Home-grown insulin

Posted by: Susan

Home-grown insulin - 04/18/10 06:54 PM

One of the things I remember about Pat Frank's book Alas, Babylon, was that he said that after America was reduced to bare subsistence level, all the diabetics died within two weeks. It would be scary to be totally dependent on a supply of insulin.

I am attempting to grow some experimental patches of various cover crops, and one of them is the annual herb Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum). Looking up info on it, I found a very interesting (and very short) notation: "Fenugreek seeds have been used as an oral insulin substitute, and seed extracts have been reported to lower blood glucose levels in laboratory animals."

I know nothing more about it, but an interested party could probably find more info on it.

First, I found whole Fenugreek seeds in bulk supply at the local Fred Meyer/Kroeger (herbs and seasonings), and they are supplied by Frontier Natural Foods. Frontier apparently sells to individuals, but if you have a decent health food store nearby that deals with them, they (or possibly FM/Kroeger) could order some for you (the price is $10-15/pound, depending on if you wanted whole seeds or powdered -- Organic; non-O is about half that) and eliminate the shipping.

Second, it's growing requirements are pretty general, and would probably grow in most parts of the U.S.: Does well in places where temperatures range from 46F to 80F, with an annual precipitation of 16-60, and a soil pH of 5.3 to 8.2. Prefers full sun and rich, well-drained soils. Growth is slow and weak in low temps and wet soils. Requires little nitrogen (it's a legume), but may require the same seed inoculant as alfalfa.

Third, I tried sprouting the seeds, and got very high germination rate.

I haven't checked into this any farther than this article on forage crops from the NE Organic Dairy Producers Alliance.

In this as with all things, don't experiment with someone's life (even your own) -- do your research and talk to your doctor.

Sue
Posted by: Dagny

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/18/10 08:12 PM


Very interesting, Sue, I've never heard of fenugreek. The insulin angle also figures prominently in "One Second After."





Posted by: hikermor

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/18/10 09:19 PM

So how much fenugreek would be needed to provide for a typical diabetic for, say, one year?

We have had far out threads before, but this may be the prize winner......
Posted by: bws48

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/18/10 10:47 PM

"a substitute for oral insulin" is an interesting concept as there is no such thing as oral insulin available to us diabetics. The digestive system destroys insulin. That's why we inject. There is one that can be inhaled, but is not in wide use, and some problems have been reported (damage to the lungs).

I think they mean it just lowers blood sugar. Some other natural remedies tend to have a similar effect, (e.g. cinnamon). They may help a mild type 2 diabetic lower their blood sugar, but they do not substitute for insulin. Type 2 diabetics have trouble using the insulin their bodies produce, and some compounds seem to help the body use the natural insulin better.

On the other hand, if you don't have your body's insulin to use in the first place, such natural compounds will not help. For example, in my case I inject insulin 3x a day. My pancreas pretty much gave up on producing insulin about 10 years ago.

However, I will last longer than 2 weeks. I have a 3 month supply in the fridge at any one time. wink
Posted by: Krista

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 12:07 AM

[quote=bws48]"a substitute for oral insulin" is an interesting concept as there is no such thing as oral insulin available to us diabetics.

I think maybe it means the fenugreek is taken orally, as a substitute for insulin.

I'm really interested in herbalism, so this topic is great. One of my books, "The Little Herb Encyclopedia" by Jack Ritchason, N.D., discusses fenugreek. It describes experimental data that indicates that it does lower sugar levels, which helps with the insulin regulation. It is apparently used in the Middle East today. I imagine that for long time sufferers whose body produces little or no insulin (?) it would not be very effective. But maybe for those with mild (?) cases it would be beneficial?

*That's just my un-medically educated opinion* smile
Posted by: Susan

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 01:36 AM

I know very little about diabetes, it's one thing my family isn't plagued with (as opposed to daily insanity). I don't know anything about this particular use of Fenugreek except for that sentence in the article I ran across today.

Good, bad, useless or indifferent, I have no idea.

Sue
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 04:17 AM

Fenugreek is interesting.

But I would caution everyone to remember that most of the stuff on 'natural food', 'herbal medicine' sites is not science based. Most are far more interested in selling you herbs, seeds, 'treatments' than staying strictly science and reality based. Many herbal and alternative medicine sites are deep in the woo.

Posted by: Compugeek

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: bws48
However, I will last longer than 2 weeks. I have a 3 month supply in the fridge at any one time. wink


Good on you!

How long can you keep it cold if the power goes out?

(I'm not being snarky. I'm honestly interested.)
Posted by: Susan

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 04:07 PM

"...most of the stuff on 'natural food', 'herbal medicine' sites is not science based. Most are far more interested in selling you herbs, seeds, 'treatments' than staying strictly science and reality based."

Mostly true, with a double-whammy attached: the people with the money for the science are the drug companies who don't do work on natural ingredients because there isn't enough money in them, and the universities subsidized by the drug companies, who will pull their donations if they try (like the agricultural colleges).

In fact, many folk remedies are found to be fact-based, like digitalis for the heart, and spiderwebs as an anticoagulant. But without the work and some money being put into them, natural meds will remain the black sheep of medicine.

If some backroom scientist found a cure for cancer or even the common cold in a plant, he would be bought out or laughed into oblivion.

MONEY IS ALL.

Sue
Posted by: paramedicpete

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 04:26 PM

Quote:
Mostly true, with a double-whammy attached: the people with the money for the science are the drug companies who don't do work on natural ingredients because there isn't enough money in them, and the universities subsidized by the drug companies, who will pull their donations if they try (like the agricultural colleges).

In fact, many folk remedies are found to be fact-based, like digitalis for the heart, and spiderwebs as an anticoagulant. But without the work and some money being put into them, natural meds will remain the black sheep of medicine.

If some backroom scientist found a cure for cancer or even the common cold in a plant, he would be bought out or laughed into oblivion.


Hi Sue,

I will have to disagree with you on this issue, as the NCI has a major program which as been around for many years looking for and developing treatments from natural products:

Natural Products Lab

Natural Products
Posted by: MostlyHarmless

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 05:04 PM

The only thing that prevents Sue from being 100% accurately correct is the fact that there still is funding (governmental as well as other sources) for medical research elsewhere than just the pill companies....


Nothing wrong with being a major corporation. But don't let them be the dominating source of information. You want to make sure they stay within their playing field and go by the rules. That's why you want to fund some independent institutions that are capable of calling any bluff the corporations care to make. Otherwise things get ugly pretty fast.


As Sue said, follow the money. Corporate money gives you research that is designed to meet corporate needs. You need to balance that with independent institutions.
Posted by: Arney

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
...NCI has a major program which as been around for many years looking for and developing treatments from natural products

Interesting. I had never heard of this agency before. However, I don't really see how it really promotes natural remedies in any significant way. These lab services are only step 1 or so of the typical "drug discovery" process. Even if some herb shows promise, it's still many years and many hundreds of millions of dollars away from being approved by the FDA as a sanctioned "cure" or "treatment", and what natural remedy company can afford that? Pretty much no one because they'd never make their money back with some non-patentable product.

Without researching further, I would suspect that an agency like this primarily serves to help discover biologically active substances or new targets for therapy, but what eventually results from that information is going to be some synthetic drug under patent protection. Not some wonderful, inexpensive natural remedy you can buy at the health food store. Pete, if you're aware of any natural products like that that came from this lab, I would love to know about it so I can tell people.
Posted by: paramedicpete

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 06:19 PM

Arney,

You are correct in your analysis of this particular program. The lab (since the early 80s) screens samples (soil, marine, plants, etc.) from around the world to find a potential agent/chemical contained within the natural product, which can then be identified and synthetically reproduced for therapeutic applications. Not all agents can be synthetically reproduced, but many have. A good example of the use of a natural product is Taxol in fighting breast cancer. It is derived from yew trees.

The type of research utilizing herbal medicine to which you are referring is through the NIH- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine which lists the potential health benefits of numerous herb supplements and also links to other NIH Institutes which are investigating treatments/health benifts with respect to herbal/alternative medicine.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine


Pete
Posted by: bws48

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/19/10 10:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Compugeek

How long can you keep it cold if the power goes out?

(I'm not being snarky. I'm honestly interested.)


Keeping it cold is a problem. It's delicate stuff.
For most power outtages, the generators (1 + 1 backup) are the first line.

Second line are the freezer packs and the real thick styrofoam coolers they send the frozen steaks in (these keep things cold about 2x longer than other coolers). I also have 2 12 volt mini-fridges; I can use these in the car or any place I can get 12 volt. I'd like to find a way to power these with solar cells-- its on my list of things to do.

Next, (and I have never tried it) is evaporation cooling. You take cotton towels etc, wet them down and put the vials inside the towels. Natural evaporation will cool it down below the critical temperature. This is a time when cotton=cool can be a good thing.

Finally, if you can keep it at around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, most insulin will keep for 30 days. Your wine cellar perhaps?

Every brand is different, and other things like too much agitation and exposure to light can reduce its lifetime.

Posted by: roberttheiii

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 12:00 AM

You can get insulin from the pancreas of dogs and pigs by tying a string around the pancreatic duct(I just checked the wall of my time machine, but you can look here: http://www.topatoco.com/graphics/qw-cheatsheet-print-zoom.jpg).
Posted by: Susan

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 02:19 AM

bws, have you seen this article on a Solar Powered Cooler ?

Sue
Posted by: Art_in_FL

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 03:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Susan
"...most of the stuff on 'natural food', 'herbal medicine' sites is not science based. Most are far more interested in selling you herbs, seeds, 'treatments' than staying strictly science and reality based."

Mostly true, with a double-whammy attached: the people with the money for the science are the drug companies who don't do work on natural ingredients because there isn't enough money in them, and the universities subsidized by the drug companies, who will pull their donations if they try (like the agricultural colleges).

In fact, many folk remedies are found to be fact-based, like digitalis for the heart, and spiderwebs as an anticoagulant. But without the work and some money being put into them, natural meds will remain the black sheep of medicine.

If some backroom scientist found a cure for cancer or even the common cold in a plant, he would be bought out or laughed into oblivion.

MONEY IS ALL.

Sue


Fine except for one small point: you're wrong.

There is a name for herbal medicines that work; medicine.

Spider webs are not an anti-coagulant but a coagulant. When examined for medical use the effect was found to small compare to other materials and spider webs are quite difficult and expensive to collect, package, use. There are simply much better materials.

One good topical coagulant is made from shells of shrimp and it works quite well, if not without issues. Clearly medical science has no difficulty with cheap materials. Shrimp shells are typically considered a waste product. People pay to them removed. So much for the mythology about not being able to make money off cheap materials.

Digitalis is used. But typically not in herbal form. Herbs have issues in absorption, standardizing dose and purity. Most modern medicines are based on natural materials but purified and in standardized doses. The problem is that many herbs have little to no effect>

The effect is easy to see in Aspirin and willow bark. Willow bark works because it contain salicylic acid you could, in theory boil up a few cups of willow bark tea to get an equivalent dose. But implementing it is where it all falls apart. The amount and bioavailability of the salicylic acid in willow bark is not consistent. So how many cups do you make? Do you just guess?

The way it went down is how it should have. Recognizing the effect of willow bark tea the active ingredient was isolated and synthesized. It was found that salicylic acid is easier to manufacture from synthetic materials than extract it from bark. Now you can get the proper dose by simply unscrewing a cap and popping a few pills. Unlike boiling up tea with bark you have a very good idea of what is in each pill.

There is no chance that anyone who develops a cure for cancer will suppress any cure. Come up with a cure that stands up to testing, with a demonstrable and repeatable effect,and people will beat a track to your door. Funding will not be an issue.

Yes, there will always be more money available for research in popular diseases. Rare diseases will always struggle for money. On the other end of the scale we have three very reliable drugs to give guys an erection. Millions of men are willing to pay fifteen dollars a dose to get their little fellow to stand at attention.

It is also easy to overestimate how effective drug companies are. Drugs and disease are international. When the drug companies demanded more money than Brazil and China wanted to pay the drugs were simply reverse engineered them. Both nations produce their own supply of anti-HIV drugs. Yes the drug companies are rich, politically powerful, and they have a lot of influence. But they weren't going to invade Brazil.

The idea that there is a vast water tight conspiracy of all the drug researchers, all the producers, all the employees, in every nation is just silly. Humans just aren't that good at keeping secrets.

I don't like drug companies much. They are manipulative, greedy, conniving, power hungry and heartless. They aren't going to do anything they can't make a profit on. That is capitalism.
Posted by: bws48

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 09:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Susan
bws, have you seen this article on a Solar Powered Cooler ?

Sue


Cool!grin
It seems to be an engineered version of the wet towel method I mentioned-- same principle at work. Evaporating water removes heat.

I might be able to cobble this together with a coffee can for the inner canister.....hmmm...
Posted by: speedemon

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 01:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Arney
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
...NCI has a major program which as been around for many years looking for and developing treatments from natural products

Interesting. I had never heard of this agency before. However, I don't really see how it really promotes natural remedies in any significant way. These lab services are only step 1 or so of the typical "drug discovery" process. Even if some herb shows promise, it's still many years and many hundreds of millions of dollars away from being approved by the FDA as a sanctioned "cure" or "treatment", and what natural remedy company can afford that? Pretty much no one because they'd never make their money back with some non-patentable product.

Without researching further, I would suspect that an agency like this primarily serves to help discover biologically active substances or new targets for therapy, but what eventually results from that information is going to be some synthetic drug under patent protection. Not some wonderful, inexpensive natural remedy you can buy at the health food store. Pete, if you're aware of any natural products like that that came from this lab, I would love to know about it so I can tell people.

This pretty much hit the nail on the head. Most other people's replies are somewhere in the ballpark though.

Friends of mine since high school run a natural medicine company (Chisolm Biological Laboratory), and have for years. There is a good bit of scientific research out there on a good deal of natural medicines, more than most people might realize. However, good bit of it doesn't come from the US.

That's where our friends the FDA and the drug companies come in. First, for anything to be able to treat or cure a disease, it must be a drug. Which means it has to go through the FDA approval process, and whatever it is treating/curing must be a disease (that's why it seems like everything is a disease these days. Get it defined as a disease, now you can manufacture drugs to treat it). This makes it extremely hard to promote any natural remedy, since you can't say that it treats or cures anything (also why so many natural medicines are said to promote the immune response).
The large drug companies do plenty of research on natural medicines, but if they can't synthesize the active ingredients they can't patent anything. Without a patent they can't make money to cover the costs of bringing a drug to market (not to mention profit). So basically they stop research on something once they find they can't synthesize it, and they don't release their research.
Posted by: Arney

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: speedemon
So basically they stop research on something once they find they can't synthesize it, and they don't release their research.

Thanks for that interesting comment, speedemon, from someone with some perspective from the natural treatment side.

In response to Art's comment that a cancer cure would never be buried, I think you summed up my opinion, speedemon. Especially considering what we've all seen and maybe even experienced firsthand, with the finance companies, banks, realtors, real estate appraisers, mortgage lenders, etc., I certainly don't dismiss the ability of many basically decent people to make business decisions that common sense would call illogical, immoral, and harmful to the welfare of certain people or society at large. Oh, and let's not forget tobacco companies, too.

Why bite the hand that feeds you? It reminds me of the guy, Harry Markopolos, who ran the numbers a long time ago and figured out that Bernie Madoff had to be running a Ponzi scheme. He tried warning the SEC and heads of large hedge funds in Europe that he personally met with but the response? Absolutely nothing. Why spoil a good thing? Bernie was making milliions for these guys. Of course, when Bernie was out'd, everyone claims that they were fooled and that they were victims.

There is a massive multi-billion dollar industry revolving around cancer. It's not in "their" financial best interest to cure cancer. Sure, a single company could reap a windfall for a certain number of years while under patent protection, but then what? What if the company has no more cancer blockbuster drugs in the pipeline? If they were already making money from chemo therapy drugs, anti-nausea drugs, drugs for anemia, for pain, and all the other things that cancer patients need, that revenue could be gone, or at least signficantly diminshed--forever. Only if the pharmas could somehow release different cures for different cancers, and therefore keep the money flowing in for a long time, could I see this happening.

Pharmas are very secretive and guard their proprietary information closely. They don't release their results "for the good of humanity". Almost certainly, during their drug discovery process, there are a number of natural substances that their own labs have shown to be effective at actually killing/curing cancer, at least in the lab. But for reasons like not being able to isolate the active ingredient or not being able to synthesize it or whatever, it's not financially viable so the substance is shelved. Some variation on this process happens all the time.

There's only one non-profit pharmaceutical company that I'm aware of--OneWorldHealth in San Francisco. Their business model is based on this exact scenario--a big pharma finds a substance that kills some parasite that afflicts millions in the Third World, but they decide that they can't make much money so they shelve it. OneWorldHealth licenses those substances from the big pharma, develops them, and finally brings them to market so that those people in Third World can be helped.

What wouldn't happen is that some pharma goes through the trouble of doing very expensive clinical trials on some cancer treatment, and when they find that it works wonderfully, bury it. It would make no financial sense for them to even start the trial if a positive result meant burying the drug. It's kind of scary to think that the "war on cancer" could already have been "won" if not for the profit motive of private industry. (I say "could" and not "should" since I can't say for sure.) For those of you who sport pink breast cancer ribbons and go to Find a Cure walks to raise money for research, it makes you think.

Sorry, way off the Fenugreek track.
Posted by: paramedicpete

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 04:50 PM

I cannot address the motives a pharmaceutical company would or would not pursue research/production into compounds which may or may not have potential to be patented, but can point to the process on the NIH side of things. NCI, as I have pointed out has a Natural Products Group who is responsible for screening naturally occurring products for anti-tumor and anti-viral properties. Another group will take promising compounds; analyze them and determine their chemical structure. Another group will try to synthesis the compounds and determine if they are still biologically active. If so, a biopharmaceutical pilot plant will develop and streamline production of the compound for both animal and phase 1 human clinical trials. Compounds that successful go through the phase 1 trails are then expanded to other Cancer Clinical Centers. Many successful treatments have been developed by this process and are now used worldwide. All done in the open, with no nefarious motives, peer reviewed scientific and medical publications ensure access to the information.

Yes, patents are pursued, which are generally used to prevent the compounds from being patented by commercial pharmaceutical companies. The government maintains the rights to the patent and companies can obtain the right to produce the material though licensing agreements, which attempts to recoup the costs for developing the compounds. There is a big emphasis on lab to bedside research, making the patient the focus of research.

Pete


Posted by: Arney

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 05:54 PM

Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
Compounds that successful go through the phase 1 trails are then expanded to other Cancer Clinical Centers. Many successful treatments have been developed by this process and are now used worldwide.

Under the current system, I think some NIH/NCI and academia combo is the only alternative for a true cancer cure. At least to get the discovery of the substance "out there" with enough clout and respectability backing it to generate interest for further development (Remember the public outcry for anti-retrovirals in the early years of the AIDS outbreak even though the treatments were still totally experimental?) (Actually, I'm not even sure what I mean by a "cure" when I use the word, which muddies the waters. Testicular cancer responds well to chemo, but that's not a common cancer. I guess I'm thinking of something like taking a course of antibiotics when you first get a cancer diagnosis and that takes care of your cancer and you don't have to do anything else. Cancer is just not a big deal anymore).

Obviously, I'm painting the whole pharma or even cancer treatment industry in very broad brush strokes, something which tends to annoy me when other people do the same thing, so I guess I'm actually annoying myself now, LOL. Maybe I'm just in a very pessimistic mood about how the primacy of the almighty dollar has really taken center stage and really screwed us all over in so many facets of our society. But you read things like this new SEC civil suit against Goldman Sachs and what they were doing--it just reminds me not to put anything past the moral sensibilities big corporations anymore. And money comes into play at NIH or academia, too, of course. I hope the Ivory Tower can withstand the siege.

What were we talking about again? Ah yes, Fenugreek!
Posted by: JohnN

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 10:49 PM

Originally Posted By: bws48
Originally Posted By: Susan
bws, have you seen this article on a Solar Powered Cooler ?

Sue


Cool!grin
It seems to be an engineered version of the wet towel method I mentioned-- same principle at work. Evaporating water removes heat.

I might be able to cobble this together with a coffee can for the inner canister.....hmmm...


If you have a place for a solar panel, it might be a good alternative. If you do your homework, you could make sure you have enough juice to run a small fridge.

Also, my understanding is a small chest style freezer, combined with an external thermostat are very efficient and won't lose as much heat when you open them.

http://mtbest.net/chest_fridge.html

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/br...controller.html

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MSCKM6
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MS8SHM
http://www.amazon.com/Brunton-SOLARIS-Foldable-Solar-Silver/dp/B0018BCYRM

Depending on the over night heat loss, you might not need to even mess with batteries.

Random thought -- if you have power during the day, but not at night, I wonder if some sort of thermal mass might further assist keeping the target temperature.

I'm thinking about solar panels more and more these days instead of a generator. No noise, no gas to run out....

-john
Posted by: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/20/10 11:31 PM

Quote:
One of the things I remember about Pat Frank's book Alas, Babylon, was that he said that after America was reduced to bare subsistence level, all the diabetics died within two weeks. It would be scary to be totally dependent on a supply of insulin.


The supply of HFCS would dry up as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU2nWuXsh6Y
Posted by: Blast

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/21/10 01:21 AM

A.F.L.M, this isn't directed at you, you were just the last in line.

1. "a cure for cancer" is the biggest medical misnomer around. Cancer is not a single disease, it is not an outside agent attacking your body, it is not something in your body failing. It is MUCH more complex than that. There are many, many types of cancer and the causes can change from person to person. Because of this there is no one cure for cancer. The best scientists can do towards developing a "cure for cancer" a to develop a set of protocols for determining what tests will best ascertain what is the best drug for EACH patient at whatever stage the cancer is currently in. Scientists aren't looking for a "cure for cancer", they are looking for a million cures for a million types of cancer.

Cancer does not arise from a single mutation but rather a whole bunch of independent mutations that eventually allow a cell to:
a. prevent mechanisms from spotting and fixing damaged DNA
b. deactivate preprogrammed lifespans and how many times the cell's DNA can be replicated
c. causes the cell to produce its own growth hormones and ignore growth inhibitors
d. cause a surge in the number of blood vessels bringing nutrients to the cells allowing excessive growth
e. allow the cells to detach themselves from their current location and allow them to migrate to other spots in the body.

There are thousands of different ways these abilities can occur which makes correcting the problem nigh impossible. The most effective treatment is to just kill off the cancer cells. The trick there is limiting cell death to just the cancer cells.

2. When anyone talks about how medical research should not make money what they are saying is scientists working on medicines should work as slaves. You may not realize this, but that is the only way such a system could work. Medicinal science is the hardest, most frustrating career path one can take and requires true geniuses. If such effort is not rewarded these scientists will jump ship to something that does pay them for the work they do (like oilfield chemistry!). The only way to keep them working in medicine would be to make them slaves...but I suspect the results from these slaves would not be to your satisfaction. If you want "the government" to pay for it then the government has to take your money and give it to the scientists. How can this be any more efficient than you giving your money to the scientists through paying for your medicines?

3. Medicines from plants aren't avoided because there's no way to make money from them, medicines aren't made from plants because we have a much better way of doing it rather than separating every single compound from a plant and testing it in every single dosage on every single disease. The current way to treat diseases medicinally is to isolate the biochemical processes of the disease which lead to the symptom/effects of the disease. We use molecular modeling to determine the shape, isoelectric surface, and binding characteristics of a molecule that can "screw up" this aforementioned biochemical process. We then synthetically create this molecule in real life and test its ability to screw up the biochemical process, thereby eliminating the symptom of the disease. "Curing" a disease is much like curing a cancer in that you would have to completely reprogram a persons genetic code. Removing the symptom is all we are currently capable of doing. To think it's just a money thing shows you don't understand the process. if you don't understand the process then any opinion you have on the subject isn't worth spit.

-Blast
Posted by: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/21/10 02:09 AM

Quote:
2. When anyone talks about how medical research should not make money what they are saying is scientists working on medicines should work as slaves. You may not realize this, but that is the only way such a system could work. Medicinal science is the hardest, most frustrating career path one can take and requires true geniuses. If such effort is not rewarded these scientists will jump ship to something that does pay them for the work they do (like oilfield chemistry!). The only way to keep them working in medicine would be to make them slaves...but I suspect the results from these slaves would not be to your satisfaction. If you want "the government" to pay for it then the government has to take your money and give it to the scientists. How can this be any more efficient than you giving your money to the scientists through paying for your medicines?


The Welcome Trust is a charity. There are other ways to fund important medical research which is not funded by corporate (for profit) or governmental interests.

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/index.htm

World leading medical research is also carried out within the UK NHS teaching Universities and hospitals as well. Many of the drugs, surgical and medical imaging physics techniques available today were the result of medical research carried out within the NHS.

Posted by: MostlyHarmless

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/21/10 06:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Blast
If you want "the government" to pay for it then the government has to take your money and give it to the scientists. How can this be any more efficient than you giving your money to the scientists through paying for your medicines?


Drug companies have invested zillions of dollars into developing, testing and documenting the different drugs before they hit the market. It is only fair and square that they have some revenue on that investment. The dynamics of capitalism creates an opportunistic playing field where the bright guys make a lot of money. I'm happy with that. I think it is hard to find someone who actually disagree with this...


But capitalism needs boundaries and regulations. If you don't enforce fair, but strict rules the same opportunistic dynamics encourages finding sneaky and dirty ways of increasing revenue. To stop that you need independent institutions capable of calling any bluff the big corporations care to make. If you don't you are entirely on the mercy of big corporations and their marketing departments.


So, it's not about stopping big medical firms from making money. It is about funding a sufficient amount of medical research outside those firms. Benefits include

a) An independent source of information.

b) Lots of interesting results into topics and areas that the big med corps won't touch because they lack money making potential. I don't blame big corps for not using resources on stuff with zero revenue... which means someone else must do it for the benefit of all humankind.

c) EDIT: It offers an alternative carrier path for those bright heads who would like to do medical research outside of the big companies. They won't work for slave contracts thought, hence the need for some independent funding.



P.s. I highly recommend Ben Goldacre's book and blog
bad science . Being a medical doctor, most of his examples are medical, but the principles of science are universal. Although Goldacre has some pretty bad examples of drug companies trying to design trials in a way that make them look good and obfuscates side effects, the most hilarious examples are from the "alternative" side of medicine...
Posted by: Susan

Re: Home-grown insulin - 04/22/10 04:33 PM

Blast, no one is saying that medical researchers shouldn't make money. Even though the scientists are employees just like every other employee. The scientists aren't the ones making the big bucks -- YOU know that! A decent living maybe, but that's all.

What I am saying is that drug companies (and others) shouldn't be able to squash the research of others, control independent testing and studies, and manipulate product test results just to further their own interests and control the market. Large drug companies DO control research in the academic field because they BLACKMAIL the schools: Take our money and do as we say, or we're gone. That isn't opinion, that is fact, and it's been going on for many, many years.

It isn't the making of the money as much as it's the Total Control, the money is just the result. The big drug company only wants ONE drug company. The big seed company only wants ONE seed company. The big chemical company only wants ONE chemical company. WalMart only wants ONE cheap-junko store chain.

Anti-trust? Don't make me laugh! It's ALWAYS about the money at the top!

Sue