Terra Sigillata

Archives for October, 2006

Curcumin for Cancer: Part Two

Yesterday, we began discussing why the health care consumer should be wary of dietary supplement promotions based solely on “scientific research” cited from studies done on isolated cells in Petri dishes, pure enzymes, or other systems far removed from whole animals or whole humans. There are many barriers to absorption of compounds from herbs, supplements,…

Chemistry Nobel Prize for Biology?

My colleague, Coturnix, just raised the question of whether the awarding of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Roger D. Kornberg of Stanford University is really an award for biology. A surprise to some of us “youngsters,” Kornberg was recongized as the sole winner for elucidating the basic mechanism of eukaryotic transcription. Not a…

Curcumin for Cancer: Part One

Subtitle: Why Petri dish studies don’t always translate into benefit for patients While I am an enthusiastic supporter of naturally-derived compounds as the source of drugs, I am extremely disappointed and dismayed at how non-prescription natural products are promoted indirectly for disease treatment. Patients with cancer or HIV/AIDS are those most often preyed upon by…

Best as I can tell, our resident MD/PhD student, Jake Young at Pure Pedantry, was first to post on this morning’s announcement. The Nobel Prize website has a very nice press release on why the discovery of RNA interference is so central to our understanding of biology and is likely to result in therapeutic drugs…