Thursday, July 27, 2006

Carrageenan 'Gums Up' Viruses!

` This draft is actually part of something I wrote around the time I'd declared to double up on my blog output... I just couldn't seem to get it up. (Gee, don't you hate it when that happens?)

` I was reading this article in Nature the other day (Seaweed extract protects against cervical cancer: Algae compound surprisingly effective at preventing cancer-causing viral infection.) and I thought it was just oh-so interesting that I just had to inform people of its existence, before it goes away forever.
` Unless you're a Premium Subscriber. Which I'm not.

` Basically, this is what I read, except different:

1. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a really tiny, small bag of DNA and things that can go into delicate mucous membrane cells and cause lesions which may or may not develop into cancer.

2. Boiled red algae from the North American and European coasts produces carrageenan (Irish for 'moss of the rock'), which is used in various things from toothpaste to soy milk.

3. Amazingly, even at a concentration level
a hundred times lower than the best human papilloma virus inhibitor to date, this boiled seaweed is apparently superior in preventing the spread of HPV! (And, possibly, HIV.)

` So, repeat after me, class; 1+2 = 3, and 3 does not cause cancer!

` You see, Douglas Lowy of the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and his colleagues discovered that in a test tube, some of the lubricants that use carrageenan are effective against HPV transmission. He published the results in the journal
PLoS Pathogens.
` Also with the NCI, Christopher Buck and his team discovered how it works: Carrageenan acts like a border control, sticking to proteins on the human papilloma virus and preventing it from interacting with, or entering, the cells of the cervix. Well, now, that's really darn useful, especially in countries where many women come down with, and die of, cervical cancer.

` Q-Note: This is not to say that HVP is necessarily a harmful virus - most strains cause no noticeable reactions, and can live in peace and harmony with mucus membranes until they are slaughtered by the host's immune system.
` About thirty strains are sexually transmitted; some of them cause little bumps and cauliflower-shaped thingies all over the underwear-and-upper-thigh region, though others can cause lesions on the anus, cervix, penis (technical term 'hoo-hoo-dilly) and vagina (or 'cha-cha'), which - very rarely - can become cancerous. So beware; more than half of all people contract HPV - though usually they don't know. They also usually don't run into the 'wrong one'.
` Accordingly, the more hoo-hoo-dillies that come into contact with one woman's cha-cha, with or without a condom, the more strains she can contract - and this is apparently the largest factor in whether or not a woman gets cervical cancer.
` Therefore, I would have to say that the slut community would have to be the highest-risk demographic for cervical cancer.

` Carrageenan also has a similar effect on herpes simplex virus, though HSV has a protective membrane that requires a thousand times more carrageenan than HPV before it can be sufficiently clung onto.
` So, what does this discovery hold for the future of sexually-contracted viruses? For one, N.K. Ganguly, the head of the Indian Council of Medical Research, says that carrageenan combined with microbicide could be one of the best preventatives against STDs. Plus, in 2007, a trial of 5,000 women in South Africa will conclude, telling us whether a vaginal gel called Carraguard can protect them from HIV.
` And if it doesn't, they might easily die. The end.

` Epilogue: A new idea for a song parody?

If all you hold is news so old,
An algae that you chew,
May all the viruses be gloved
In Carrageenan Glue....

` Take that, Enya!!


Galtron said...

I had no idea that 3 wasn't a carcinogen! Excellent!
And nice song parody, by the way.

Glad you finally got it up. ;)

Cherrie said...

But they have to come up with a better application technique than stuffing the woman with seaweed--or wrapping the man up in it.

I'm sure someone is working on it!

S E E Quine said...

` *Gives Cherrie a Strange Look*

` I AM THE SEAWEED QUEEN!! ...Until the Giant Beach Fleas eat me.

` Grah.

Galtron said...

All hail the beach queen! She giveth viral protection and taketh away our blood!

S E E Quine said...

` Uhhhhhhhhhh noIdon't. PROVE IT!

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