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Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 2, Informative) 419

by WayneTheGoblin (#29298033) Attached to: Airborne Boeing Laser Blasts Ground Target

The only problem with that is: Good luck finding a frequency doubler that can handle that kind of input power. The best frequency doubling crystals I know of can handle at best a few dozen watts of laser power before melting. Also, because frequency doubling crystals don't have anything near 100% efficiency, you're talking about turning a tactical laser into (at best) an expensive, albeit high power laser pointer. Anyone with a superior knowledge of optics care to comment?

Comment: Re:This isn't news... (Score 2, Interesting) 467

by WayneTheGoblin (#27458477) Attached to: Believing In Medical Treatments That Don't Work

Actually, while I'll agree with you that the latest research doesn't support any prophylactic effect from taking vitamin C for colds and the like, I'm going to disagree with your conclusion.

Vitamin C does have a number of effects that make it worth taking during a cold or flu. Biochemically, vitamin C has a number of roles, such as deactivating histamine, which is one of the causes of feeling sick when you're sick, and it plays a major role in free radical clean up.

When you're sick, your immunocytes are attacking the invading pathogen with such wonderful enzymes as myeloperoxidase, which take hydrogen peroxide (produced in the oxidative burst) and turn it into HOCl (bleach) in order to kill the pathogen. This process spews reactive oxygen species (free radicals). When the ROSs interact with your cells, they cause damage, which leads to cytokine release and mast cell degranulation. Mast cells are the primary histamine releasers. So, not only is Vitamin C involved in the cleaning up of free radicals (in that vitamin C will quench the free radical, by itself becoming a free radical, albeit a safer and more stable one), but it also deactivates histamine.

Additionally, if you'd care to do the research, most of the studies showing megavitamin therapy (in the case of vitamin C) to be ineffective have either been performed by those with an interest in showing that it's ineffective (i.e. the drug companies), or had indeterminate conclusions.

Much more research needs to be done on the subject, but since the only problem with (oral, at least) vitamin C therapy seems to be osmotic diarrhea at more than 2g/day intake, in my opinion, there is no reason not use it for this purpose.

IAAMedStudent

Editorial

+ - First President of Russia Boris Yeltsin Dies

Submitted by Uzbek
Uzbek (769060) writes "As BBC reports, first president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, has died from heart failure on April 23. In the West he is regarded as champion of democracy and market reforms while in Russia many accuse him of ending USSR in 1991, disbanding democratically elected Parliament with military force in 1993 and forcing economic "shock therapy" that has left majority of Russians impoverished while paving a way for Russian oligarchs."

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