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Memoria sobre la inexistencia del estado de las encias considerado como signo precursor y pathognomónico de la fiebre amarilla (vómito prieto) : y sobre la preferencia que merece relativamente al diagnóstico de esta enfermedad, la inspeccion de la membrana mucosa labial y bucal
- Sentis, José Maria.
La metafísica y las ciencias naturales : comentarios á los discursos leídos por Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo d Alejandro Pidal y Mon en la Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas en 15 de mayo (1891) sobre los orígines del criticismo y del escepticismo y especialmente de los precursores españoles de Kant
- Gordillo Lozano, Gaspar.
Vicia faba L. Fabaceae. Broad beans, Fava bean. Distribution: N. Africa, SW Asia. Culpeper (1650) writes: 'Fabarum. Of Beans. Of Bean Cods (or Pods as we in Sussex call them) being burned, the ashes are a sovereign remedy for aches in the joints, old bruises, gout and sciaticaes.’ The beans are perfectly edible for the majority, but 1% of Caucasians, predominantly among Greeks, Italians and people from the Eastern Mediterranean regions, have a genetic trait in that they lack the ability to produce the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. As a consequence, eating broad beans or even inhaling the pollen, causes a severe haemolytic anaemia a few days later. This condition is known as favism. The whole plant, including the beans, contains levodopa, a precursor of dopamine, and some patients with Parkinsonism report symptomatic improvement after commencing on a diet that contains these beans regularly. A case of neuroleptic malignant-like syndrome (fever, rigidity, autonomic instability, altered consciousness, elevated creatine phosphokinase levels) consequent on abrupt discontinuation of a diet containing plenty of broad beans, has been described in a patient with Parkinsonism. This is usually seen when patients abruptly discontinue L-dopa therapy. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.
- Dr Henry Oakeley
Taxus baccata L. Taxaceae European Yew. Trees are feminine in Latin, so while Taxus has a masculine ending (-us), its specific name, baccata (meaning 'having fleshy berries' (Stearn, 1994)), agrees with it in gender by having a female ending ( -a). Distribution: Europe. Although regarded as poisonous since Theophrastus, Gerard and his school friends used to eat the red berries (they are technically called 'arils') without harm. Johnson clearly ate the fleshy arils and spat out the seed, which is as poisonous as the leaves. It is a source of taxol, an important chemotherapeutic agent for breast and other cancers. It was first extracted from the bark of T. brevifolia, the Pacific yew tree, in 1966. About 1,100 kg of bark produces 10 g of taxol, and 360,000 trees a year would have been required for the needs of the USA – an unsustainable amount. In 1990 a precursor of taxol was extracted from the needles of the European yew so saving the Pacific trees. It is now produced in fermentation tanks from cell cultures of Taxus. Curiously, there is a fungus, Nodulisporium sylviforme, which lives on the yew tree, that also produces taxol. Because taxol stops cell division, it is also used in the stents that are inserted to keep coronary arteries open. Here it inhibits – in a different way, but like anti-fouling paint on the bottom of ships – the overgrowth of endothelial cells that would otherwise eventually block the tube. The economic costs of anticancer drugs are significant. Paclitaxel ‘Taxol’ for breast cancer costs (2012) £246 every 3 weeks
- Dr Henry Oakeley
Camassia leichtlinii (Baker)S.Watson Hyacinthaceae. Great Camas, Quamash. The species was named for Maximillian Leichtlin (1831-1910 of Baden , Germany, bulb enthusiast who corresponded with J.G. Baker at Kew. Bulbous herb. Distribution: North America. The bulbs of Camassia species were eaten by the Native Americans, the Nez Perce, after cooking by steaming for a day - which suggests they may be poisonous raw. They gave them to the American explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clerk, on their expedition (1804-1806) when they ran out of food. The bulbs of the similar looking 'Death camus', Toxicoscordion venenosum have been fatal when ingested by mistake (RBG Kew on-line). Steroidal saponins, which are precursors in the manufacture of steroids and cytotoxic activity has been detected in the sap of the bulbs. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.
- Dr Henry Oakeley
Human neural stem cells stained for nestin (red). Nestin is a type of intermediate filamant protein that is used as a marker of neural stem cells. The blue dots are the cell nuclei stained with DAPI. Neural stem cells can be made to develop into cells found in the central nervous system; neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
- Yirui Sun