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Comment Re:Wrong Age / Wrong Target Market (Score 1) 409

Oddly enough, opiates alone in overdose aren't guaranteed to be lethal. Some deaths from opiate OD occur because of combined intoxication with benzos or barbituates. A combination of an OD of both an opiate (I'd pick hydromorphone) and a barb should do quite nicely. Interestingly, people who have been revived from opiate OD by narcan have often told off the paramedics for 'harshing their buzz' (implying even in the OD condition they were high as a kite and loving it). If you have to die, personally I'd rather go that way.

Cheap Cancer Drug Finally Tested In Humans 363

John Bayko writes "Mentioned on Slashdot a couple of years ago, the drug dichloroacetate (DCA) has finally finished its first clinical trial against brain tumors in humans. Drug companies weren't willing to test a drug they could not patent, so money was raised in the community through donations, auctions, and finally government support, but the study was still limited to five patients. It showed extremely positive results in four of them. This episode raises the question of what happens to all the money donated to Canadian and other cancer societies, and especially the billions spent buying merchandise with little pink ribbons on it, if not to actual cancer research like this."

Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"

Using EMP To Punch Holes In Steel 165

angrytuna writes "The Economist is running a story about a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology in Chemnitz, Germany, who've found a way to use an EMP device to shape and punch holes through steel. The process enjoys advantages over both lasers, which take more time to bore the hole (0.2 vs. 1.4 seconds), and by metal presses, which can leave burrs that must be removed by hand."

Comment Re:some advice (Score 1) 205

I don't know about anywhere else, but in Canada it's a crime to post a picture of someone to the internet or otherwise use it without their explicit consent. Canada has fairly strict privacy laws (as can be seen with the recent clashes with Facebook over privacy), and although many people think it is okay to post any pictures they've taken of their friends/family onto Facebook and other sites without needing to get permission, at least in Canada doing so is illegal and can result in criminal charges being pressed.

Comment Re:Painkillers? (Score 1) 220

Alcohol is a depressant because it slows down central nervous system activity (it depresses the central nervous system). In the case of drugs, depressants are so-called because of their action on the central nervous system, and the use of the word "depressant" tends to cause confusion since it is then associated with the emotional state of depression even though that's not why it's used. In the context of drugs, both (CNS) depressants and (CNS) stimulants can cause euphoria and otherwise promote feelings of emotional well being. The classification is representative of the activity on the central nervous system, not of the emotional effects. It has nothing to do with the emotional state of being depressed (or even with sadness). Moderate doses of alcohol cause the release of endogenous opiates (part of what causes the buzzed feeling) which more than likely induces a mild to moderate euphoria or feeling of warmth and well-being. But it also acts on the benzodiazapine-like receptors, which causes the drop in inhibitions that leads to the expression of those pre-drinking negative emotions through crying.

Comment Re:What will kill pain then? (Score 1) 631

OxyContin does not contain APAP. It is pure oxycodone in a time released form. No official formulations of pure hydrocodone are available on the US market. It might be possible to get a compounding pharmacy to put pure hydrocodone powder into a tablet form, but I'm not sure about that. What I know for sure is that no pharmacutical company makes pure hydrocodone tablets or other dosage forms available.

Comment Re:Umm, that's the POINT.. to be toxic. (Score 1) 631

I've seen quite a few addicts who were downing 40 pills a day of percocet or vicodin, with no ill effects.

That right there tells me something is wrong. I'm a chronic pain patient, fortunate enough to be in Canada where all of our pain killing opiates are available without paracetamol (though you can still get say, Tylenol with codeine, but codeine is also available seperately). Mixing the paracetamol does have some theraputic value but not a heck of a lot. Certainly not enough to justify potentially destroying the livers of pain patients because their pain is not controlled by the maximum dose of compounded drugs available to them and thus forced to take more than the upper limit of APAP. Anecdotal evidence, sure, but in my own experience (taking morphine for shoulder pain) adding an extra strength tylenol to the mix whenever I take morphine doesn't help enough to be noticeable. It's not enough that I can reduce the dose of morphine I need, and so compounded drugs would not be useful in their intended purpose (at least for me, once again this is definitely not scientific).

It doesn't really dissuade drug users either. Sure, they are worth less on the street--but it is very easy to extract the APAP from them (see cold water extraction) and any addict that knows about this will do it (a friend of mine lived next to some casual opiate users in residence and they called upon him to do the cold water extraction). However, the majority of people who abuse these drugs aren't necessarily aware of the damage it will do to their liver. A lot of them are teens! It's absolutely wrong that this compounding is harming kids who don't know any better (about the APAP). Don't go taking this as "think of the children" though. But it's undeniable that a higher percentage of teens are using/abusing opiate painkillers without a prescription than before, probably on the grounds that "oh, because it's prescription its probably safer [than street drugs]" It's unfortunate that they don't know/care/understand the effects the APAP mixed in with the opiates they're using. Hell, even the media is contributing to this: look at House. Everyone who knows anything about Vicodin and what's inferred about House's use of it would know that he (a) would have switched to a lower APAP formulation, or a non-compounded drug (b) the level of APAP he's taking in would have completely destroyed his liver. And yet this is not talked about, probably because of widespread misconceptions about these compounded drugs

I really think that its unfortunate that the legitimate users of these opiate pain relieves are the ones that are probably at highest risk for liver problems, especially chronic pain patients who will take opiates for years on end. It's also unfortunate that although opiates and APAP have a synergistic effect, this is not really the reason for combining them [at least in the eyes of some] and it leads to more harm to those that abuse them than addiction and physical dependence would alone. Stop punishing the drug abusers. They need help, not to be punished by society because they "deserve" it.

Comment Re:not really a ban (Score 1) 631

And by the way, codeine sucks and is addictive. If you want to have something against dry cough, take pentoxyverine or theobromine.

Codeine can be "addictive", but one of the reasons its easily available is because it is far less so than stronger opiate painkillers. In the parent post, they were talking about using codeine for pain, not cough. While codeine is not nearly as potent as morphine or hydrocodone for pain relief, it is still effective in most people because some of it is metabolized into morphine by the liver. This doesn't happen in about 10% of people because they lack the necessary enzyme for this metabolism, but in the rest of the population it is quite effective. In regards to coughs, codeine is actually a very effective cough suppressant--not as potent as hydromorphone, brand name Dilaudid (most effective opiate for coughs) though still good enough for most coughs given that it is much easier to get (hydromorphone is Schedule II, codeine cough products are Schedule III [iirc, I'm Canadian so I only know our drug schedules really well] ).

Comment Re:In Space (Score 1) 512

By contrast, nuclear doesn't add any heat that isn't already in the system

I don't think you understand nuclear power very well. The whole *point* of energy generation is to add heat. If nuclear power didn't heat shit up it wouldn't be very damn useful. Nuclear energy turns the binding energy of the nucleus into heat--the energy was there, but it certainly wasn't in the form of heat. The total amount of energy on earth hasn't changed because of nuclear power plants--but the amount of heat has. If you hadn't fissioned that Uranium, you would not have the same amount of heat energy on earth. All of this nonsense about adding heat that wasn't already in the system shows a complete lack of understanding of what's going on. Almost all energy generation technology adds heat to earth that wasn't there before. That's the whole bloody point. The energy is not useful locked up in chemical or nuclear bonds/binding. But as heat we can turn it into electricity. Adding heat to the system isn't going to cause problems: the earth radiates away almost all of the heat we produce into space. That's why greenhouse gases are such a problem. Not because we're creating heat by burning carbon, but because that carbon traps heat in the atmosphere. But this technology doesn't need to burn carbon, so the earth can continue to radiate away all the waste heat. All this does is exploit the fact that in orbit you can get a lot better efficiency of solar panels, and beam it to earth using microwaves. Microwave rectennas are *a lot* more efficient than solar cells on earth.

Comment Re:In Space (Score 5, Insightful) 512

You can tell an environmentalist had mod points because this is modded troll. The fact is though, we *do* understand microwaves pretty damn well. I'd say we understand them better than a lot of other physical phenomena (I'm a physics undergrad). His point about the environmentalists is spot on. It happens all the time: look at nuclear power plants. Chernobyl _could never happen again_, but that's flaunted around by all those do-gooder enviros. And the truth is that we understand nuclear plants pretty damn well, and we build extremely safe ones now. But that's not enough. The environmentalists hurt the environment more by stifling innnovation than any amount of space power satellites ever would. Hell, more birds die from collisions with planes and high rises, but no one is calling for us to ban those. It's FUD, and it's bullshit. These are the same people that are cheering on wind energy: hate to break it to you, but wind mills are far more dangerous to birds and wildlife than a microwave beam.

Comment Re:Bah (Score 1) 700

It's kind of amusing to listen to people's accounts of the caffeine "addiction" and and the withdrawal symptoms they suffer. I've been a regular coffee drinker for at least the last four years. At minimum, 4 to 5 cups of espresso daily, along with 6 to 8 cups of regular coffee. A few times I've had to go without, and I've experienced what you would call caffeine "withdrawal."

Let me tell you something...caffeine withdrawal is nothing. I'm not an advocate for the criminalization of drugs, but when you actually been dependent on a schedule II, you realize caffeine isn't even in the same class and when it comes to physical dependence. Two years ago when I was severely injured in a karate accident, and ever since then have needed about 500 mg of morphine (I have an incredibly high tolerance to it as a result of using a daily for two years) per day to keep the pain tolerable. I use an extended release form, that gives about 20 hours worth the pain relief (along with immediate release to take the edge off). After this 20 hours, I have about 6 hours before with thdrawal sets in. This means that when I sleep in on weekends, I wake up in partial withdrawal. I've been in caffeine withdrawal as well, and I can tell you that it doesn't even compare. Opiate withdrawal is hell on earth. The symptoms of caffeine withdrawal look like super happy fun time in comparison. Nausea, vomiting, muscle pains, extreme shakes and shivers, more pain than I've ever experienced. I'm not discounting that caffeine causes physical dependence, but until you withdrew from "a real drug" you have no idea how bad physical dependence can be. As much as I believe that drug prohibition is counterintuitive, and not what the government should be regulating, there's definitely a difference between illegal drugs such as caffeine, and those illegal without a prescription. Caffeine is really not all that addictive in comparison, and I really don't think many people here understand what real addiction is like.

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