Terra Sigillata

Archives for June, 2008

PV=nRT and the Exploding Bra

If you didn’t catch NPR’s StoryCorps feature this week, you missed a charming doozy: As a young woman, Betty Jenkins received a gift from her mother that was meant to attract the attention of young men. But as Jenkins, who is now 94, tells her niece, the attention she got wasn’t the kind she was…

Veterans and Veterinarians

The childlike wonder, creativity, observations and questioning are all qualities that we scientists try to bring to our research and teaching. The observations of a child may seem insignificant to some but I am amazed when PharmKid comes up with questions or associations that I cannot explain. I don’t blog about this much unless it…

When I first heard that 24-year-old British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse was hospitalized with early stage emphysema I said “what?” DrugMonkey, a drug-abuse research colleague, has a terrific post up now on the link between Winehouse’s crack cocaine use, possible genetic predisposition, and the emergence of early-onset emphysema. While sad to see a very young person…

George Carlin 1937-2008

John Lynch let us know last evening about Carlin’s passing on Sunday. I think you’ll find many people sharing their favorite George Carlin moments today. I found him to be remarkably observant on how language is used to deal with social and political issues (“shell shock” became “battle fatigue” which then became “post-traumatic stress disorder’).…

This link is just to quickly follow up on yesterday’s post, “FDA Warns Individuals and Firms to Stop Selling Fake Cancer ‘Cures’.” The US FDA has specifically listed those companies and individuals as well as their specific products that were cited in yesterday’s action: 125 Fake Cancer “Cures” Consumers Should Avoid And for more information…

Perhaps the #1 reason I started this blog was to distinguish therapeutic natural products (i.e., single chemical entities derived from plants, microorganisms, etc.) from questionably-marketed herbal and non-herbal dietary supplements. After doing research and teaching in this area for at least 13 or so years, I have found that patients with cancer and HIV/AIDS are…

My blog posts seem to run in themes – sort of like when after you buy a car, you see other people driving that model all over the place. Yesterday we posted about homicide charges being leveled against an unlicensed California chiropractor operating a clinic out of his garage. That post garnered a large number…

This is not at all funny but I guess ironic might be a better word. The science blogosphere has been alight this past week with the recognition of naturopathy by the state of Minnesota as well as other aspects of alternative medicine. As if the risks of going to an alternative practitioner are not enough,…

As promised awhile back, my blogging frequency has dropped off a bit as I tend to some more time-consuming details in my meatspace existence. I’ve also missed some fabulous posts around the blogosphere. I wanted to direct Terra Sig readers to a moving yet data-driven essay by Professor PZ Myers at the University of Minnesota…

I’m even later to the game on this story than my blogging colleague, Orac: ERV, Pharyngula, and denialism blog have each given their takes on the Minnesota’s plan to authorize NDs, doctors of naturopathy, to use the title of “Doctor.” For two views on what naturopathy is, here is one from the American Association of…