1. Gold Nanoparticles have a lot of purposes, and I was thinking about something like this somewhat recently. 
“The technology can detect a single target molecule from 10,000 trillion water molecules within milliseconds by trapping it on a single layer of gold nanoparticles, Imperial College London reported.”
(Read more Nanotechnology can detect explosives, drugs or pollutants - UPI.com)

    Gold Nanoparticles have a lot of purposes, and I was thinking about something like this somewhat recently. 

    The technology can detect a single target molecule from 10,000 trillion water molecules within milliseconds by trapping it on a single layer of gold nanoparticles, Imperial College London reported.”

    (Read more Nanotechnology can detect explosives, drugs or pollutants - UPI.com)

     
  2. A “chemo-bath” which delivers toxic cancer drugs to just one organ in the body has been used on patients in the UK for the first time, say doctors.

    "Chemotherapy drugs kill rapidly growing cells such as cancers, but they also attack healthy parts of the body.

    Doctors at Southampton General Hospital believe targeting just one organ can prevent side effects.

    They also say it means they can give higher doses without causing damage to the patient.

    Chemotherapy drugs are normally injected into the veins of patients. However, the whole body, rather than just the tumour, is exposed. It results in side effects such as fatigue, feeling sick, hair loss and damage to fertility.

    Targeted

    Two patients in the UK have now received chemotherapy focused on just their liver. Both had a rare eye cancer which had spread to the liver.

    The operation works by inflating balloons inside blood vessels on either side of the liver to isolate it from the rest of the body.

    The liver is then pumped full of chemotherapy drugs, which are filtered out before the liver is reconnected to the main blood supply.

    It means only a tiny fraction of the chemotherapy dose ends up in the body.

    Dr Brian Stedman, a consultant interventional radiologist, said: “To cut off an organ from the body for 60 minutes, soak it in a high dose of drug and then filter the blood almost completely clean before returning is truly groundbreaking.

    "Previously, the outlook for patients specifically suffering from cancer which has spread to the liver has been poor because standard chemotherapy’s effect is limited by the unwanted damage the drug causes to the rest of the body."

    The surgery took place in the past three months and both patients are said to be doing well and their tumours “all look smaller”, he said.

    Dr Stedman told the BBC: “In 20 years’ time the idea of injecting a drug which poisons the whole body for a cancer in just one small area will seem bonkers.”

    He suggested that any organ which could be easily separated from the blood supply, such as the kidney, pancreas and lungs, would be suitable for this kind of approach.

    However, he said the method was “in its infancy” and he was “not sure this is the finished product or the end of the story”.

    The technique is also being tested in the US and elsewhere in Europe.”

    interesting stuff

    (Source: BBC)

     
  3. Aspergillus hazardous problem in ceramic workers

    Ceramic workers are at a high risk of developing respiratory problems as they are exposed to high levels of respirable dust containing silica and high microbial counts, including high Aspergillus counts. The aim of the study was to study the percentage of ceramic workers with positive Aspergillus (A.) through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and specific IgE (sIgE) for the different Aspergillus species. PCR and specific IgE (sIgE) for the different Aspergillus species (A. flavus, A. fumigatus and A. niger) were estimated in 40 ceramic workers and 56 control subjects. Results revealed that 32.5% of the workers’ sputum was PCR positive for Aspergillus. About 69.2% of them were A. flavus positive, 15.4% A. niger positive, 7.7% A. fumigatus positive and 7.7%A. flavus and A. fumigatus positive. The percentage change in sIgE for A. fumigatus between the workers and their controls was over 100%, while less than 50% for the other two species. The sIgE levels for the three Aspergillus species were not significantly correlated with the duration of exposure. Fungal exposure could be considered potential hazardous problem in ceramic industry. There were no significant correlations between the duration of exposure and the sIgE for the different Aspergillus species.


    Amal Saad-Hussein
    Nadia Y S Morcos
    Sanaa A Rizk
    Khadiga S Ibrahim
    Naglaa Abd El-Zaher
    Gehan Moubarz
    Amal Saad-Hussein, Environmental and Occupational Medicine, National Research Centre, El-Behoos St., Dokki, Cairo 12311, Egypt
     
  4. People… Human error

    We have 4 ponds. 2 are fertilized and 2 are not. We alternated them. To avoid contamination of the unfertilized ponds, those are done first, then the fertilized. To avoid contaminating my samples, we have two distinct types of bottles (narrow mouth and wide mouth). The lids have numbers, and range from 1-24 for both bottles, but we usually only take 16 samples a day, 8 from fertilized, and 8 from unfertilized.

    Those who are supposed to collect my samples… They used numbers 1, 5, and 7-20. They did not go in order, they mixed bottle types, and didn’t actually put anything in bottle 20. This made my processing very difficult and much longer than it should be. Also, it means about half of the samples are obviously a little contaminated.

    Why do people do this?

     
  5. In regards to my cell picture

    The actin was stained with a modified phalloidin, which is a cellular toxin isolated from Amanita phalloides. Also known as the angel of death mushroom, it can kill you. However, considering that it binds strongly to actin, and actin is abundant in muscle cells (it is important for muscle contraction), one can reduce the poisonous effects by consuming large amounts of raw red meat. I consider this to be a plausible reason for pairing steak with mushrooms.