Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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Sunday, May 27, 2012
In 1974, researchers at the Medical College of Virginia were given funding by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to study the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the immune system. Working on the assumption that they would find evidence to support the NIH's contention that THC damaged the immune system, the researchers discovered instead that the compound was shrinking tumors in the mice they were using for their tests. This was the first known study that showed that THC was possibly the cancer breakthrough the world was looking for.
The Virginia study was abruptly cut short by the FDA and the results of were suppressed. It wasn't until 1998 that a research group led by Dr. Manuel Guzman at Complutense University, Spain discovered the same thing. This time, they were able to complete their study and publish their results. The study concluded that THC shrank tumors through an anti-angiogenesis action. Angiogenesis is the process of forming new blood vessels. Cancer cells require a blood supply in order to grow and spread. THC prevented the growth of blood vessels and thus destroyed the tumors.
In addition, they discovered that THC worked directly on the cancer by modulating key signal pathways and inducing cell death. For reasons that are still obscure, cancer cells grow into tumors because they are "programmed" for immortality. Unlike normal, healthy cells, they do not receive signals to die after they have divided and replicated. THC somehow repaired that deficit and induced cell death. As a result, the tumors shrank.
A later study, headed by Maria Salazar, also of Complutense University, came to the same conclusions. This study emphasized the ability of THC to induce autophagy. The literal translation of autophagy is "self eat." In the biological sciences, it refers to a phenomenon whereby cells digest themselves and die. Cancer researchers have been studying autophagy for decades, because this is how normal cells die, but cancer cells are not programmed to go through this process. Instead, they continue to divide and live. This is why cancer ultimately spreads so quickly: the tumor grows exponentially as cells divide.
There have been other clinical studies as well. In every case, THC is proven to be an effective treatment for cancer. If it weren't for the taboo against the psychoactive effects of cannabis, it is likely that it would already be in widespread use as a cure for cancer. Even though decades of research have debunked the theory that cannabis, when used medicinally, leads to addiction, criminal behavior or mental illness, the authorities continue to dig in their heels and it remains a Schedule 1 restricted substance.
There are signs of change, though. Increasing numbers of clinical studies are being undertaken and medical marijuana is being legally used in many U.S. states as a palliative. The more that people use it therapeutically, the more they discover about its remarkable value as a medicine. Perhaps the scales are about to tip and cancer sufferers will have access to the one proven cure for cancer without having to resort to breaking the law. There is a natural treatment for cancer. Come see for yourself.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012
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Sunday, May 20, 2012
The debate over the pros and cons of medical marijuana has lingered about as a long as the cannabis plant has been in existence. It is estimated that the plant has been used for treatment purposes for close to 5,000 years in various countries and cultures worldwide. In the United States, trying to keep track of marijuana laws and regulations is much like watching a professional table tennis match: the ball never stops moving around the table.
Proponents of the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes claim that it can provide relief for those suffering from serious chronic conditions like glaucoma and the nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy treatments. States that have legalized medicinal marijuana use have up to 15 conditions that are considered appropriate for its use. Medical problems where cannabis is thought helpful for symptom relief include AIDS, migraines and Multiple Sclerosis.
Those who oppose the use of marijuana for therapeutic or medicinal reasons list several reasons. First and foremost, it is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal laws. Drugs classified as Schedule 1 include heroin and LSD and as such, are deemed to have no medical value. Opponents also believe that for every ailment that medical cannabis may aid, there are legal FDA approved products available that do the same.
Countless medical and scientific studies have been conducted on medical marijuana. Here again physicians and scientists are divided regarding whether or not this drug has true medical value. Many believe that cannabis should be available as an alternative to those suffering from serious medical issues who do not respond well to pharmaceutical options. On the con side, marijuana does contain a number of chemicals beyond THC and everyone is familiar with the dangers of smoking when it comes to cardiopulmonary issues.
More Americans seem to be amenable to legalizing medicinal marijuana. A random phone poll of 1,000 adults conducted in April 2010 by the Associated Press/CNBC showed 60% favoring legal possession when medically approved. Twelve percent were neutral and 28% opposed any type of legal pot possession. The Washington Post/ ABC News did a similar poll with the same number of respondents. The question was if doctors should or should not be permitted to prescribe marijuana for their patients. Only 18% opposed doctors writing prescriptions for cannabis while 81% believed they should be allowed to do so.
Recently, the federal Veterans Affairs Department issued a directive that surprised many. Service men and women who are treated at VA hospitals and outpatient facilities will be allowed to use medical marijuana in the 14 US states where it is currently legal. While the regulation does not give VA doctors authorization to prescribe the drug, it does allow clinics in the 14 states to continue the use of marijuana in the case of veterans who already were using it. While the issue continues to be hotly debated, it does appear that legalizing marijuana for some medical uses is quietly gaining support nationwide.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012
Imagine walking into your office one morning and finding out that your credit card services had been terminated overnight. They were cut off not for lack of payment and not for being involved in an illegal business, but rather they were cut off for indeterminate "unacceptable business practices." This is a reality facing many owners of medical marijuana dispensaries who get "creative" with their applications; and if you fabricated your application it can be a legitimate termination - but that isn't always the case.
Left Without Service
The story above isn't uncommon. It happened recently to Alternative Medical Choice, Inc., a consultation service based in Oregon. What does AMC do that got them in trouble with their service provider Intuit? AMC is a business which offers consultations with doctors for the approval of medical cannabis use under Oregon law. Even though the clinic does not dispense or distribute medical cannabis, it has lost its services.
Intuit states that they terminated services because AMC did not reveal its involvement with medical marijuana. When further questioned about terminating some 3000 other accounts they hold with clinics offering the same services, they stated that they would not be terminating those accounts because they didn't feature medical cannabis on their web pages. AMC offered to remove the reference, but Intuit won't reestablish the account because "now we know."
PayPal, the online payment service, has also terminated accounts associated with medical marijuana consultation references.
DEA, FDA, IOM and Other Alphabet Soup
Part of the problem businesses face stems from the question of whether or not marijuana is actually medicinal. The DEA and the US government hold the position that smoking marijuana has no medical value. The American Cancer Society, the AMA and the AAP all agree that smoking is not an optimal way in which to gain any benefits, if they exist. Alternate methods of ingestion are being investigated.
Even the large Institute of Medicine study frequently cited by proponents of medicinal marijuana actually opposes the use of smoked marijuana for medical benefits. The study found that there were some "potentially therapeutic" benefits to cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, but that other available medications offered better results. The lack of standardization, the method of dosage and other factors all lead to the IOM rejecting the idea of more studies.
Where Do We Go Next?
Just like many other hot potatoes, few people want to handle this one. For those who have opened dispensaries, the challenges involved in obtaining traditional financing, accounts and services have sometimes become overwhelming. For others who remain in the business, alternatives are available.
While selling cannabis online remains illegal, the Internet is a good place to search for companies willing and even eager to enter the market. By searching specifically for merchant account providers familiar with the risks involved in legal medical marijuana sales, entrepreneurs can find the services they require without obfuscation.
With 15 states and the District of Columbia already de-criminalizing the sale of marijuana products for medicinal purposes it is likely that the issue will come to a head soon. Some states, such as California, are planning to charge dispensaries sales tax on all of their transactions - leaving such a cash cow alone when state coffers are stripped bare is unimaginable. The question remains: how will the federal government respond to the move?
Is it About Money or Perception?
It is easy to imagine the government moving in either direction.
Cannabis remains illegal in most of the world, and possession is considered a capital offense in many countries. The US government is unlikely to want global opinion to be so effected. On the other hand, the taxes provided by legalizing an already flourishing industry could reach $2-6 billion.
Unfortunately for merchants, there is no conclusive argument at this time. Obtaining business services will remain difficult and sudden terminations likely until all government agencies, state, local and federal are on the same page.
Michael Rupkalvis owns the Transaction group. The Transaction Group offers medical marijuana merchant accounts and other credit card merchant account solutions for all types of businesses.
Monday, May 14, 2012
The United States government launched a highly successful anti-marijuana campaign back in the 1930's that led to the end of the hemp industry and the outlawing of medical marijuana. Since then, people opposed to the prohibition have asked why they did it. Most point their fingers at Big Business, particularly the pharmaceutical industry and other industries that were threatened by the hemp paper and textile industries. Others dismiss these critics as wild "conspiracy nuts." The fact is, it doesn't really matter why THC is illegal. What matters is the fact that millions of people needlessly suffer and die every year because they cannot make use of the safest and most effective proven cure for cancer the world has ever known: THC.
The Paper Industry Conspiracy Theory
Back in 1930, the U.S. government formed the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN). The FBN instigated America's first "War on Drugs." Between 1930 and 1934, the bureau, under Harry Anslinger's leadership, focused its efforts on opiates. Then, for inexplicable reasons, it targeted marijuana, a substance the American public knew best as a medicinal herb and had no previous history of widespread abuse or addiction.
Helped by funding by business giants William Randolph Hearst and the Dupont Chemical Corporation, the FBN launched a major anti-marijuana propaganda campaign. The Hearst newspaper group printed lurid stories about hideous crimes that were being committed by crazed marijuana addicts. Suddenly, a previously disinterested public was in a panic over the evils of marijuana. The success of this campaign led to the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and hemp was no longer a threat to Hearst's pulp mills or Dupont's patented chemicals that are vital in the manufacture of paper from trees.
The Pharmaceutical Industry Conspiracy Theory
The case against "Big Pharma" is so exhaustive one cannot encapsulate it in a few words. The enshrining of synthetic drugs as mankind's only hope for medical salvation goes back to the Flexner Report of 1908, when the report's author, Abraham Flexner, advocated stricter criteria for entry into medical schools. While an argument can be put forward that this was a sincere attempt to improve medical training, Flexner was openly contemptuous of practitioners of plant based "folk medicine" and after his recommendations were accepted, all colleges and universities that taught traditional medicine were either closed or dropped it from their curriculum. By 1935, the number of medical schools in the United States was half what it was at the turn of the century. Today, all of the remaining schools depend on the pharmaceutical industry for their funding. As a result, the only kind of medicine a physician learns today is medicine that benefits the pharmaceutical industry and it is illegal for a physician to administer or even recommend alternative, plant based treatments for any disorder.
It would be nice to think that everyone in the medical establishment was working together for the public good, but the evidence overwhelmingly shows that our welfare is the least of their concerns. One glaring example of this is the 1974 study conducted by researchers at the Medical College of Virginia. When they discovered that THC was shrinking tumors in their laboratory mice, the FDA responded by shutting down their National Institute of Health funded program and suppressing the release of the clinical data. The NIH, in turn, responded by cutting off their funding, because they failed in their mission to find evidence that THC damaged the immune system.
The news that naturally extracted THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, cured cancer was so disturbing that President Nixon signed a law in 1976 prohibiting any researchers outside of the pharmaceutical industry from studying the medical benefits of cannabis. In the thirty years since then, these companies have concentrated their efforts on finding ways to make a synthetic THC that does not produce a "high" while they continue to market expensive and deadly chemical treatments for cancer.
The Theory of Evolution was not entirely Charles Darwin's discovery. Other scientists had been discussing it for centuries behind closed doors because they risked persecution if they publicly put forward their theories. Darwin just happened to come along at a time in history when the power of the church was on the wane. Today, those who have discovered that THC, a natural cancer treatment, is the world's safest and most effective treatment for cancer and its only known cure are fighting the same kinds of medieval prejudices evolutionary scientists faced in earlier centuries. Hopefully, one day we will all be laughing at the ignorance of the High Priests of medicine who have been working so hard to keep the truth from us for so long. In the meantime, though, over 1500 people in the United States continue to die from cancer each and every day.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Red illuminated rocker switch 16 A 125 VAC
Remove the Cover from your Volcano for Easy Replacement at home no need to ship off your Volcano, Simply pop out your broken switch, pop in your new switch and plug in the 3 wires. You will be up and running in minutes.
You must open the unit in order to replace your bad or broken switch.
May Also be used in in some Bissell 37603 Vacuums
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Medical science has made some shocking developments in the past twenty years. For the first time, our technology is reaching the point where we have to question our moral right to "play God". It could even turn out that medical science will revolutionize the 21st century to the same degree that computer science revolutionized the 20th century. At the same time, present factors of society lay new challenges on the health care industry. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the frontiers being explored in the health care field as well as some new economic and political developments that affect the industry, and perhaps even forecast what kind of impact they will have on the health care careers of tomorrow.
Stem cells. Boy, does this topic raise some debate! Embryonic stem cells are looked to at least as a potential cure for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and possibly other neurological disorders as well. But if we were to routinely start using stem cells as treatment, the moral implications would be that we are essentially aborting a fetus, taking one life to save another. Of course, stem cells aren't quite a fetus yet, and that's where the debate is raging in this gray area between what we know, what we think we know, and what we have yet to find out.
The scientific research of stem cells is currently hogtied by the political debate. The science is way ahead of the money, with research labs having a difficult time getting funding for such a controversial field. One thing many have pointed out is that no matter what laws the United States passes, some country, somewhere, will eventually start exploring the uses of stem cells anyway. That kind of forces our hand, reducing our choice to either leading the way in the field where we can at least establish oversight to apply standards to the research that we can all agree are fair, or be left out of the game and have to deal with developments in other countries that might be even less comfortable for us to deal with.
Stem cells can help sufferers of neurological disease by producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter whose deficiency in the brain is a symptom of diseases like Parkinson's. For that matter, stem cells can be encouraged to grow into fresh replacement brain cells altogether. That's just scratching the surface of what we can do with stem cells, and it's that potential power that makes some people nervous.
Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Vietnam veterans returned with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the effects of Agent Orange. The first Iraq war gave us Gulf War Syndrome. Now with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq war number two, the health care field is holding it's collective breath waiting to see what impact the war will have on health care resources in the future. It is not a question of "if", but a question of "how much" and "how long".
Soldiers who have been exposed to depleted uranium in Iraq have already been diagnosed with cancer. Busloads of returning veterans are showing up at hospitals with psychological problems severe enough to pose a suicide risk. A comprehensive study done in 2004 estimates the likelihood of soldiers to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to be 18% in the Iraq war and 11% in the Afghanistan war. In addition, PTSD is more likely to develop in repeated heavy combat exposure, and with the number of times soldiers have been sent home and called back we would be fooling ourselves if we expected them to survive without some stress damage.
Add to this a factor that munitions technology is constantly pushing forward, and Governments don't always have time to analyze the affects on soldier's health when they are exposed to chemicals and residue on the battle field. We may have just handed out health care system a bigger burden that it can handle, by the time the wars are over.
Microbubbles. Take any oily solution, froth it into a frappe with a high concentration of tiny bubbles, and inject those into your bloodstream. Now you hit them with ultrasound and a nearly perfect image of your internal organs will bounce back. Cleared by the FDA in the late 1990's for use in imaging applications, microbubbles are starting to be an attractive alternative to traditional methods of internal imaging, being both cheaper and faster than an MRI.
But wait, there's more. Researchers have discovered another use for microbubbles, as tiny little carriers for targeted doses of medicine. For instance, drugs can be delivered directly to a tumor using microbubbles; once at the target location, the microbubbles can be induced to pop, releasing their medicine payload and reducing the need to bombard the entire body with radioactive material, for instance. Sometimes it's the simple things that change our methods the most!
Medical marijuana. Separating ourselves from the image of hippies toking a bong-load, the active ingredient in marijuana is cannabinoids, which is a unique group of secondary metabolites found in the cannabis plant - which just happens to be where the plant's peculiar pharmacological effects come from. Cannabinoids have been explored here and there over the years, but recent research has produced a staggering array of applications.
Cannabinoids have potential to treat Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gliomas, hepatitis C, hypertension, incontinence, osteoporosis, pruritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and Tourette's syndrome. More than the past meek suggestion by the scientific community that cannabis has some uses, it is rapidly becoming apparent that we may have been turning our backs on a miracle drug the entire time.
The autism epidemic. One of the most mysterious neurological disorders of recent times may have finally gotten a break. Research into the causes of autism has revealed some intriguing clues - if anything, autism may yet be a path to increasing our understanding of how the brain works. We already know that children with autism have characteristic abnormalities in the cerebellum, the brain structure responsible for coordinating complex voluntary muscle movements.
New research points to a possible culprit: a newly discovered class of nerve cells in the brain called mirror neurons. These neurons appear to be involved in mental functions such as empathy and the perception of another individual's intentions. It has been suggested that a dysfunction of the mirror neuron system could result in some of the symptoms of autism.
Autism has seen a sharp rise in the past two decades, but there exists the possibility that previous cases were simply undiagnosed. Moreover, there may be present misdiagnoses of autism where in fact there are other related disorders that only share some of the symptoms. Progress in this field is slow and tedious, but small amounts of progress are now at least providing some hope that we will eventually be better equipped to treat this disorder. Dare we even hope for an eventual cure?
Freelance writer for over eleven years.