Monday, June 29, 2009

Limulus lysate testing for pyrogens in pharmaceuticals

While cleaning out some things in the basement I found this copy of the Journal of the Parenteral Drug Association that includes a lecture I gave in 1977. In this presentation I provided an overview of the Limulus (horseshoe crab blood derived test) lysate test for pyrogens (fever producing chemicals). All pharmaceuticals must be tested for these molecules that can cause fever and in some cases anaphylactic shock and death. Before the crab blood was used the test involved measuring the anal temperature of rabbits. Racks of rabbits would have temperature probes in their rear ends to see if there was a temperature increase after the pharmaceutical was injected. This chemical test was a great advance over the rabbit test although it resulted in a lot of out of work rabbits. By the way, the crabs lived through the removal of a considerable amount of their blue blood. We marked their carapaces before returning them to Barnegat Bay. We actually retrieved some the next year.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

I am really into podcasts on everything from the latest science to history. It is much better than the junk on radio and is always with me on my iPOD Touch. One of my favorites is the Skeptics' guide to the Universe which debunks the latest pseudoscience. Led by a neurologist this podcast not only dumps on bad stuff but provides a weekly update on aspects of real science.

Click on the Blog title to go to the SGU home page.

Other great podcasts available on iTunes and via RSS feeds are:

Dan Carlin's Hard Core History

In our time by Melvyn Bragg (BBC 4)

Archeology channel audio news

Science in Action (BBC)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Marijuana in the woods or potted pot

An acquaintance of my was just acquitted of felony possession of a class D substance because someone was growing marijuana in pots in the woods near his place. His place is on state land and leased by a fox hunt for which he and his girlfriend are hound caretakers. He was acquitted after the prosecution presented it’s case because they did not establish that the plants were his. The trial was attended by about 50 middle schoolers who listened in rapt attention and the policeman on the stand described in great detail how to grow marijuana in the woods in pots. Also, a sample was sent to the State toxicology lab who never tested the samples chemically but said the dried stuff (dried by the local police force) looked to them like marijuana. They also presented that the “drug” dog didn’t give a hit on anything in the area. It turned out but was not presented at the trail that the dog was not a drug dog but just brought in to unnerve the suspect.

Beware of folks potting near your property.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

ONBH fox hunt poker ride Carlisle MA

Today the Old North Bridge Hounds put on a poker ride in Carslie Massachusetts. It was a beautiful day, the riding wonderful and the event a success. The Merrimack valley Rotary club provided some of the worlds best hot dogs, chips and drinks for the riders and friends.

Pam and Kathy provided refreshments half way through the ride

The Duggins cook hot dogs for the riders to support a Rotary riding program for physically challenged children in Massachusettes and a childrens clinic in Bangladesh.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Donate through rotary - 7910 District Assembly

I just attended the 7910 district assembly in boxford MA. There were presentations on The Rotary Foundation and how they amplify a donation 3.5 times through the matching grants program. This is a great deal. How many other organization can provide this degree of money amplification. We are working on a matching grant with a Rotary club in Bangladesh to expand programs at the Center for Children with Special Needs that treats children with crippling diseases. Clicking on the title of this Posting will take you to the CCSN web site.