Terra Sigillata

Archives for October, 2007

In a post the other day, we noted that the semi-synthetic natural product, ixabepilone, approved for advanced breast cancer was derived from a soil bacterium. Colleague PharmCanuck reminded us that the soil is not a new source for drugs: the anthracyclines, daunorubicin and doxorubicin, are derived from a strain of Streptomyces found growing on a…

From the University of Alberta, here comes this shocking finding: In a study published in The Journal of Sport Behavior, researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton examined the relationships among perceived athletic competence, peer acceptance and loneliness in elementary school children. Their findings will likely confirm the experience of anyone who was picked…

Don’t Bogart My Insulin

Scott Hensley at the WSJ.com Health Blog had a banner day today with the sad withdrawal by Pfizer of their inhaled insulin product, Exubera. When I was a pharmacy professor in the mid-1990s, we shared Pharma’s optimism that an inhaled insulin product would be a godsend for diabetes patients who had to inject themselves with…

So, PharmK’er and I were at the originator of the chicken sandwich and she wanted a balloon. She then asked why said balloon was floating. Dad was safe in explaining how helium is lighter than the nitrogen-oxygen-carbon dioxide mixture we breathe. Then came the killer: “Daddy, where does the helium come from to fill the…

As we discussed here yesterday, ixabepilone, a semi-synthetic anticancer drug derived from a soil bacterium was up for review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Just over a half hour ago the manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, announced that the drug has indeed been approved for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. The drug will…

These aren’t the 1920s. If you want to get your remedy approved as a drug, you’ve got to abide by the rules everyone else plays by. From the FDA press release: At FDA’s request, U.S. marshals have seized about $71,000 worth of products from Florida-based FulLife Natural Options Inc. after the agency determined that FulLife…

Breast Cancer Cure from Dirt?

Perhaps not a cure but certainly another critical tool in the anticancer armamentarium. If you’ve ever read our introduction to the left in my profile as to why this blog is called Terra Sigillata, you’d know that the first trademarked drug was dirt itself (or soil to be exact). Terra Sigillata was a special fatty…

Yesterday we spoke a bit on the progress of our DonorsChoose blogger challenge to raise funds that will support teacher projects in underserved areas to “Save the Science.” Before joining this effort a year-and-a-half ago, I had not heard of DonorsChoose but I knew it was a great idea as soon as I learned of…

Well, I’ve really got to hand it to Terra Sig readers, some of the most thoughtful and generous folks I’ve come across. Our “Save the Science” blogger challenge at DonorsChoose now stands at $1,881, 47% of the way toward our $4,000 goal. For those reading for the first time, DonorsChoose.org is a fundraising organization for…

Abel sez: Vote for Shelley!

Vote for Shelley! Welcome readers, I am Dr John Jacob Abel, namesake of the proprietor of this blog and The Father of American Pharmacology. Among my many scientific and educational accomplishments was my establishment of the first American Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan in 1891. It has come to my attention through…