Terra Sigillata

Archives for May, 2007

From today’s New York Times, The 62-year-old former commissioner [Zheng Xiaoyu] received the unusually harsh sentence amid growing concerns about the quality and safety of China’s food and drug system following several scandals here involving tainted food and phony drugs. China is now under mounting pressure to overhaul its food export controls after two Chinese…

We’ve discussed previously the use of herbal extracts from black cohosh (Actea racemosa) for relief from hot flashes and other vasomotor symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. A clinical trial in Annals of Internal Medicine last December, showed that one black cohosh extract was no better than placebo for this indication. Lack of efficacy has been…

Remembrance

It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men [and women] who goes into battle. – Norman Schwarzkopf Superb Memorial Day posts today from Orac at Respectful Insolence and Mark Chu-Carroll at Good Math, Bad Math.

Safer source of glycerin

After worries over the last few weeks of diethylene glycol being substituted for glycerin in cough syrup and toothpaste, I was happy to be reminded that we have a green source for glycerin. No need to risk using Chinese-sourced glycerin – glycerin (glycerol) is a by-product of biodiesel production. But rather than sell it for…

Remembering my blog namesake

Seventy-nine years ago today marked the passing of Dr John Jacob Abel, known as the American father of Pharmacology. Beyond his work on epinephrine, insulin, and devising a dialysis machine, Abel founded the departments of pharmacology at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University. The American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) is…

I seem to have missed this NYT article over last weekend. Following from the continuing appearance of diethylene glycol in glycerin imported from China, yet another consumer product is found to be adulterated, again in Panama: Diethylene glycol, a poisonous ingredient in some antifreeze, has been found in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste in Panama, and…

The 2 May issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has an interesting news article on the advancing use of arsenic trioxide against a variety of human malignanices, mostly cancers of the blood. The medical uses of arsenic reach back more than 2,000 years, but only recently has Western medicine embraced its surprising…

ASCO abstracts trigger trading

It’s nearing the beginning of June, the traditional time for increased stock trading based on results presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting (1-5 June in Chicago). The meeting is often the first time that the general public learns of the progress of cancer drugs in development, often in companies for…

Actually, sharks do get cancer but a 15-year-old book by William Lane led people to think otherwise, launching investigation of shark cartilage as a source of antiangiogenic, anticancer compounds. While there is one promising shark cartilage extract (Neovastat) in clinical trials for multiple myeloma, most oral preparations on health food store shelves aren’t stabilized and…

Quick picks

Time is short today so here are two quick picks of blog posts well worth reading on topics related to our normal discussions: Joseph at The Corpus Callosum discusses a paper and a news report on putting drug safety risks in objective perspective relative to other risk behaviors we encounter daily, like driving a car.…