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Friday, November 27, 2009

Struggling with personality disorder.

We like to see the world in black and white: a landscape of villains and victims; good and evil; right and wrong.

These labels allow us to make easy moral judgements about others, to apportion blame and sympathy. It seems to be an involuntary human response. Who has suffered? Who is at fault?

Indeed, many of the stories in today's news are about the process of allocation: the Iraq War Inquiry; reports of crimes and the courts; response to the credit crunch.

We extract complexity and nuance until we have distilled events to the point where their human constituents can be placed in monochrome boxes marked "saints" and "sinners". Every narrative becomes a morality play.

Take the heart-rending story of Baby P. The toddler we now know as Peter was a tragic victim of abuse - torture which ultimately led to his death.

- Source

- Baby P: Abused and murdered

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Echinacea Purpurea, Anti-viral properties and mode of action of standardized Echinacea purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian Influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV)


Influenza virus (IV) infections are a major threat to human welfare and animal health worldwide. Anti-viral therapy includes vaccines and a few anti-viral drugs.

However vaccines are not always available in time, as demonstrated by the emergence of the new 2009 H1N1-type pandemic strain of swine origin (S-OIV) in April 2009, and the acquisition of resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors such as Tamiflu(R) (oseltamivir) is a potential problem.

Therefore the prospects for the control of IV by existing anti-viral drugs are limited.

As an alternative approach to the common anti-virals we studied in more detail a commercial standardized extract of the widely used herb Echinacea purpurea (Echinaforce(R), EF) in order to elucidate the nature of its anti-IV activity.

- Source

- All About Echinacea