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Life lately. warning: zombie appearance / pure rants forgive me.

  • exams everyday. literally everyday. toxicology-clinical phamacy then toxicology again then clinical pharmacy. Okay lang naman mag quiz/long test, as long as di naman araw-araw. pls spare us. { as you all know or maybe not, quizzes ang may pinakamalaking percentage samin ng grade, not the prelim/midterm/final exam }
  • cramming to finish our major internship (hospital or community). 
  • graduation picture this December. 
  • Pharmacy week, Zumba and pharmacy night (highlight of the event)
  • planning to go to  ’paskuhan’ but I can’t risk my subjects for the next day. 
  •  thesis cramming because of manuscript. completion of everything in preparation for the final defense on Feb 13, 2015.
  • Christmas party everywhere where every gastos is present!!
  • Christmas break in Davao. but sadly, during our stay there, ang gagawin ko lang ay gumawa ng report about gastro-intestinal, surgical, case study of hypertension and case study of renal failure. Thank you Lord at di na dadagdag ang biotransformation of xenobiotics ng toxicology kasi tapos ko na siya. (lucky me) AND, AND AND mag-aral for pre-board exam!
  • Classes every sunday for pharmacy students. yes, wala kaming pahinga pero walang kaso sakin yung issue dito kasi this is all for our board exams.

seriously I need to get a separate rant blog. Haha.
PHARMACY!

Cocaine blocks the reuptake of all of your neurotransmitters, but it has a certain love for the dopamine pathways in your brain. Since the nerve terminals in your brain can’t get rid of all of that neurotransmitter in the cleft, especially in the mesolimbic reward pathway, you feel euphoric. The other neurotransmitters that aren’t taken back up lead to the other symptoms: increased heart rate, energy levels, blood pressure, agitation, etc.

Why did Michael Brown, an 18-year-old kid headed to college, refuse to move from the middle of the street to the sidewalk? Why would he curse out a police officer? Why would he attack a police officer? Why would he dare a police officer to shoot him? Why would he charge a police officer holding a gun? Why would he put his hand in his waistband while charging, even though he was unarmed?
 
None of this fits with what we know of Michael Brown. Brown wasn’t a hardened felon. He didn’t have a death wish. And while he might have been stoned, this isn’t how stoned people act. The toxicology report did not indicate he was on PCP or something that would’ve led to suicidal aggression.
 
Which doesn’t mean Wilson is a liar. Unbelievable things happen every day. The fact that his story raises more questions than it answers doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
 
But the point of a trial would have been to try to answer these questions. We would have either found out if everything we thought we knew about Brown was wrong, or if Wilson’s story was flawed in important ways. But now we’re not going to get that chance. We’re just left with Wilson’s unbelievable story.

The Dirty Side of Soap
Triclosan, a common antimicrobial in personal hygiene products, causes liver fibrosis and cancer in mice

Triclosan is an antimicrobial commonly found in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and many other household items. Despite its widespread use, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report potentially serious consequences of long-term exposure to the chemical. The study, published Nov. 17 by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that triclosan causes liver fibrosis and cancer in laboratory mice through molecular mechanisms that are also relevant in humans.

“Triclosan’s increasing detection in environmental samples and its increasingly broad use in consumer products may overcome its moderate benefit and present a very real risk of liver toxicity for people, as it does in mice, particularly when combined with other compounds with similar action,” said Robert H. Tukey, PhD, professor in the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Pharmacology. Tukey led the study, together with Bruce D. Hammock, PhD, professor at University of California, Davis. Both Tukey and Hammock are directors of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Programs at their respective campuses.

Tukey, Hammock and their teams, including Mei-Fei Yueh, PhD, found that triclosan disrupted liver integrity and compromised liver function in mouse models. Mice exposed to triclosan for six months (roughly equivalent to 18 human years) were more susceptible to chemical-induced liver tumors. Their tumors were also larger and more frequent than in mice not exposed to triclosan.

The study suggests triclosan may do its damage by interfering with the constitutive androstane receptor, a protein responsible for detoxifying (clearing away) foreign chemicals in the body. To compensate for this stress, liver cells proliferate and turn fibrotic over time. Repeated triclosan exposure and continued liver fibrosis eventually promote tumor formation.

Triclosan is perhaps the most ubiquitous consumer antibacterial. Studies have found traces in 97 percent of breast milk samples from lactating women and in the urine of nearly 75 percent of people tested. Triclosan is also common in the environment: It is one of the seven most frequently detected compounds in streams across the United States.

“We could reduce most human and environmental exposures by eliminating uses of triclosan that are high volume, but of low benefit, such as inclusion in liquid hand soaps,” Hammock said. “Yet we could also for now retain uses shown to have health value — as in toothpaste, where the amount used is small.”

Triclosan is already under scrutiny by the FDA, thanks to its widespread use and recent reports that it can disrupt hormones and impair muscle contraction. 

Deadly mushrooms of the East Coast of the United States

1. Amanita spreda - Hated Caesar
2. Amanita phalloides (white var.) - Death Cap
3. Amanita phalloides (brown var.) - Death Cap
4. Amanita muscaria - Fly Agaric
5. Amanita frostiana - Frost’s Amantia
6. Gyromitra esculenta - False Morel/Brain Mushroom

Despite their toxicity, the brain mushroom or turban fungus (one of many false morels) is considered a delicacy in many Scandinavian countries, and in several mountainous towns of the Pyrenees. The mushroom is prepared by parboiling it, which inactivates most of the toxin, but the fungus still carries risks - even if prepared correctly, the toxin gyromitrin often remains at levels high enough to have both short-term and long-term effects on the liver and central nervous system.

Toadstools, mushrooms, fungi, edible and poisonous: One Thousand American Fungi. Charles McIlvaine, 1900.

Chemical Burns, or Death by Sulfuric Acid

Chemical burns are not as common as thermal burns, but they’re just as destructive to human tissue. In this particular instance the individual committed suicide by drinking a large quantity of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is particularly nasty because it’s chemical composition quickly disrupts the covalent bonds the lipid membrane of cells and denatures proteins, causing instant cellular death. This results in the tissues presenting with what we call coagulative necrosis; the cells of the tissues are all dead but still maintaining the structure of the tissue. Eventually the inner lining of the digestive tract just sloughs off.

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Usually with suicidal ingestion of caustic chemicals there’s some sort of drip pattern. It’s not like they just drink it like a soda and then go lie down and die; it’s painful from the get go and that would mean some wiggling and thrashing around, spilling it all over you.

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As you can see here the individual not only spilled around his mouth but down his chest, causing chemical burns the whole way down. If you think this looks bad, let’s take a look and see what a severe caustic burn looks like on the inside.

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Here we can see the acid completely destroyed the tissues of the tongue and the pharynx. The striking thing to see here is that the acid was also active in the larynx, meaning the guy managed to not only drink a caustic liquid but also inhale it into his lungs. I can’t begin to imagine what the pain was like.

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Here we see that the acid didn’t just stay in the lungs and digestive tract, it managed to coat the internal plura and expose the ribs. This is because sulfuric acid is really good at eating through mucosa because of its chemical properties.

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Finally, here is what severe chemical burns to the internal organs look like. On the left we have the heart in between each lung. The dark color of the organs correspond to the coagulative necrosis I mentioned earlier. It’s important to notice the shape and contortion of the lungs, that’s definitely not normal and possibly explains how the acid coated the heart and internal pleura. In the middle is the liver with the kidneys to the right of it. Notice you can still see coloring of the top kidney, which I suspect to be the left kidney since that would put it further from the liver. That dark blob on the bottom right is the stomach, completely necrotic from the acid. Since the acid immediately pooled there it was subject to longer exposure and probably perforated since sulfuric acid chews through mucosa easier than other tissues. This also explains how the acid was able to leak on the liver and kidneys.

Chemical burns are different from thermal injuries because they can be largely internal and burn from “the inside out” like in this particular case. In adults it’s almost always related to suicide, however in children it’s almost always accidental ingestion.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate painkiller commonly prescribed to those with cancer and severe chronic pain in the form a patch. A full patch, which can sell for as much as $500 on the street, are intended to allow the medication to be slow released over time. But the patches are often cut up and sold, the pieces chewed, smoked, ingested or injected. Used patches, in which there remains enough fentanyl to get high, are also bought and sold on the street.

Cutaneous Loxoscelism, more commonly known as a Brown Recluse Spider Bite. How does the venom of such a tiny creature do this to a person? The spiders venom contains many cytotoxic substances but the main active ingredient is called Sphingomyelinase D. Sphingomyelin is a common lipid component of the cell membrane in humans, and this enzyme locks onto it and destroys it by converting it into ceramide-1-phosphate. We don’t know exactly what happens after this, but we think the continuous destruction of sphingomyelin results in the destruction of the cell, and therefore Brown Recluse bites cause widespread necrosis of the affected tissues.