Pharmacology

Far be it from me to consider anything designated by Oprah Winfrey as, perhaps, maybe, not always evidence-based, but I had always hoped some skepticism was in order yet consistently instead found Oprah viewers were not only ready to believe, they were willing to migrate to other shows and believe there also.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a stimulating tea that has been enjoyed all over the northern hemisphere for thousands of years. We prepared (see pictures below) and consumed early in the morning together with some nutmeg, after which we went shopping, exercised, played two rounds of basketball with a friend and some strangers in the afternoon, and suchlike little endeavors alternating every few hours with returning home, because yes, ephedra is a strong aphrodisiac. And we only drank a beer and ate some fruit all day, because ephedra is indeed a very good appetite suppressant, extremely useful if you want to lose weight.

Postpartum pain management using the opioid codeine has been common and, until recently, it was considered safe to breastfeed - the death of an infant exposed to codeine through breast milk led health care providers to question the safety of the drug when used by breastfeeding mothers.

Instead, some doctors have began prescribing oxycodone as an alternative to codeine but an upcoming study in The Journal of Pediatrics finds that oxycodone is no safer for breastfed infants than codeine.

Pharaoh Hatshepsut lived around 1450 B.C.  A tiny flash owned by the queen, a flacon, which is on exhibit in the permanent collection of the Egyptian Museum of the University of Bonn may have held a deadly secret for 3,500 years, according to Head of the collection Michael Höveler-Müller and Dr. Helmut Wiedenfeld from the university’s Pharmacology Institute.

After two years of research it is now clear that the flacon did not hold a perfume but was a kind of skin care lotion or even medication for a monarch suffering from eczema. The pharmacologists found a strongly carcinogenic substance.  Queen Hatshepsut may have been killed by her medicine.
If you're a fan of "Big Trouble In Little China" (and if you are not, either go rent it and then come back or go read "People" like you should be doing instead of visiting Science 2.0)(1) next to "Chinese people got a lotta Hells"(2) this famous exchange likely sticks in your mind.  As they descend into a metaphorical netherworld on their quest (see: anything by Joseph Campbell or Bulfinch's Mythology, if you are more conservative in your reading) the following exchange takes place:

Jack Burton: That is not water.
Egg Shen: Black blood of the earth.
Jack Burton: Do you mean oil?
Egg Shen: I mean black blood of the earth.
The metabolic profiles of blood serum have revealed significant differences in metabolites between men and women, say scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München who have concluded that there is a need for gender-specific therapies. 

Researchers from the University of Valladolid (Spain) have answered one of science's most pressing questions - which beer is better, dark or pale?

They analyzed 40 brands of beer and found that dark beer has more free iron than pale and non-alcoholic beers. Iron is essential to the human diet but also helps oxidize the organic compounds that give beer, also essential to the human diet - at least among scientists - stability and flavor.  The work in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture indicates that higher iron content in dark beer could be explained by the malt and hop extracts used to produce it.  

If you are a European who might be allergic to some compounds in cosmetics, you are out of luck.  In 2009, outside a few exceptions, the European Union banned the use of animals in cosmetic testing - though they still allow it in plenty of other things.  Heck, in the UK 91% of basic research using animal testing was found to have a societal benefit and, while that was a failure to animal rights groups who know nothing about science, 91% is jaw-on-the-floor incredible for basic research.
The hormone oxytocin may be the "cuddle chemical" but recent research has found that oxytocin can promote negative emotions too.

Salespeople love oxytocin - they think if they spray it on customers will trust them more.  Mothers bond with babies due to oxytocin.  It's positive effects are well known but studies have also found that oxytocin can increase gloating and envy.
Nutmeg Liquor

Nutmeg Liquor

Jul 17 2011 | 5 comment(s)

I am going Nuts” introduced a misunderstood gem, the Nutmeg, and mentioned the problem of the nuts being very diverse, as you can see in the picture below, and thus a little difficult to dose. One solution is to produce liquor, or in other words, perform an extraction.


Halved nutmeg nuts: Size, oil content, and so on, differ a lot between nuts. Also notice the very black, gray and extremely white nuts, who seem to have different kinds of fungi attacking them. The nuts look pretty much the same from the outside!