Tags >> drugs
Jan 27
2010

Cytotoxins

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , toxic , technology , speaker , research , public safety , medicine , healthcare , government , environment , drugs , chemicals , activism

Bruce Robinson

 Inside the human body, powerful anti-cancer drugs can be life-saving medicine. But when they pass through into the environment, these potent chemicals may pose a health hazard that is only starting to be recognized.

Jim Mullowney has taken his concerns about cytotoxic chemicals and their disposal to top scientists in key federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, which issued an unprecedented collaborative response to the issue last year.

Because cyto-toxic chemotherapy drugs pass through the human body and are excreted, they typically wind up in wastewater flows, which Mullowney cautions can be very hazardous for septic systems, and potentially for the fresh water supplies in the adjacent area.

The long-term consequences of discharging these chemicals into the air and water are only beginning to be studied, but based on his own understanding of them, Mullowney speculates they could eventually be tied to some other public health mysteries.

Jim Mullowney will also discuss cytotoxins and the risk they pose to fresh water supplied on a forthcoming edition of the local cable access television program, The Holistic Half, to be broadcast on Comcast Channel 30 in Sonoma County in the first week of March.

 

 

Jan 07
2010

"The Harvard Psychedelic Club"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , speaker , research , religion , protest , politics , peace , medicine , media , law enforcement , journalism , jail , history , events , education , drugs , chemicals , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

Much of the social upheaval of the 1960s can be traced back to four men at Harvard University at the beginning of the decade, contends journalist Don Lattin. His new book, The Harvard Psychedelic Club, does exactly that.

Don LattinDon Lattin, the longtime former religion reporter for the San Francisco chronicle, attributes his choice career path to his own informal psychedelic experimentation as a college student in the early 1970s. He says that experience, which was shared by thousands of his contemporaries, also inspired him to research and write The Harvard Psychedelic Club.

Timothy Leary in San Francisco in 1995, a year before his death.In his book, Lattin gives each of the four main figures an iconic title. Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) is “Seeker,” Houston Smith is “Teacher,” and Andrew Weil, “Healer.” And after some extended deliberation, he settled on calling Leary “Trickster.”

Albert Hoffman, inventor of LSDSwiss chemist Albert Hoffman (right) inadvertently synthesized LSD in 1938, and accidentally became the first person to ingest it in 1944. In the United States, clinical research into the properties and effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) did not begin with Leary and Alpert’s Harvard experiments in 1960, Lattn reports, but can be traced back to studies in the previous decade, a project secretly funded by the CIA.

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Oct 04
2009

Afghanistan visit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , poverty , politics , policy , international , government , events , education , drugs , budget , author , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

A north bay activist’s independent fact-finding tour of Afghanistan recently found growing violence closing in on the capital city of Kabul, and a scarcity of aid for refugees or civilian redevelopment needs.

Norman Solomon says his trip to Afghanistan was informative and constructive, but its primary impact was emotional.

Part of that impact for Solomon came in meeting a young refugee girl who had lost an arm when her town was bombed and her family's home was destroyed. Guljumma, seven years old, is seen here with her father, Wakil Tawos Khan, at the Helmand Refugee Camp District 5 in Kabul . Last year, an air attack by the U.S. military struck their home in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.  (Photo copyright Reese Erlich 2009)

The most profound finding Solomon brought back from his visit to Kabul was the disparity between our government’s professed intention to provide meaningful assistance to the Afghan people, and the absence of follow-through on those promises.

Among the small delegation organized by Solomon’s non-profit, the Institute for Public Accuracy, was a former US soldier who had served in Afghanistan, Rick Reyes. 

After enlisting in the Marine Corps, Reyes served as an infantry rifleman. He was deployed in "Operation Enduring Freedom" (Afghanistan) 2001 and then “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (Iraq) 2003. In 2008 he got involved in the Brave New Foundation's Rethink Afghanistan project and testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Video of that testimony is posted here. Reyes is a co-founding member of Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan.

 

 

Sep 09
2009

United Plant Savers

Posted by Bruce Robinson in resources , open space , nonprofit orgs , medicine , Health , environment , drugs , conservation , climate change , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

 

Preserving biological diversity isn’t the only reason for protecting endangered plant species—in some cases, its good for our health, too.

United Plant Savers emerged in the 1990s, primarily in response to the depletion of naturally occurring supplies of popular medicinal herbs, explains Executive Director Lynda LeMole. Until that time, most of them were harvested by hand, in a process known as “wild-crafting.”

While herbal medicine is most commonly associated with the orient, eastern practitioners have long had a keen appreciation for certain medicinal plants from North America, especially American Ginseng, seen being harvested at left.

 

Commercial cultivation of many medicinal herbs is complicated by the challenges in replicating their natural growing conditions, particularly for those, like American Ginseng, that are found on the forest floor. Even here in Sonoma County, where conditions favor a wide range of crops, many sensitive herbs will not thrive. That's another factor complicating the preservation of the "at risk" herbs on the list below.

United Plant Savers “At-Risk” List 

  • American Ginseng - Panax quinquefolius
  • Black Cohosh - Actaea  racemosa (Cimicifuga)
  • Bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis
  • Blue Cohosh - Caulophyllum thalictroides
  • Echinacea - Echinacea spp.
  • Eyebright - Euphrasia spp.
  • False Unicorn Root - Chamaelirium luteum
    Goldenseal - Hydrastis canadensis
  • Lady’s Slipper Orchid - Cypripedium spp.
  • Lomatium - Lomatium dissectum
  • Osha - Ligusticum porteri, L. spp.
  • Peyote - Lophophora williamsii
  • Slippery Elm - Ulmus rubra
  • Sundew - Drosera spp.
  • Trillium, Beth Root -Trillium spp.
  • True Unicorn - Aletris farinosa
  • Venus’ Fly Trap - Dionaea muscipula
  • Virginina Snakeroot - Aristolochia serpentaria
  • Wild Yam - Dioscorea villosa, D. spp.

 

There is a full list of botanical sanctuaries (including three  in northern California) among the  resources at the United Plant Savers website.


Lynda LeMole, Executive Director of United Plant Savers, will be the featured speaker tonight at the Science Buzz Café  in their new home at the Youth Annex adjacent to the Sebastopol Community Center, at 7 pm.

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