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Showing posts from August, 2014

There needs to be more research on Opioid painkillers and Enkephalins!

Chronic pain is something that most people have to go through every day, such as back pain caused by sciatica or other reasons, headaches, migraines or other neurological pains. To help get people through the difficult pain, several painkillers have been produced and a widely used such as codeine and morphine (sometimes codeine is given as co-codamol, a mix of codeine and paracetamol). 

Coffee: the Good, the Better and the Not-So-Good

Millions of people over the world start their day with an aromatic cup of coffee generally to wake them up.  Coffee contains caffeine which is the stimulant that interacts with the body to make you feel more alert. How Coffee works and its benefits Caffeine works as an antagonist (block receptors) of adenosine receptors in the brain. Caffeine mimics the natural neurotransmitter; adenosine, and blocks the receptor, preventing adenosine from binding to the receptor and slowing the nervous impulses. In turn this makes the nervous impulses quicker and the brain works faster. Also caffeine can relieve headaches and migraines since it binds to adrenergic receptors on vascular muscle cells which cause them to constrict instead of dilating.

A new hope for Parkinson’s disease …?

First of all I’d like to dedicate this blog post to my late uncle who was a victim of Parkinson’s disease. May he rest in peace… Parkinson’s disease was discovered by James Parkinson in 1867 and had initially called it “Shaking palsey”. Parkinson’s is the 2 nd most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s, and can be identified by shaking hands (tremor), rigidity and posture instability; cased by the loss of neurons in the Substantia Nigra (in the brain), and the lack of dopamine (dopamine smoothes out skeletal muscle movements) due to the death of dopaminergic neurones in the Substantia Nigra (black substance) in the brain and also the accumulation of lewy bodies. Other symptoms of Parkinson’s are shuffling gait, depression and anger.

Coconut water: healthy or hype?

Social media is full of health gurus that are obsessed with healthy eating and exercise and what they can drink to maintain their energy during workouts. This is where coconut water comes in. Coconut water (biological name Cocos nucifera L.) is sometimes compared to energy drinks and glorified about for its great benefits and hydrating properties. It is even now more widely available in grocery stores than previous years. The hydrating drink is known to have a bunch of nutritious benefits and is harvested from green coconuts that are still unripe. Coconut water is low in calories, rich in antioxidants and electrolytes (such as the inorganic ion: potassium), it is also low in fat and cholesterol free and has elevated amounts of vitamin C .

Should we fear the Ebola virus or not?

“Breaking news: Ebola virus has been declared as an international public health emergency by the World Health organization” That sentence was the first thing I saw when I logged into Facebook as I’ve started planning and writing this article. What is the Ebola virus (EBOV)? BBC Ebola Virus The Ebola virus is a very terrible disease and lethal if caught and it has a high fatality rate of 60% (WHO 01/04/2014) [1] Ebola is not an airborne virus but it can be spread via bodily fluids such as sweat and its recommended that you don’t shake hands with anyone who could potential carry the disease or has recovered and still in recuperation period.

A little bit more about me

I graduated in medicinal chemistry in November 2013. I really enjoyed studying medicinal chemistry at university (apart from organic chemistry!) and I wish it was a better known subject of study. Before I went to study medicinal chemistry at university I wanted to study pharmacy or bio-medical science, because those were the main courses I have heard of. But I went on to do some work experience in a pharmacy and I realized that I just couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life in a position like this. So I went back to researching different courses at university. I found biochemistry, pure biology, pure chemistry bio-medical sciences but I still wasn't convinced. One day I walked into my chemistry class and overheard a conversation between a class mate and our teacher. He was asking him about what he thought about Medicinal Chemistry as a subject. The name got me interested and right away I looked it up online and applied through all the universities that studied m

Vitamin C Does Nothing for Your Cold But it can put off Cancer

Everyone thinks that if they have the common cold or flu if they increase the dose of vitamin C in their diet (via copious amounts of orange juice, honey and lemon tea, and vitamin c supplements etc etc…). As a kid I used to take these chewy Vitamin C pills in the hope that they would help prevent me from catching the cold from school especially at every new term start but to my dismay; I still caught the cold. So does vitamin C actually work? Studies have stated that although vitamin C does not prevent the common cold but it actually can reduce the severity and duration of it. The Chemistry of Vitamin C Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is known to have anti - carcinogenic properties. In English that means that it can prevent cancer in the body. Vitamin C reacts with organic free radicals to protect from the damage caused by free radicals in cells.

My First Blog Post!

After almost a year of graduating in medicinal chemistry, I have been contemplating whether or not to start a blog. I am really passionate about chemistry and an avid reader of Chemistry World and New Scientist which partly encouraged me to start this blog. I’ve always been passionate about journalism and getting the latest news about the latest chemistry and biology developments out to everyone. I hope to use this blog as a way into the science blogosphere and write for bigger science magazines - hopefully! So without further ado welcome to my blog and I hope and I hope you enjoy my posts and I hope you visit again! Mariam - Crystals And Catalysts