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Archive for September, 2007

Caffeine, Painkillers, and Liver Damage

Posted by David Bradley on September 26th, 2007

Paracetamol structure, TylenolWe recently reported on how acetaminophen can slow bone growth. Now, researchers in the US are warning that consuming large amounts of caffeine while taking acetaminophen, the widely used painkiller, could potentially cause liver damage. The combination of painkiller and caffeine is a well-known “morning-after-the-night-before” concoction and is often used to deal with an alcohol hangover, which presumably could compound the potential liver damage still further.

More on caffeine, painkillers, and liver damage here.

Diagnosing Disease With a CD Player

Posted by David Bradley on September 21st, 2007

Chlorpyrifos structureYears ago, I wrote about the lab-on-a-CD concept (actually it was in the September 2001 issue of Reactive Reports). Now, it seems the use of CD-ROMs and DVDs and the hardware used to play these popular audio and video compact discs (CDs) is coming of age in terms of home health monitoring and laboratory-based testing. Spanish scientists say CD technology could be adapted for tests ranging from the measurement of environmental toxins to at-home disease diagnosis.

More on diagnosing disease with a CD player.

Poison Darts and Poison Pens

Posted by David Bradley on September 19th, 2007

EpibatidineMany years ago, I reported on the earliest synthesis of the analgesic compound epibatidine from the poison frog Epipedobates tricolor. You’ll notice I was careful to say poison frog, not poison dart frog. In the prestigious pages of Science in 1993 I wasn’t quite so careful and describes this creature as a poison dart frog.

What happens when you report on poison darts and get a poison pen.