November 23, 2017

Safe Turkey Cooking. HAPPY Thanksgiving

kpmitton: @OaklandU

Use at least 325°F oven to Cook #Turkey & stuffing to 165°F.

Wait another 20 min more before taking out stuffing, after removing turkey from oven. Makes sure stuffing reaches 165 degrees.

Some bacteria can survive in stuffing if you do not reach 165 degrees.

My information comes from the Center for Disease Control, here:

November 12, 2017

Wrangling the Vast Literature for Students, Professors, Researchers: Medeley

As I try to read all the science papers I would love to read, there is really no time to do so.
As I entered graduate school in the late 80's and early 90's we were in a period of time where one could read just about all the eye or retina or lens based papers one needed to be aware of.

As more and more genetics and biochemistry that just happens to be done in the EYE also floods general cell and molecular biology, genetics, and biochemical journals, one now must be selective. This needs a solution. You need a solution and you would like to have that solution without spending lots of money to do so. So here is your solution that I know works for me as a University Professor and Medical Research Scientist.

August 28, 2017

Following the Texas Flood in Real Time data from the USGS - An important department of the Federal Government.

You can follow the flooding in real time using the USGS tool here.

August 9, 2017

Predatory Journals: They will destroy open access trustworthiness.

Jeffrey Beall, a scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver, has been forced to shut down his blog where he helped all of us to be aware of predatory publishers. These are businesses that are not really scholarly publishers, but simply online "open access" pay to get your paper published websites.

You can read about Jeffrey Beall's situation here. People with money are working to shut him down.
I am sad to see that the University of Colorado is not defending his value to the academic community.

Science journals, in paper or online, need to be trustworthy. They need to be edited and reviewed by real scholars in those fields, and not just anyone with a PhD who wants to pump up their resume. Actual scholars who do research for a living and who may also teach at the University and College level.

Manuscripts actually need to be reviewed. Peer review.

Online journals full of post-docs and research assistants as their editors, who have never gained charge of their own labs or research programs, or professorships / lectureships, and who also have little if any publishing of their own in their field in bona fide journals, are not really scholarly journals. They are just what they are. Pay money, get your manuscript online to look like its a real scholarly open access journal. That is not however a publication that warrants being included in a list of peer reviewed publications used to establish one's reputation or to obtain scholarly employment with.

We all get several emails a week from publishers of these online rags looking for people to submit and pay the fees. You can send the crap and it will get published. After you provide your credit card information of course.

Visiting a predatory publisher and journal website quickly reveals that they are not a journal that belongs to any scholarly society for the fields they publish in, nor do they have an expected list of experienced scholars with actual jobs as professors in their editors lists.

Real scholarly journals do not cold-email people asking for the "kind submission of your excellent manuscript" nor do they note that they liked a real paper you published recently and can you send one similar to them as well. For a fee of course.

It is up to us scholars, professors and scientists to make sure our students and post-docs do not fall into the trap of either serving on the editorial boards of these predatory journals or in wasting their time and money publishing in them.

That is how I support Jeff's efforts, even if his Institution seems to be scared to do so.
I make sure my students and staff know how to tell a junk journal when they see one.
Now there are many open access journals that are legit. They have editorial boards that are full of hard working and experienced scholars in their fields. Some of them get sponsors to cover costs of publishing so there are no fees at all to the authors even for processing and layout work done by those journals.

Open Access in not bad, but the model is being stolen by predatory publishers and the associations of Open Access journals are mostly watching this dilute their future importance to scholarly reference and knowledge. This will be at the peril of Open Access' future.

Ken Mitton, PhD FARVO
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Oakland University.

August 5, 2017

Do not watch Solar Eclipse with regular sunglasses!

The Sun generally does not hurt our retina because it is so bright that we do not stare at it very long.  If we do,  our pupils contract to get very tiny as well.  But when the Solar Eclipse darkens the day to night and it is easy to look, infra red light can make you blind permanently.

April 29, 2017

Super Duper: Best Computer Drive Backup Program I Know for Mac OS-X

That is a little program that I purchased several years ago and continue to use to backup our most important Mac. The home Mac. I started back with our white plastic iMac from 2005 that had a gradual power board issue many years later. The backup drive created by Super Duper was not only a backup of files it was much more. It was a fully Bootable copy of the original hard drive. This was important, because it gave us a way to keep using those user accounts to get work done while obtaining another iMac. That is the magic of one of Super Duper's backup options.

April 22, 2017

My final exam for our two presidential candidates at Oakland University: Tuition 101.

My final exam for Oakland University's two presidential candidates,
on the rising costs for our students. 
This week, even though I am the elected spokesperson of our faculty association (OU-AAUP),  in honor of final exam week I asked two questions on behalf of the students of Oakland University. I have a pretty good idea about being a student. I attended courses at three Universities myself over many years, have many Oakland students learning how to research the retina and genes with me, and two of my own Kids are deep into their own degrees here at Oakland University.  These two questions were designed to make two candidates for our next University President think about these two related issues:
  • Why students take so long to complete their "four-year" programs.
  • Why full-time tuition is about $13,000 per year in 2017 compared to just $1,200 in 1980. I paid $1,200 in 1980 myself at a Canadian University in my 1st year as an undergraduate. OU students paid the same.

Here are the exact questions in my final quiz:

1. Why do you think that the majority of students at this and other universities take 6+ years to obtain a "four year" degree?

2. Full time tuition was $1,200 in 1980 at Oakland University for the entire year (Fall plus Winter). Its now over $13,000 per year in 2017. What is your explanation for that?

Not only are these questions cutting to the core of the biggest problem students face in 2017, college affordability, they are important questions for two candidates who have no recent experience in the administration at an academic public university such as Oakland. 

Both candidates, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, MD, and Carl Camden PhD, are very successful in their career paths as administrators and leaders, and I am in no position to criticize their accomplishments in any way. However, if either one of them becomes Oakland University's next president, there are unique problems regarding high student tuition and they need to understand where that problem originates. I am writing this in my general science education blog because I think it is important information for almost any parent of a current or future college student in the United States. 

The final marks on my quiz was 50% for both of the candidates. They tied. Both had a good answer for question 1, but not for question 2. I was not surprised because of their career experience. Neither have administered at a public university, over purely academic departments and programs, and so I would not necessarily expect them to know. But I wish them to learn something new that a future president of Oakland University needs to face. Most parents of students, students, and most politicians would also not have an answer for question 2. 

Both candidates got question #1 correct:

Both answered that students are working many more hours in 2017, and so have less courses completed per year. Carl Camden kind of suggested that this might also reflect more students going to school while in a career or job, with families. He referred to some of his own employees at Kelly. However, while those kinds of students have always existed, the reality is that our undergraduate student population is not actually a lot older, they are simply taking less courses because it is so expensive that they cannot afford what was called full-time status in the 1980's. 

When Ora, Carl or myself were undergraduate students, that was often 4 or 5 different courses taken at the same time each term. Way back then, most students completed a "four year" degree in 4 to 5 years. In the United States of 2017 this is now well over 6 years. In the 80's, if our parents did not have extra funds for our college, we could bank our next year's tuition simply by working during the summer.  Students now have to work all year long in 2017, more than 20 hours per week during the school year, just to afford the fewer courses they enroll in.

As for question 2), neither candidate seemed familiar, nor did they understand the numerical realities of why tuition is so large now in 2017.

This might be expected since neither candidate comes to us from an academic career in the sense of a public university like Oakland. They come to us from private corporate careers. Carl Camden was once a full time professor but that experience ended long before the dramatic changes to our tuition and education cost structure set in. Ora Pescovitz was with the U-Mich health system for years, which is owned by a state university, but her work was mostly within a clinical hospital system. 

To be fair, most of our state's politicians are also unaware of why tuition is so high. Politicians are so oblivious to the reasons that they do not even seem to understand how they are actually the cause of most of our higher tuition costs in 2017.  They even accuse universities of gouging students, which is just plain wrong. So, what is the answer to question 2? 

The first clue comes from understanding the accumulated US inflation rate. Then using math. You can look up the US accumulated inflation-rate since 1980, which is about 196%. ( is a handy calculator)

That rate has increased the cost of living, pay, cars, houses, services and goods in similar percentages over the last 37 years. The same inflation rate applies to my salary as a professor, most of the support staff, and the costs of construction. However, if we applied this accumulated inflation rate to a $1,200 tuition of 1980, this would calculate a tuition of $3,500 in 2017. But, tuition is over $13,000. Where is that extra $9,500 coming from? Higher pay for professors? 

No it is not that. Anyone can look up average professor salaries from any time and see that they have not exceeded values explained by economic inflation. Is it newer technology then? Nope. Not that either. While technology in the 1980s looks clunky compared to 2017, a good IBM Selectric typewriter, and the first models of IBM PCs without graphic cards were as relatively costly as a MacBook Pro is today. We do have a much higher percentage of higher level administrators than in the 80s, and they come with big six-figure salaries and increase cost, but another force seems to drive student tuition well beyond even that effect. That force is our own state governments, who we do elect, and a relative divestment in post-secondary education over the last three decades. While we paid a $1,200 tuition in 1980, that was NOT our total education cost per student.  In other words, our tuition did not cover even most of our education cost. It only covered about 25% of our education cost. The other 75% came from the State. That is why many persons of my age (mid 50s) who sit in our state house and senate were able to graduate without very much student debt. Especially if we attended a university near home. 

Our education cost per student was about $4,800 in 1980, and students paid about $1,200 of that as tuition. Applying the inflation rate to $4,800 then predicts an education cost of about $14,200 today. The education cost at OU now is more like $15,800. So a bit more may be accounted for by the large shift to larger numbers of high level administrators that has happened at many American universities over the last 20 years. But most of the education costs is just as one should expected from regular inflation rate that has acted across the whole US economy. What has changed, is that our state government, and many other state governments, have dramatically shifted how they cut the education cost pie with our students. 

In 1980, OU students paid about 25% of their education cost. In 2017 students pay about 82% of their education cost! Michigan, and many other states, have divested in education cost contributions. While legislators will point to an increase in the absolute dollar values of money provided per student over the last few decades, in reality that number is falling way behind as a percentage of education costs that it covers. Salaries and gross national product have increased with inflation too and if the same percentage of those salaries and profits were taxed and channeled to education costs as they were in 1980, then those contributions could cover 70% of a student's education cost and our undergraduates at Oakland University would be paying a tuition more like $5,000 per year, or even less. 

The most important challenge for public university presidents in 2017.

So the point I want to make to any future president of Oakland University, presidents of any other public state university, and to their governing Boards, is that someone needs to start educating the parents of our students and our legislators how our State's relative divestment in higher education has increased tuition its highest level ever in 2017. Professors are really very tired of hearing politicians accuse Oakland University or Wayne State or EMU of "gouging" students when tuition is increased beyond Michigan State Government's recommended tuition cap. There is simply no choice. A university either gets the money to pay their operations or they turn off the lights and close their doors. Its simple. 

Our next president, should they come from the private sector, needs to understand this fundamental problem of funding student education at OU and many other public Universities. They must be thinking about how to team up with Board members and Faculty, get to Lansing, and be vocal about the truth in tuition numbers. Until these numbers change, students will continue to take well over 6 years to complete their traditional four-year degree programs, and a high percentage of students will drop out and fail to complete their degrees. Those that complete will have burdensome levels of student loan debt. Students will continue to go to our general undergraduate advising offices and be told that they should take more courses, like 16 hours per week, to get done sooner and generate less debt. Those students will continue to come to our labs and offices where we find them crying, wondering how they hell they can stop working 20+ hours per week, buy more courses and reduce their final debt? Many universities are making the mistake of trying to push students to enroll in more courses like that will solve their problem, and it does not. It just makes more of them depressed and ready to drop out. 

It is time to take a hint from the Science March that took took place, and go to Lansing and show them the numbers, and start educating all Michigan families about why their kid's tuition is so high. 

In Ann Arbor Science March

I am in Ann Arbor. Check out March For Science on Google Play! 

I will continue to update the App to help keep awareness and traffic headed towards these fine science march groups. I have a feeling we scientists need to be educating the public 365 days per year. That is why I have kept this blog.

The March for Science was just a start. This is a week of science awareness for everyone of us to ponder what we can do to make sure we do more to let everyone benefit from science knowledge and the good we can do with it. 

Ken Mitton

April 16, 2017

Why to March for Science: We Live and Breath in our own Fish Tank.

Northern Lights, north of the American midwest,
fromthe International Space Station.
(NASA Space Observatory)
The aurora borealis, the northern lights, green here as viewed from the international space station (ISS). The large blob of yellow light, in the middle, comes from the Chicago metropolitan area. You can read more about this amazing photo at NASA's - Earth Observatory website, and see the same image with the locations of US cities indicated. (Can you also spot the lightning occurring?) Kind of reminds you of that Star Trek movie where Jean Luc and the gang go back in time and reverse the Borg take over of the Earth, where the "Borg Earth" looked pretty much like this photograph. We are everywhere.

April 13, 2017

NASA Night Sky Global Map

NASA has produced a composite global map of night sky ground lights from human activity.

These data can be used to map energy consumption, study growth of infrastructure and populations and more.

Enjoy the link here:

March 25, 2017

Earth Hour 8:30 PM March 25th 2017

Dimming our home for #EarthHour 8:30 pm Lights go out around the world for 10th Earth Hour

| Article [AMP] | Reuters

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March 3, 2017

March for Science on Earthday 22 April

March For Science, the App guide. For Android devices, in the Google Play store now. Free App, NO ads, by Dr. Ken Mitton, a Vision Scientist from Michigan.

There are marches for science on April 22nd 2017 all around the United States, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Australia and more countries around the world. Find a march near you on the March for Science website and show your support for the idea of making good policy based on science, not political ideology.

Of course this march was inspired by recent marches on Washington DC, resulting from rather scary policies being put forward by the current White House. President Trump and his cabinet. 

The Trump administration has appointed secretaries and administrators that will retract environmental protection laws, FDA rules for controlling the substances and chemicals that companies can sell to Americans as safe "medicines", and very recently will defund the Great Lakes protection program. Leaders have been appointed that do not understand science, what science provides to both our well being and the economy, and who even ignore the scientific evidence for human-driven climate change. US government scientist are being gagged from telling the press or public what they have discovered when it may not be convenient to the political desires of the White House. 

As a scientist, medical researcher, educator, and Father, I have made a Free "March for Science" information App for Android devices in Google Play. (The Google android App store)

This App makes it easy to follow and keep in touch with the March for Science website and their main twitter feed and facebook page. The App is very tiny, less than 2 MB. This App is not just free, it is also free from Ads! It is my donation to the March for Science cause.

As a scientist, eye researcher, biochemist, university professor at Oakland University in Auburn Hills and Rochester Michigan, I invite you and your family to March on Earth Day to show that you think your leaders should make policy based on evidence and not just on their politics. 

February 6, 2017

From Wired: how immigration bans hurt silicon valley USA

I follow Wired mag in twitter. Great way to know what is up in the tech universe.
As a Canadian PhD, and biomedical scientist, i worked in the US before 9/11 but only got my green card after that day.
So i have personal experience with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) as a vettee. I must say that these departments were retooled by President George W. Bush to do very thorough and professional screenings of us visa applicants. As a Canadian who already had three US citizen children and who made biomedical science discoveries in the US, I was probably about the least scary immigrant you could find.

Politically, my country has always fought side by side with US soldiers. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, the Canadian parliament was the first government to declare war on Japan after Congress and the US President. I grew up on a giant Canadian air base in northern Alberta where my Dad's squadron trained with visiting US Air Force, National Guard, and US Army squadrons, simulating the landscape of Eastern Europe in the 70s and 80s. My Father, and then myself from age 17 to 18, wore NATO patches on our flightline work-dress.  Dad was regular Air Force and I was Air Reserve. His squadron was a combat operational training squadron, the 417, who practiced locating to Norway every year because that was their job should tanks of the USSR decide to roll into West Germany. I served in Base Flight Transient Servicing, which meant I got to meet crews and help refuel the aircraft of many nation's Air Forces. USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands.

It seems I also became a scientist, like many of us born in the early 60s, inspired as a boy by Apollo missions and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. If anyone in the Canadian press or education system was complaining about the "Americanization" of Canadian culture, my Dad would point out to me that "like it or not, when there is trouble in the world, disasters, its the Americans who travel thousands of miles to help with those big C5-Galaxys that visit us for fuel. They even go to help countries who put them down."  I could not help to understand that, he was correct. (Sesame Street was then making dual segments where Kermit says X, Y, "Zed" for Canadian kids, not X, Y, "Zee".)

So, I am pretty much a foreigner and an admirer of freedom of the press and academic freedom, two diamond concepts brought to the fore by Americans. Yet, as safe as I am for all the Americans living here in Michigan, I have still been subjected to multiple sessions of fingerprinting, interviewed more than once, and background checked as I obtained my green card as the spouse of a US Citizen with three US Citizen children. That is fine. That is good. Its OK with me. Keeps my family safe too.

The DHS staff seemed organized, professional, respectful and impressive. I have seen how they work hard and do their jobs. They required lots of information from us, and we all know that they are doing this to keep all of us safe. They have spouses, children, parents. Does the White House staff really think they do anything less than their duty to make sure that only good people immigrate to this country? If they are this careful with Canadians, who lost as many soldiers per capita in Afghanistan with the USA, then I think these immigration officials are vetting immigrants from all countries extremely well already. They should be thanked and not treated by the White House as if they are not already doing a thorough job of it, just for the sake of trying to make the previous President look bad. 

So. With that said, below from wired is a good example of how even Iranian born persons contribute to the UK and US economies in tech.

 Trump’s immigration crackdown will hurt Silicon Valley- here’s how from Wired
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February 3, 2017

Update: Natural Fake Medicine- Acai to Green Tea and Liver Damage, neutraceuticals for Macular Degeneration

Ginko, Bilberry, Acai juice, Omega-3, Leutin and various antioxidants are being sold in nutrition stores, drug stores and online, for treating macular degeneration and many other diseases. Their healing powers are overstated or cleverly "inferred" so the unwary customer assumes healing benefits. Representation of their health benefits made by the manufacturers of these products are often bogus at best, and rip-offs at their worst. Green tea extracts and liver "detox" formulas are sold in health food stores and even main line grocery stores. Unsuspecting consumers are turning up with liver damage. Chemicals are chemicals, made in a factory or made by a plant. They say "not approved by the FDA" for a reason. 

Macular degeneration is a condition of the retina that causes, mostly older, persons to gradually loose their central vision. As the population ages, AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) becomes more prevalent. Unfortunately many Americans and Europeans are wasting their money purchasing plant extracts and vitamin supplements sold by thousands of vendors who claim these products will help or even "heal" AMD. The claims about ginko, bilberry, acai and random mixtures of "antioxidants" are bogus at best. 

Yes. Snake oil salesmen are still around. As a published scientist in the field of antioxidant metabolism, let me reveal some simple truths that you can apply to make your own judgements. There are marketing methods that may not be illegal, but they are deceptive to the average consumer.

     First, there is the method of "IMPRESSIVE SCIENCE". This generally involves statements like "researchers have shown" or "scientists at such-and-such University have shown", describing some particular effects of compounds that are in the product they are marketing. This method relies on a general lack of science knowledge among the general population, knowing that many consumers will just accept this higher scientific authority. It works best if the reader has no expertise in biology at all.

     Second, the method of what I call "Pseudoscientist Credentials" for scientists marketing the compounds. There are several societies with "nutrition" and "biochemistry" in their titles, which have nice websites and paid memberships. Many were created by one or two persons, who sometimes have real advanced science degrees, or they have some certificate from a non-acredited school. They may even publish their own writings and ideas in a newsletter that looks like a peer-reviewed journal, but is not. Unfortunately, while they have a nice looking wall certificate stating their membership in such societies, you will find out that you, or your dog Bingo, can purchase a membership in same society. 

A red flag should pop into your mind when you note that the experts telling you to buy a product are also the ones who own the online/warehouse that will sell you the product. That is a clear conflict of interest ($).

Third, is the "Let the Customer Assume" approach. Works like this. Lets pretend that I have "Curative Revitalizing Alixer Powder" I brew up from some plant. For short, lets call it C.R.A.P. Well, I find a chemistry paper in a real peer-reviewed chemistry journal that shows the chemical called C.R.A.P. can neutralize more free-radicals in a test tube, than the same amount of Vitamin-E. So, I tell you that "C.R.A.P. is a more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin E" and "Here is where you can buy some now, at my store". I also tell you that "oxidation damage contributes to the progression of aging and many diseases", and well those biochemical events do. Then, I let YOU make the big assumption that taking C.R.A.P. will decrease aging effects or disease progression better than Vitamin-E. Right? Actually, wrong! 

The referenced chemistry paper is good science, but it simply shows that that two chemicals in a test tube worked to a different extent to neutralize free radicals in a chemistry test. The paper never said anything about testing C.R.A.P. to see if you humans adsorb it from the digestion, let alone if it will get to any tissues of your body or do anything for you at all. As a matter of fact, most antioxidants supplements you can buy in your supplements store are not harvested by your liver during digestion, except for Vitamin-E and Beta-carrotene (from carrots, Vit-A), which our biology has evolved to selectively harvest, transport and deliver to cells in all of our organs. Vit-E and Vit-A have other biochemical properties that make them the best chemicals do their special jobs in our cells, and to support vision (in the case of Vit-A). (Trust me, I did a whole PhD on how antioxidants work in mammals.)

     Compounds like C.R.A.P., mostly leave the body in waste. You can guess how. Thus in reality, if you feed Vit-E or C.R.A.P. to lab rats or humans, biomedical scientists will often find that C.R.A.P. never really gets delivered to your organs, but Vit-E is naturally harvested by special transport systems in the liver and then chaperoned in your blood stream for delivery to cells and organs; just as it has for thousands of years in all humans. So, just referring to real science paper, does not mean it supports the claims of the seller of C.R.A.P. In that example, the seller left you to make the big assumption. Clever. They do nothing illegal, but as long as you whip out the credit card, they win. They get your money. You get no benefit. This kind of marketing information and social media ad blitzing is all over for many so-called neutraceuticals and cannabis (marijuana). Suggestions that cannabis can treat neurological diseases and cancer is bogus and there is no real scientific evidence to support those claims despite what you read in blogs and websites of those who basically market cannabis. $$ is their big conflict of interest. 

Again, if the entity telling you to get the product is also the one selling it to you, you should be wary.

     Now, back to AMD. Many sellers of "neutraceuticals" will refer to the fact that there is science to show that some compounds know to be "antioxidants" may reduce your risk of developing AMD. That is in fact true. But, it does not mean that you should ASSUME that this applies to their "special mix" too. This is the full story you should know: 

A mixture of zinc, Vitamin-E and Vitamin-A was evaluated in clinical trials, and found to, ON AVERAGE, reduce the risk of AMD. Taking more or less of these compounds, or taking them separately may not have the same benefit at all. The National Eye Institute of the NIH has official information based on proper scientific testing (vitamin mix versus a placebo), which found a 25% risk reduction from a specific dose of zinc, Vit-E and Vit-A. The link to this NEI information is provided below. Please visit this link to read the full story. Note that the findings only apply to specific dose of these compounds as they were tested, and you should check with your Ophthalmologist (eye MD) to see if you should be taking a supplement. Several bona fide vitamin manufacturers produce the supplement for the correct dose, but CHECK WITH YOUR EYE DOCTOR.... please.

YOU can learn to be your own scientist when it comes to evaluating truth from hype. I will leave you with this last thought. No matter what kind of medical practitioner you favor, if they are not willing to write you a prescription for their recommended medicine, or they only recommend medications that you must buy from them, be very skeptical of their motives. We have evolved a separation of Pharmacists and Doctors in modern medicine for a just this reason. If your naturopathic pracitioner is not willing to provide this same separation from financial conflict, do you really trust them to medicate you? 

Your Liver Can Be

Remembe. Your liver is like a detoxification factory. There really is not such thing as a liver detox, so do not detox-treat yourself. Your liver IS your detoxification system. But, just like a real toxic waste treatment  plant, it has a maximum capacity to clean chemicals out that you digest. That includes true medical drugs and chemical extracts from plants. Furthermore, combining more than one drug or supplement is a new problem. Your liver may be able to handle one pill of drug-A a day and keep the concentration from getting too high in your blood. Your friend may be able to take one pill of drug-B per day. A third friend may be able to take one pill of ginko each day. Sharing all of this health talk, a fourth friend decides to take one pill of A, one of B and one of ginko every day. After two weeks they are sleeping bad, feeling ill, and they end up in the hospital. They thought they only took a safe dose of each of A, B and ginko. What went wrong?

Simple. Those were safe doses, but only if they were taking ONE of those drugs at a time. But all three drugs still get processed and excreted by the liver. So when they took A, B and Ginko, their liver was extra busy and they exceeded the capacity of their "chemical clean up factory". Just like a waste treatment plant. With extra drugs to process, all three of A,B and ginko concentrations started to build up to higher and then more toxic levels in their blood. Then a basically healthy friend poisoned themselves, and became ill.

This is happening now with one of the latest crazes, Green Tea extracts and supplements and food spreads. Tea has hundreds of complex organic chemicals. A glass of green tea does not harm you. But taking the extracted equivalent of a hundred cups of green tea in one dose causes these chemicals to build up and become toxic. Unfortunately, the organ most affected by these organic compounds from green tea is....your liver! So you can overwhelm your liver detox factory, then you damage it (hepatotoxicity), so it stops working at all and the chemicals build up in your body even faster. 

It all comes down to how much of any chemical you choose to eat. Remember, as a famous rock group once sang: Love is like oxygen, get too much you get to high, not enough and you're gonna die.

January 27, 2017

Scientists' March on Washington: What is the Scientists' March on Washington

Scientists' March on Washington: What is the Scientists' March on Washington: Welcome! We want to thank you all for your incredible outpouring of support for this march. We are working to schedule a March for Scienc...

Read more at the above link.

January 14, 2017

Pinyin writing system's creator Zhou Youguang

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

China's Zhou Youguang, father of Pinyin writing system, dies aged 111 -