out of a medical pinch. It is believed that the glues — made from the chemical cyanoacrylate — not only stop bleeding quickly, but also lead to less scarring.

So should you keep some Super Glue in the medicine cabinet? Probably not, experts say. Studies show that although the glue can be useful in emergencies, it can also irritate the skin, kill cells and cause other side effects, particularly when used on deep wounds.

There is a safer alternative. In 2001, the Food and Drug Administration approved a similar, antibacterial form of the substance called 2-octyl-cyanoacrylate, which is marketed as Dermabond.


Automated Pharmacy

November 13, 2007

This article/press release is somewhat positively biased, but it does shed some light on Medco’s plan for pharmacy. It is interesting to consider the prospect of automated dispensing and how it will affect the jobs of pharmacists. I was asked in my interview for the University of Pittsburgh, “If I were to tell you that in ten years dispensing was completely eliminated by the use of machines, would you still want to be a pharmacist, what would you expect to do, and why?”


INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined executives from Medco Health Solutions, Inc. today to announce the company’s plans to build the world’s largest and most advanced automated pharmacy in Central Indiana, filling a growing nationwide demand for lower-cost medicines. The new 318,000-square-foot pharmacy, slated to open early in 2009, will cover an area equivalent to six and a half football fields — bringing approximately 1,300 jobs to the state by its anticipated peak operation in 2012.

“Medco has pioneered the use of computers, robotics, optical scanners and other technologies to create drug dispensing systems which are virtually error-free,” said Kenneth O. Klepper, Medco President and Chief Operating Officer.

The state’s business-friendly environment, modern transportation infrastructure, skilled labor pool and proximity to several schools of pharmacy including Butler University and Purdue University were other notable factors in the site selection process. Medco intends to provide competitive salaries and a comprehensive employee benefit package for a wide range of positions, including electrical and mechanical technicians, managers, warehouse specialists and more than 100 pharmacists, among other types of jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2008, with the majority of the hiring expected in 2010 and 2011.

Medco is leading the charge on transforming pharmacy care from a “generalist” practice to a “specialist” practice. “With advancements in science and technology blazing a path of personalized medicine, we can no longer take a shot gun approach to pharmacy,” Klepper said. “To that end, Medco has created condition-specific resource centers staffed with hundreds of pharmacists who receive specialized training in specific chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and asthma. This focus on one chronic disease state enables these specialist pharmacists to better help patients optimize their health.”

Coupled with its unparalleled dispensing pharmacy practice, Medco has created an industry leading end-to-end specialized pharmacy practice model.

Medco’s mail-order pharmacy business received an additional boost when the Federal Employee Program(TM) (FEP) awarded a contract for its mail-service and specialty prescription drug program for 4 million federal employees, retirees and their families, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

Medco’s two existing automated dispensing pharmacies in Willingboro, N.J. and Las Vegas dispensed 90 percent of the company’s mail-order prescriptions in 2006. Medco’s automated pharmacies currently have the capacity to fill more than 2 million prescriptions per week. Medco opened the world’s first fully automated pharmacy in Las Vegas in October 1996 and the world’s then- largest pharmacy at 280,000 square feet in Willingboro in 2001.

Full Article


8 Limbed Girl Undergoes Massive Surgery

November 11, 2007

BANGALORE, India (AP) — A two-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs regained consciousness Friday, wiggled her toes and smiled at her parents, 48 hours after massive surgery removed the extra limbs, doctors said.

Lakshmi, who has been revered by some in her village as a reincarnation of the four-armed Hindu goddess she was named for, was still in intensive care. Lakshmi was born joined at the pelvis to a “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in her mother’s womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.

On Wednesday, a team of more than 30 surgeons concluded the 24-hour operation, removing the extra limbs, transplanting a kidney from the twin and reconstructing Lakshmi’s pelvic area. Doctors said the complicated surgery was a great success, meaning she would not need further major reconstructive surgery. However, Lakshmi will need further treatments and possible surgery for clubbed feet before she will be able to walk.

Children born with deformities in deeply traditional rural parts of India such as the remote village in the northern state of Bihar that Lakshmi hails from are often viewed as reincarnated gods. But some had sought to make money from Lakshmi. Her parents kept her in hiding after a circus apparently tried to buy the girl, they said.

“They say she is going to be back to normal, I believe them,” said her father Shambhu, who goes by one name. “I have just these doctors to thank for this miracle. It is a debt I could never repay.”

Full Story