Terra Sigillata

Archives for January, 2008

Erleichda is the nom de plume of a guest blogger who contributes regularly to The Friday Fermentable columns. The act of contributing a column periodically on the topic of wine is consistent with the philosophy embodied in his pseudonym, i.e., to “lighten up” (from ‘Jitterbug Perfume’ by Tom Robbins). Erleichda holds a PhD in microbiology…

First anniversary of DrugMonkey

We’re a little bit late here in wishing the DrugMonkey blog a happy 1st blogiversary. Contributors DrugMonkey, BikeMonkey, and PhysioProf have had a very productive year of offering valuable career advice for graduate and postgraduate trainees in the biomedical sciences, general discussions on NIH grant funding, and various topics in neuroscience. The sci/med blogosphere is…

Yesterday, the FDA released a warning statement on an increasingly common mistake in the medically-unsupported practice of “chelation therapy” for autism: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients about important safety information concerning Edetate Disodium. There have been cases where children and adults have died when they were mistakenly given Edetate Disodium instead of Edetate Calcium…

This missive came in yesterday from NIH, apparently sent to all investigators funded by the agencies: A recent open letter to Secretary Leavitt (PDF here) from Dr. Roland Nardone and several experts in cell biology highlighted an important methodological issue associated with research involving cultured cells. The letter identifies a number of instances in which…

Leave it to PharmGirl, MD, to point me in the direction of a story that addresses the core theme of this blog: not only can medicines come from the Earth, but the Earth can itself be medicine. This time we’re not talking about South Carolina “sandlappers” as detailed in my inaugural post here as authored…

PhysioProf goes solo!

The word on the e-streets is that DrugMonkey co-blogger, PhysioProf, has hung out a new shingle at. . .PhysioProf, the blog. (So as not to confuse the issues, DrugMonkey is the lead blogger at DrugMonkey the blog. . .does that make sense?). But we get the best of both worlds: PhysioProf will still be continuing…

This question, posed by Michigan Tech professor Dr Seth W Donahue while hiking in the Sierra Nevada, has led to the discovery of an extremely potent form of parathyroid hormone produced by black bears (Ursus americanus). In an unusual take on my usual topic of natural product therapeutics, Donahue’s hope is that the ursine form…

NIH has just announced the acceptance of applications for their 7th annual conference, Medicine in the Media: The Challenge of Reporting on Medical Research, 5-7 May, 2008. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR) presents a free annual training opportunity to help develop journalists’ ability to evaluate and report on…

We’ve discussed in July and November 2007 about cosmetics companies taking advantage of the observation of an interesting side effect of certain anti-glaucoma eyedrops – they increase eyelash number and thickness. In the cosmetics industry, this is a big deal such that consumers are willing to pay US$149-160 per unit of Revitalash or Age Intervention…

The first 2008 issue of New England Journal of Medicine came yesterday in the snailmail box and I read the following story with such great interest that I nearly walked into a tree. Bear with me but the news lately has taken me on a neuroscience streak without my having specific professional expertise in the…