A whirlwind recap of the links that piled up in my blogfodder folder.

Medical doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered that hydrogen sulfide gas can cause the metabolic processes of mammalian cells to drop drastically, thus approximating a state of suspended animation. By breathing a low concentration of the gas the heart rates of experimental animals plummeted rapidly without a corresponding drop in blood pressure or the need for refrigeration; moreover, the state appears to be reversible. This means that the organism requires less oxygen in the depressed state, which means that cells remain viable much longer. The surgical applications should be obvious.

The Internet Storm Center reported not too long ago …

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A brother of the Bene Capsaicin lends his skills to the field of medical pain management.

Pain specialist Dr. Eske Aasvang of Denmark is trying a new compound in clinical pain relief trials: Capsaicin. Yes, the very same compound that makes hot peppers hot, and unwary college students who've never heard of chicken vindaloo before want to shoot themselves. Capsaicin, as it turns out, bonds tightly to the receptors of C-type nerve fibres, which trainsmit status messages to the brain that are interpreted as pain. Those receptors will fire briefly (as anyone who's ever eaten chili can attest to) but then go silent because the nerves will have exhausted their supplies of neurotransmitters. It is expected …

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