In the papers...
Cannabis-like 'Spice' to be banned in the UK
The UK Advisory council on the misuse of drugs (ACMD) has recommended that the government ban 'Spice Gold', a legal smoking mixture that was found to contain synthetic mimics of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the active ingredient in cannabis; see Chemistry World, February 2009, p8). The product is already illegal in Germany, Austria and France. The Guardian, 12 August 2009
Urine test for personal medicine
British scientists have developed a simple urine test to analyse patients' metabolism of drug molecules, particularly differences due to metabolites from gut bacteria that were previously hard to predict. The results could lead to more accurate prescriptions and doses of probiotic 'good bacteria' along with drugs to improve patients' metabolic profiles.
The Times, 11 August 2009
Corby council liable for birth defects from 'toxic soup'
Parents of children with birth defects have won the right to claim compensation from the local council in Corby, UK, after a high court judge ruled that the council was responsible for exposing residents to toxic waste from a former steelworks site. The waste, transported in open lorries through the town, contained polyaromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, chromium, cadmium and nickel. Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2009
Juicing up cancer drugs
While patients are usually warned against drinking grapefruit juice with their medication owing to the way it interferes with the rate of drug metabolism, a trial in Chicago has shown that taking juice along with the anticancer drug rapamycin can prolong its action in the body long enough to reduce the dose from daily to weekly. This lowers both the cost and the side effects, but the juice must be fresh to have the beneficial effect.
Chicago Tribune, 8 August 2009