Top 10 most-read posts of July
Jul31

Top 10 most-read posts of July

Being a scientist and writer of a science blog, one can’t help being mesmerized by the statistics behind one’s readership. Over the last five years I’ve been quite surprised to see what posts garner a large number of readers and comments and which ones don’t (more often those that take a lot of time to write). As posts gain traction among Google search returns on popular topics, you’ll often see old posts...

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Amy Winehouse found dead in London
Jul23

Amy Winehouse found dead in London

I just learned from wire services that 27-year-old singer Amy Winehouse was found dead this afternoon in London (here is the Scotland Yard report without her name). She was a remarkable vocal talent in the classic style but her battle with drugs was painful to watch. I saw a very hurt and confused little girl inside this beautiful woman with a rich soulful voice that stood with decades of the most prodigious singers, both...

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Naturally Toxic Crowdsourcing
Jul21

Naturally Toxic Crowdsourcing

Among a typically mad summer of academic activities, I am nervously trying to finish a chapter on naturally-occurring toxins for a drug metabolism book. Indeed, this entire chapter will be a science-based rebuttal to the timeworn but misled statement, “Natural is safe.” So far, I’ve focused on naturally-occurring toxins that are metabolically activated by the liver such as the aflatoxins from Aspergillus spp. and...

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iAroma synthetic marijuana and the loss of Max Dobner
Jul16

iAroma synthetic marijuana and the loss of Max Dobner

If you have not heard about the risks of marginally-legal, synthetic marijuana products, a NBC Today Show piece this week certainly raised national awareness of these products sold online, in convenience stores, and smoke shops. (Note: the video autoplays after clicking the hyperlink.) On June 14 a 19-year-old northern Illinois man named Max Dobner crashed into a two-story home at a high rate of speed. The family living there was out...

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News & Observer tweet-up: my newspaper groks it
Jul13

News & Observer tweet-up: my newspaper groks it

For those of you social media butterflies, how does your local newspaper interact with you? Call me a dinosaur but I love my local newspaper. We at Terra Sig World Headquarters still get the dead-tree version on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and you’ll occasionally see me blog here and elsewhere about pharma stories I first learn from the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina. Part of the reason is because it is the...

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