BBC News (12/9) reported, "A drug being tested to treat cancer could also help patients suffering from asthma." It's well understood that "too many uncontrolled eosinophils can damage other cells that line the lung, contributing to inflammatory conditions such as asthma." But, scientists at Edinburgh University discovered that the drug, R-Roscovitine, "caused the eosinophil cells to undergo a form of cell death known as apoptosis, a natural process where unwanted cells are removed from the body." The discovery, investigators say, "could lead to an alternative way to treat asthma in patients who are resistant to steroid treatments."
Folks, I spent 7+ years doing research into this kind of thing, with eosinophils as the primary target of research. We didn't really ever come up with anything, so the blurb above came as great news to me this morning. To have a therapy that doesn't rely on steroids is terrific news, and if you know someone with severe asthma you'll understand why I'm pretty excited by this. To shut down one type of cell that, when activated, can release all manner of molecules that alert not only the immune system but can also start an inflammatory cascade is kind of like finding a drug that will cure 80% of all cancers. Seems to me this is pretty big news.
Yes, I'm a geek. A proud one. And sometimes, that geek flag is run up the flagpole to its highest setting. Like today.
It's been a while, hasn't it? Life has kind of spiraled out of control, and apparently a break from posting was the first thing to be sacrificed at the altar of Life Craziness.
So things have been happening. LOTS OF THINGS. Which may or may not be described here; only time will tell. For now I just needed to crack open the tough outer shell of insanity that's been keeping me imprisoned lately, just to say hi.
And a request: despite me feeling really Grinchy about Christmas this year (we've had the tree up for days and it's not decorated yet!), I am a big lover of holiday cards. If any of y'all would like to do a card exchange, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll start a list that can be emailed out to all interested parties next week. Then we can all send cards to each other, and it will be like Christmas in Virtual Mayberry!
Cards exchanges are cheap, easy, and kind of fun. In years past I've done a card exchange with other almost completely anonymous bloggers, but that opportunity has passed me by this year. So hey, why not take matters in to own hands and try to get something going among the people I know? Hope you'll play along. You'll get a card from me, and from other lovely people who like to be jolly and who probably smell like hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), so what's not to like?
Deadline for emailing me is ..... Sunday.
Hope to be mailing you soon!