Please fire me. I am sure my next workplace would love to know you wrote me up for giving a man, who was going into anaphylactic shock, some benadryl.  Yep, it says “dealing drugs” in the write up.

Eye drops could dissolve cataracts

Cataracts cloud the eyes of tens of millions of people around the world and nearly 17.2% of Americans over the age of 40. Currently, the only treatment is surgery—lasers or scalpels cut away the molecular grout that builds in the eye as cataracts develop, and surgeons sometimes replace the lens. But now, a team of scientists and ophthalmologists has tested a solution in dogs that may be able to dissolve the cataract right out of the eye’s lens. And the solution is itself a solution: a steroid-based eye drop.

‘Skin disease is one of the most minimised conditions you can have,’ she maintains…Because skin disease, unlike most internal illness, is immediately visible, many people feel themselves being stared at, or worse. Complete strangers feel they have the right to comment and ask what the problem is….'If people could think every time they have just one pimple on their face how bad they feel walking down the street, then imagine what it is like to have an illness running out of control. There is so much more we need to learn.’
Bigger, Faster, Stronger.

So i just watched “bigger faster stronger” the documentary about steroid usage in the US. It made me realise how ignorant i really was to it all, i grew up watching wrestling and seeing guys like The Rock, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin and all i wanted to do was become a wrestler and i thought that hard work saying your prayers and taking your vitamins would get you there, apparently not.

Another 2 childhood heros of mine were Rocky Balboa and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I believed that the smaller guy could win because Rocky did, hes even the reason i took up boxing to find out that he took steroids before the latest Rocky movie crushed me and to find out that Arnold had always been taking them really left me disillusioned with the people i thought i could look up to and idolise. I must have watched every Rocky movie a hundred times and i even tried to drink raw eggs before i went to training. I tried pretty much everything i saw in that movie and i still use some today. When i heard initially about the steroid use i didnt believe it or rather i choose not to believe it but dissapointingly the proof was there. 

Thankfully in the sport of boxing today there are athletes like Floyd Mayweather who demands everybody he fights to take an olympic drug test. He became a 42-0 champion through hard work and dedication which became a motto for the money team, Hes cocky and brash but hes a clean fighter and he respects the sports he proves that a clean athlete can overcome a sport that is more than likely over run with steroids. Even Manny Pacquiao refuses to take a drug test which isnt very surprising considering hes moved up so many weight classes so quickly. Any clean fighter would just take the test and get on with the fight.

Seeing how big steroid usage actually is in every sport has left me disillusioned as i said before especially considering my chosen college course is Sport and Recreation and i was hoping to train athletes in the future. I do know two things for sure though any athlete i catch using steroids i will kick out of my club and report to whatever authority there is. Any body competing at any level should be clean its a matter of sportsmanship.

Well thats my rant over i just had to get it out there and no better place then a blog where nobody will read it.

Tumors might grow faster at night

They emerge at night, while we sleep unaware, growing and spreading out as quickly as they can. And they are deadly. In a surprise finding that was recently published in Nature Communications, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers showed that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body. Their findings suggest that administering certain treatments in time with the body’s day-night cycle could boost their efficiency.

This finding arose out of an investigation into the relationships between different receptors in the cell – a complex network that we still do not completely understand. The receptors – protein molecules on the cell’s surface or within cells – take in biochemical messages secreted by other cells and pass them on into the cell’s interior. The scientists, led by Dr. Mattia Lauriola, a postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Prof. Yosef Yarden of the Weizmann Institute’s Biological Regulation Department, working together with Prof. Eytan Domany of the Physics of Complex Systems Department, focused on two particular receptors. The first, the epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR, promotes the growth and migration of cells, including cancer cells. The second binds to a steroid hormone called a glucocorticoid (GC). Glucocorticoids play a role in maintaining the body’s energy levels during the day, as well as the metabolic exchange of materials. It is often called the stress hormone because its levels rise in stressful situations, rapidly bringing the body to a state of full alert.

Cushing's Syndrome

The adrenal cortex produces glucocorticoids e.g. cortisol. Increased secretion of glucocorticoids is called Cushing’s syndrome and has a variety of different causes:

  • An increase in activity of the adrenal cortex due a tumour
  • A pituitary adenoma which causes an increase in the secretion of ACTH (Cushing’s disease)
  • Ectopic secretion of ACTH

ACTH is a hormone that is released from the anterior pituitary and it stimulates the secretion of cortisol. Cortisol in return negatively feeds back to ACTH and inhibits its production.

Cushings syndrome has many symptoms such as

  • Increased muscle proteolysis and wassting of muscles which gives the patient thin arms and legs
  • Increase lipogenesis which leads to fat depositions in the abdomen, neck and face. This gives the patient a “moon shaped” face and central weight gain
  • Thinning of the skin which leads to purple marks and easy bruising
  • Immunosupression leading to a greater susceptibility to infections
  • Osteoporosis causing back pain and the collapsing of ribs

External image

Happy Birthday to American chemist Robert Burns Woodward, who synthesized cortisone, quinine and vitamin B12, who was born April 10, 1917. Despite a rich career and one which saw the first synthesis of cortisone, along with a Nobel Prize in 1965 and the reputation of being the preeminent organic chemist of his century, identifying the structure and nature of many organic compounds, it was American chemist Edward Calvin Kendall who named the compound in 1949. Cortisone is short for 17-hydroxy-11-dehydrocorticosterone (count the atoms above) the root of which derived from the Latin word cortex in the form of the genitive corticis, meaning the bark of a tree. Cortisone is a 21-carbon steroid hormone, and is one of the main hormones released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. The word cortex was used in English as early as the 1650s to mean the outer shell or husk of something and wasn’t applied to the region of the brain until almost a hundred years later in 1741.

Don’t feel too bad for Woodward, though-his career was long and filled with discovery, particularly the synthesis of many compounds that were thought impossible to create artificially: quinine, cholesterol, strychnine, lysergic acid, reserpine, chlorophyll, cephalosporin, and colchicine. His era is often referred to as the Woodwardian Era in honor of his contributions.

Image of cortisone model in the Public Domain.