Your Health & Happiness: Hand Sanitizer kills the avian ‘bird flu’ virus
New study claims Skinvisible’s patent-pending Chlorhexidine Hand Sanitizer kills the avian ‘bird flu’ virus H5N1 on contact for up to four hours
First drug delivery system of its kind to carry an active
ingredient on the hands to prevent the spread of disease-causing viruses and
A new hand sanitizer could offer greater protection against the spread of
the ‘bird flu’ virus H5N1 through personal contact with carriers of the
virus, according to study results released today by Skinvisible
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.The Las Vegas-based research and development company for
topical skin applications announced that its patent-pending Chlorhexidine
Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer had a greater than 98 percent inactivation/kill on
the “bird flu” virus H5N1 for up to four hours on skin.
The new study, conducted by Retroscreen Virology, a subsidiary of University of
London’s Queen Mary School of Medicine, differentiates the Chlorhexidine
Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer from other medicinal scrubs or alcohol-based
sanitizers and treatments on the market, which only offer protection upon
immediate application to the skin. According to Retroscreen, “antiviral hand
care products that are shown to inactivate H5N1 will be an important weapon in
stopping the spread of this virus. The longer the duration the active stays on
the skin to kill the virus the better.”
As major international organizations such as the World Health Organization and
the Center for Disease Control warn that the H5N1 virus may prove to be the
source of the next human catastrophe, Skinvisible is looking to establish its
Chlorhexidine Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer as an essential product for the
healthcare industry to inactivate/kill this virus if it should become resident
on the hands. This could stop person to person cross contamination
“We are pleased with these latest studies and are hopeful that by June 30 we
will have completed all studies currently underway with success so we can
approach the necessary health authorities worldwide for the appropriate
approval process to make this product available to all consumers.” says Terry
Howlett, President and CEO of Skinvisible.
Skinvisible Pharmaceuticals developed this antimicrobial hand sanitizer
formula, primarily for the healthcare industry, using 2.25 percent
Chlorhexidine as the active ingredient. Chlorhexidine is a non-toxic antiseptic
that kills or inhibits the growth of disease-causing bacteria, viruses and
other microorganisms, and is used for surgical scrub, skin wounds, germicidal
hand rinse, and antibacterial dental rinse. Skinvisible’s proprietary
Invisicare family of polymer delivery vehicles allow the formulations to stay
on the skin for extended periods of time, as shown in this latest study.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the common seasonal influenza flu
virus kills nearly one million people globally every year, and Skinvisible
believes its Chlorhexidine Hand Sanitizer may offer an alternative to the
alcohol-based hand sanitizers now used worldwide in the healthcare industry.
Skinvisible’s product also has been tested against a variety of bacteria of
concern to the healthcare industry, including the Super Bugs, VRE and MRSA. The
product will be undergoing further tests soon against other viruses, including
Norovirus (Norwalk), Rhinovirus, Influenza A (H1 and H3), H2 and Influenza B.
About Retroscreen Virology Ltd.
London-based Retroscreen Virology is Europe’s leading contract virology
research company, created in 1989 from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and the
Royal London Hospital by Professor John Oxford, a world-renowned influenza
virologist. Retroscreen Virology, which specializes in laboratory and
clinic-based respiratory virology research, is the only company in the UK that
is able to conduct human influenza challenge studies in a specialized
quarantine unit with A/Panama/2007/99 and A/New Caledonia/20/99 viruses, and
has characterized influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and B viruses. Contact: Dr. Rob
Lambkin Managing Director. Tel: +44-20-7882-7966.
At the heart of Skinvisible’s patented technology and trademarked Invisicare
family of polymer delivery vehicles is its formula and process for combining
hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers into stable complexes in water emulsions.
This allows formulated products using Invisicare as their platform to remain on
the skin for extended periods of time, thereby affording active agents a
prolonged timeframe to perform their intended functions. Products utilizing
Invisicare have the proven ability to bond active ingredients to the skin
for up to four or more hours. They are non-occlusive and allow normal skin
respiration and perspiration while moisturizing and protecting against exposure
from a wide variety of environmental irritants. When topically applied, these
formulated products adhere to the skin’s outer layers, forming a protective
bond, resisting wash-off, and delivering targeted levels of therapeutic or
cosmetic skincare agents to the skin. They allow enhanced delivery performance
for a variety of skincare agents resulting in improved efficacy, longer
duration of action, reduced irritation and lower dosage of active agent
required. The “invisible” polymer compositions wear off as part of the
natural exfoliation process of the skin’s outer layer cells.
The Doctor's Consultation: Beware of the Black Snake?
by Dr. Iain Corness
The workings of the human mind have always fascinated me.
We can put such an importance on things that are really inconsequential, but
at the same time, ignore items that are important.
As an example of the former, I read the other day that we have developed a new
credit card that can cut down our time at the cash register by a whole nine
seconds. Instead of 24 seconds at the checkout, you can pay for the weekly
groceries in only 15 seconds of your precious time for the transaction. Now
isn’t that wonderful? We have another nine seconds each week, to do with
which whatever we want! That’s just over half a minute per month! Six
minutes a year. An hour in every decade! I hope you use it wisely.
Yet we can ignore symptoms of ill health and refuse to look at potentially
life-saving technologies, because we do not make it of high enough importance,
or use the old “haven’t got the time” excuse. An excuse you can use no
longer if you use your Visa card and the extra nine seconds it gives you.
One of the procedures we tend to overlook is a Colonoscopy, sometimes referred
to outside the hospital environs as the ‘black snake’. This is a procedure
by which the doctor can look directly at the inside of your entire colon. Not
by X-Ray, not CT, not Ultrasound, but look directly at the inside of your
insides using a fibre-optic camera.
Colonoscopy is an alternative examination to assess the colon instead of the
barium enema which leaves you laying foundation stones for days afterwards. CT
scans of the abdomen and pelvis are useful but do not always provide
sufficient information about the colon itself. CT scans are also expensive,
especially the 64-slice variety. They are, however, excellent tests for
looking at structures surrounding the colon and intestines.
Colonoscopy is indicated for patients with many conditions, including
inflammatory bowel disease, GI haemorrhage, polyp removal, evaluation of
abnormal x-rays of the GI tract and screening for colon cancer.
It is the latter situation that I want to devote a little time to today.
Cancer of the colon is a frequent form of cancer, and one that is difficult to
cure, often requiring extensive abdominal operations and sometimes ending up
with a permanent colostomy bag.
So what is involved? Before the procedure, an oral laxative solution is given
the day before. This will cleanse the faeces from the colon. It is important
that the preparation be followed completely. If faeces are retained, or the
preparation is inadequate, areas of the colon that may be of importance to
your health may be missed or misinterpreted. Please also make sure that your
physician knows well beforehand if you are taking any blood thinners.
In general, this procedure takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to perform
when done by a trained gastroenterologist. The procedure may take longer
depending upon any intervention that may be required for any individual
During the procedure, a fibre optic endoscope (the black snake) will be
inserted into the anus. The scope will then be advanced through the inside of
the colon to the caecum (the last part of the colon). Inspection and removal
of polyps usually is done during withdrawal of the endoscope.
Patients usually receive a combination of intravenous anaesthetics and the
dose and frequency of each of these are individualized for each patient. In
most cases, patients do not remember their procedure or are adequately sedated
such that the discomfort is well tolerated.
During the procedure, the nurse assisting your physician with the procedure
will continuously monitor your heart rate, oxygen saturation and blood
pressure. Thus, should any difficulties occur, your physician and his team
will be aware of the change quickly. As you will still have some sedation at
the end of the procedure, it is important that someone else drives you home.
How often should you have this procedure? This is something you should discuss
with your doctor. If you have a bad family history, then it should be sooner,
rather than later, but you will be generally looking at something between five
to ten years.
And do spare the time for it! It may save your life.
I thank you very much for your answer to my letter two weeks ago, and I
also thank you much for helping me with my bad englisch (sic). It is
correct what you are saying: 1. This was straight from my heart, and 2. my
native tongue is also right because I come from Scandinavia and in
Scandinavia we have Danich (sic), Norway and Swidich (sic) but most of us
understand all three.
I have readed in your fantastic newspaper that you like chookolate (sic)
and Champagne and maybe I one day went to you office and give you this but
sorry I don’t know were to find Belgian Chocolate-but never mind - I can
buy 1 dark choockolate (sic, at least you are consistent) and one light
brown and one bottle of Champagne (price in the middle?) I think you will
I hope you can believe me when I say following during my stay in Thailand
I have never had one big problem with Thai people but believe me the big
problems I have head have coming from Farangs and especially people from
the country I come from in Scandinavia.
Thank you too for this second letter, which you can see, I did have to
shorten somewhat. I would not worry too much about the spelling, as you
can get your message across quite well, and yes, any chocolate and
champagne is fine! Do they make chocolate in Scandinavia? It would be a
little cold for the grapes, I am sure.
I wonder if you can help us? We are the “Pratathology Society” here in
lovely Prattaya and we meet weekly at the Dusit Resort. Our hobby is
“POB”(Prats on bikes) watching and we are looking for amateur POB
spotters to join our society.
We welcome people of all ages and from all walks of life to join us in our
regular “POB Watch”. These outings are both educational and
entertaining and a constant source of hilarity for our members.
We are on the lookout for “POBs (the most common both local and
introduced) POBWITs (Prats on bikes with tattoos, also fairly common),
POBWITERs (Prats on bikes with tattoos and earring(s) less common but on
the increase) and the most elusive but ultimately the most spectacular
POBWITERPITs (Prats on bikes with tattoos, earring(s)and ponytail). These
specimens can be spotted all over Pattaya on the Beach Road, Sukhumvit and
Pattaya Tai, Klang and Nua and also increasingly on Soi Siam Country Club
and as far east as Mabprachan. They invariably ride bikes that are too
heavy, too powerful and too young for them and when they flock together
with their females they can be seen and heard revving up their phallic
symbols like the petrol price was still B. 15 per litre! Many thanks for a
You certainly did pick the right nom de plume, didn’t you, my Petal.
Reviewer Tom Dirks a few years ago described Easy Rider as an extremely
successful, low-budget (under $400,000), counter-cultural, independent
film for the alternative youth/cult market, with sex, drugs, casual
violence, a sacrificial tale (with a shocking, unhappy ending), and a
pulsating rock and roll soundtrack reinforcing or commenting on the
film’s themes. Just for interest, groups that participated musically
included Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, The Band and Bob Dylan.
However, Middle America’s hatred for the long-haired motorcyclists is
shown in the film’s famous ending. Death seems to be the only freedom or
means to escape from the system in America where alternative lifestyles
and idealism are despised as too challenging or free. And all that was
1969, and here we all are, 37 years later, and you are having problems
letting some folk wishing to express an alternative lifestyle just be
themselves. The Middle America syndrome is alive and well. What is wrong
with being a POB? Your group of voyeurs who meet weekly are just as much
deviates from the central thread of society, if you really want to sit
down there in your Dusit easy chairs and contemplate life, its meaning and
At your next weekly meeting, play Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild and
remember the days when you too thought you could be free and just motor
off into an idyllic future.
“Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah, darlin’ gonna make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of the guns at once and
Explode into space.”
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, did it, EasyRider? You found that you
couldn’t be free either. As the slogans on promotional posters in 1969
proclaimed, they were on a search: “A man went looking for America and
couldn’t find it anywhere.” What is it that you and your
“Pratathology Society” is really looking for? Poking fun at the
tattooed bikers, which you describe as “invariably ride bikes that are
too heavy, too powerful and too young for them” will not get you
anywhere either. As Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper showed in the movie,
discrimination by what one wears, what one does and how one appears has no
real value in this world. It didn’t in 1969, and it doesn’t in 2006.
Camera Class: How to beat red eye
by Harry Flashman
There are many causes for ‘red eye’. There is late nights
with excessive alcohol and scratchy contact lenses or the highly contagious
medical ‘red eye’, and then photographic ‘red eye’ which is a condition
often seen with many flash photographs these days. And unfortunately, it can
spoil what is otherwise a great portrait.
The photographic cause of ‘red eye’ is the flash burst illuminating the back
of the eyeball! This is also particularly a problem with most cameras that have
their own in-built flash. And that’s about most of them these days. It also
happens just as much with digital images, so it’s not a “film” problem.
The reason for the red eye is that the beam of light from the flash is very
close to and parallel with the optical axis of the lens, so the lens “looks”
directly into the back surface of the eyeball illuminated by the flash beam.
Another reason for the prevalence of ‘red eye’ is that in low light
situations (and that’s the times when you have to use flash illumination) the
subject’s pupils are also dilated and so it becomes even easier to see into
Now the observant ones amongst you will have noted that you don’t get ‘red
eye’ when you photograph the family dog! You get ‘white eye’ or ‘green
eye’. You see, the red color comes from light that reflects off the blood
vessels in the retina of our eyes. However, in many animals, including dogs,
cats and reindeer, the retina has a special reflective layer called the Tapetum
Lucidum that acts almost like a mirror at the back of their eyes. If you shine a
flashlight or headlights into their eyes at night, their eyes shine back at you
with bright, white light. The flash burst is reflected in the same way.
The way to get around the problem is actually quite difficult. Pro shooters will
use a flash gun mounted to the side of the camera, so the flash burst actually
goes across the eyeball at an angle and does not light up the back of the
eyeball, where the camera lens is “looking” at. I use an ancient Metz 45
CT1, mainly just for that reason.
However, not everyone wants a large flash gun hanging off their camera, so some
of the camera manufacturers have produced a ‘pre-flash’ mode (sometimes
called ‘red eye’ mode). The “pre-flash” mode gives a short burst of
light before the main flash fires to make the pupil contract, so it is less
likely that you will see inside the eyeball. The only problem here is that many
people imagine that the “pre-flash” going off means picture taking is over
and move away. Best to warn the subject that there will be two flashes, with the
real one being the last one! Countless numbers of good shots have been ruined by
the subject walking off before the shutter had fired, thinking that the
pre-flash was the right one!
Another trick is to turn on all the room lights, if you are photographing
indoors. If the ambient light levels are quite high, this again causes the pupil
to constrict. It is the dilated pupil that lets just so much light into the back
of the eye, which also explains why photographs of people at parties have even
more ‘red eye’. (Alcohol dilates the pupil!)
Of course, if you still end up with ‘red eye’, there are other ways of now
correcting the situation. All these involve the use of digitizing the image
(scanning or using a digital camera) and then using an image manipulating
One of the simplest is to use Paint Brush, put it on a nice green, lower the
opacity, and paint over the red using your zoom tool. Green, for these purposes,
is opposite red on the colour wheel, so it’s the complementary colour, and
they will cancel each other out. This method will work for any version. You will
just have to vary the opacity, depending on how red the eye is. The other
digital method is to use Paint Shop Pro version 7 which has Choose Effects,
Enhance Photo, and then click on Red-eye Removal.
Money Matters: Gold - Onwards and Upwards
MBMG International Ltd.
James Turk is the founder of Goldmoney.com
and he pinpointed the start of the current bull market in gold in September
2002. Also, he has been spot-on in continuing to assess the direction of the
metal and the drivers behind its move.
Turk, a longtime authority on gold and other precious metals, started
Goldmoney.com as a company that enables online cross-border commercial
transactions using gold as a currency. He is also a co-author of The
Coming Collapse of the Dollar, published in 2004 by Doubleday. As you
might surmise from the title of the book, Turk sees plenty of room for gold
to climb higher. This is because he thinks there are still problems with the
dollar, and that’s being reflected in a higher gold price. So, in reality,
it is not that gold is going higher - it’s that the dollar is going lower.
An ounce of gold still purchases as much crude oil, essentially as it did 50
years ago, but that can’t be said about dollars.
One of the factors that allowed Turk to be so good was that he based his
forecasts on the now non-reported M-3 numbers. He was quite scathing about
this, “They said the motivation for doing that was to save the time of
reporting it, and they’re also going to save a million dollars in the cost
of compiling that data. I find it quite shocking they would stop reporting
M-3, because it is the most important component of money, revealing the
total quantity of dollars in circulation. My guess is they want to try to
hide the amount of inflation that’s in the pipeline”.
He believes that when the US Government stopped reporting M-3, it was
growing at well over 8% per year, and the annual growth trends were
increasing so it was all part of this policy to control inflationary
expectations. However, he thinks it is a big mistake because it will end up
heightening people’s concerns about the dollar. And that’s going to make
gold go up.
He does not believe the US Dollar is in crisis now, as some people do, but
he has stated that if you look at where the dollar has come in the past few
years in terms of loss of purchasing power, “we haven’t reached a panic
point yet. But I still fear we are going to see a panic in the dollar at
some point in the future”.
There are other concerns such as the worries overseas about the prospects of
the US Dollar - particularly from sophisticated investors - wealthy
individuals as well as some money managers. This has been linked to two
specific events. First, Chinese National Offshore Oil Co., or CNOOC, was not
permitted to purchase Unocal. Most people at the time shrugged it off as
just a one-off event. But when the Dubai Ports deal was blocked, that really
changed people’s perceptions, because it made clear holders of dollars
outside the United States are not going to be allowed to exchange their
money for things of tangible value.
Worldwide, there is an increasing desire to convert dollars into such things
as commodities, which dollars can still buy. The boom in commodities to a
large extent is the result of people exiting dollars. People are looking for
alternatives to the U.S. dollar, and the dollar’s role as the world’s
reserve currency is being questioned seriously now.
The Russian finance minister raised the issue in the recent G-7 meetings.
This questioning is a critical development. Financing the growing federal
budget deficit and trade deficit requires that a large amount of dollars be
created. These dollars are being created as demand for the dollar is
declining - from all sources. The central banks are diversifying out of the
dollar, as are individuals and corporations. This could be interpreted as
seeing the monetary system as being broken. It is possible to say this
because there is no discipline on U.S. dollar creation.
The gold standard’s greatest attribute was forcing discipline on the
creation of national currencies; if too much national currency was being
created, gold would flow from one country to another and eliminate and
minimize the impact of the boom- and-bust cycles. The huge trade imbalances
we are seeing now between China and the U.S., and the U.S. and other
countries, never could have existed under the gold standard.
Ultimately, capital controls may have to come to the U.S. as a way for the
government to attempt to deal with these huge trade and international
capital-flow imbalances. Instead of limiting the amount of dollars in
circulation and trying to get back to some kind of a disciplined basis, we
are probably going to move toward capital controls as the next. The
protectionism mentioned above with the Dubai and Unocal deals is an
excellent indication of this, as protectionism and capital controls are very
Turk still believes that in the long term gold could reach USD8,000 per
ounce. In the short term, he believes that USD2,000 is not inconceivable.
There are two aspects to what’s driving the gold price: First, there is
strong physical demand around the world. When gold crossed the $500-an-ounce
level, people started buying gold in anticipation of monetary problems.
Second, the physical demand for gold is causing a huge problem for the gold
shorts. There has been a large gold carry trade in place. It is very
possible gold could have a massive spike in the next six to 12 months to as
high as $2,000, driven by these factors.
The problems lie in the fact that central banks loaned a lot of gold from
their reserves. It was borrowed by various banks and others for the carry
trade. You borrow gold at very low interest rates and sell it at the spot
price. Then you invest the proceeds in higher-yielding dollars and other
currencies. As long as the gold price doesn’t rise, you are going to make
a lot of money on the spread. But in a rising gold-price environment, you
are stuck. You have to buy that gold back or suffer the consequences of
ultimately having to deliver the gold at a much higher price than what you
are earning from your assets. The bullion banks and others who borrowed it
are short. What’s happening in gold is probably even worse in silver, in
the sense that the short position in silver looks even bigger than gold’s.
Recently, silver has risen more rapidly than gold.
Turk thinks it was a mistake for people to get out of the gold market when
they did because they were expecting a correction which often happens at the
start of a bull market. “In December, when gold went over $500 an ounce, I
said gold is never going back below $500, ever. Now we have to think about
the possibility that gold is never going to go back below $600, ever”.
He states that gold is too cheap and undervalued. It is easy to draw a
comparison to the 1970s when gold went through $50 and never looked back.
After Nixon closed the gold window in August 1971, gold went from $40 to
$120 an ounce in the next two years. Adjusting for inflation, it can be
argued that $500 today is like $42 in 1971. Multiply $120 by 11 times in
order to get the inflation-adjusted dollar equivalent, and you get a
potential target of more than $1,300 an ounce.
To be continued next week…
The above data and research was
compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG
International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors
or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any
losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a
consequence of reading the above article. For more information please
contact Alan Hall on [email protected]
Life in the Laugh Lane: The Klutz Klub
by Scott Jones
Clubs never attracted me. I’ve played in
clubs but seldom joined any. For years I had a card in my wallet for a TGIF
(Thank God It’s Friday) Club alternative called the POETS (Piss On Everything
Tomorrows Saturday) Club, but I never met another member.
As a pre-pubescent pup in fourth grade, I did start a club after the girls were
taken out of class, sent to the auditorium and shown a sex education film. Were
boys supposed to learn about sex on the streets, which, in North Dakota, were
frozen solid for seven months every year? Anything learned about the birds and
the bees in Fargo had to do with hornet stings and pigeon poop.
In our small, Silly Putty brains, the Girl Haters Club was the ideal form of
protest. Membership exploded and our activities were tremendously successful
for a few of those long, lingering childhood days that lasted forever. The club
disintegrated quickly when the gym teacher found our secret manual containing
initiation rites like “Step on the toes of 10 different girls” plus
inventive drawing of how babies were made and what we thought girls might look
like under their clothes. Unlike the Science Club, we were not granted official
status and the principal sold our manual to the Elks, an ancient American
men’s club, where it is still in use today.
Presently I am only a member of one club: The Klutz Klub. (Dictionary says:
Klutz – someone who drops things or falls easily.) I’m not particularly
proud of this club, but I was born into it and only death can take me out. My
father started it and because I inherited his klutz gene, I was in by default.
Even if people want to be a member of the Klutz Klub, it is difficult to get
Members must not only have an innate and consistent proficiency for dropping,
spilling, breaking, or completely destroying anything, everything and
themselves, they must also add a creative touch to their capers. For example,
during a concert in Des Moines, Iowa, it may have been normal for my pants to
rip audibly, leaving me with a 10-inch tear from crotch to rear belt loop. (I
backed around on stage a lot.) The creative part came the next night in Duluth,
Minnesota, when I walked to stage down the aisle through the audience wearing
the same unrepaired pants from the previous night. The memory is exceptionally
clear since I wasn’t wearing any underwear. (You’re thinking, “He should
have seen that film in fourth grade. Maybe we can still get him a copy.”)
As I sit here deciding which klutz moments to confess, I marvel I’m still
alive and haven’t broken or lost everything I own. Example #489: When living
in Boston and working three jobs – carpenter by morning, school bus driver by
afternoon and musician by evening – my brain would take little vacations.
During errands one Saturday, I stop by my apartment to pick up something, leave
my International Scout truck running in the street and run inside. I talk with
the neighbor, eat dinner and go to bed several hours later. The next morning, I
walk out to get the paper and notice my car in the street, with the door open,
still running. (At least I didn’t run out of gas.)
Soon after that incident, Scott and his Scout have a close encounter with a
telephone pole. Unfortunately, only the telephone pole and I survive. When I
cash the insurance check, I ask for 300 brand new dollar bills. On the way
home, I visualize throwing the money into the air, encircling my girlfriend and
me with floating greenbacks, and yelling, “We’re rich, honey, we’re
rich!” I open the door, see her on the other side of the room and hurl the
money. However, as is the habit of fresh new paper, all the bills stick
together, shoot across the room like a rectangular shot-put, and hit her in the
face. She is not impressed. I want to say, “I’m very sorry, but you’re
just lucky I didn’t come in here with thirty rolls of quarters,” but I also
want to live. Needless to say, I am no longer with this woman.
Stay tuned next week for more embarrassing confessions. It’s not easy
admitting all this stuff, but someone has to do it.