Feed aggregator

Garlic, Cancer, and the Public Funding of Scientific Research

ECONAMICI A land economist's view - Fri, 2019-04-26 20:40

Four years ago, in The Mouse That Wouldn’t Die, I described how my husband’s colleague Zheng Cui found some mice in his lab that were naturally immune to cancer. Astonishingly, transferring special white blood cells, granulocytes, from immune mice killed cancer in non-immune mice. It turned out that some humans are also super-immune to cancer. Cui managed to help set up two small privately-funded experiments in Florida and in China, giving transfusions of granulocytes from healthy donors to cancer patients. The treatment seemed to be succeeding, including for Cui’s wife. But then … nothing, due to a lack of funds for follow-up and hostility from the medical establishment. The problem: blood transfusions are old medicine and therefore not patentable. The treatment could never be profitable. If ever there was a case for public funding of scientific research, that was it.

Undeterred, Cui plunged into research on another even more unlikely-seeming cancer treatment, injection of filtered raw garlic juice. Garlic does have antibiotic properties, and was once used for treating wounds. When I was a child living in Paris, our nanny fed me and my little sister raw garlic to kill intestinal worms, which maybe it does. Eating raw, cooked or powdered garlic has been widely touted as a preventative or cure for just about anything. There’s a strong stench of quackery to garlic remedies.

But now Cui’s results are in. A novel therapeutic anticancer property of raw garlic extract via injection but not ingestion just appeared in Cell Death Discovery, an open-access subsidiary of the top scientific journal, Nature. Cui injected groups of mice with two strains of rapidly-lethal untreatable mouse cancer cells. Then, unlike any prior researchers, he injected some of the cancerous mice with garlic juice. He fed the juice to others. The cancerous mice that were fed garlic quickly died, but the garlic-injected mice remained healthy. Cui then tested three human cancer laboratory cell lines with garlic juice, as well as with extracts of a number of other fruits and vegetables. Garlic rapidly killed all three cancer cell lines; cauliflower did pretty well too, followed by red grapes, guava and strawberries.

Cui also tested different parts of raw garlic juice, discovering that the anti-cancer activity came from a bunch of as yet unidentified small molecules. He hypothesizes that these molecules work without being toxic to normal cells because cancer cells are metabolic cripples; the mutations that let them grow wildly also leave them unable to metabolize many ordinary food compounds. The garlic molecules may just clog up the cancer cells until they die. In fact, says Cui, more than by uncontrolled growth, cancer cells kill when their busted metabolism spews toxic little bits of protein into the bloodstream. That causes cachexia, the weakness and wasting away of seriously-ill victims. Conventional chemotherapy attacks cancer cells at their strong point, their ability to multiply rapidly, rather than at their weak point, their compromised metabolism. In the process, chemotherapy damages normal growing cells, such as hair follicles.

What now? However promising, Cui’s discovery may not soon lead to a human treatment, certainly not a conventional one provided through the medical establishment. First of all, to identify the anti-cancer molecules in garlic and fully test them in animal and human subjects to meet FDA requirements would take years and hundreds of millions of dollars. Second, garlic juice is an old medicine. It’s not patentable. Hence the pharmaceutical industry may not be willing to invest.

That doesn’t make treatment totally unavailable. Garlic is a food. It’s still routine and legal to feed people intravenously, usually people who can’t feed themselves due to illness. The FDA requires only that intravenous food be free of particles and sterile. Moreover, on May 30 2018, President Trump signed a “Right to Try” law allowing terminally ill patients to use experimental treatments.

As for practicality, I did a back of the envelope calculation. Cui injected lab mice, which weigh about 15 grams, with a tenth of a gram of filtered garlic juice for 21 days. Scaling up to a 150-pound human, that’s about a pound = a pint of garlic juice, requiring a dozen or so heads of garlic a day. However, Cui made the dose as large as possible to test for toxicity; much lower doses over longer periods might be just as effective. It would make sense to start with lower amount and escalate the dose gradually.

Nonetheless, as with blood transfusions, the unprofitability and quacky aura of a garlic treatment means any testing or implementation will happen slowly at best. National Institute of Health funding for biological and medical research, today at about $39 billion, is down in constant dollars from a $43 billion peak in 2003. The Trump administration wants further cuts. While $39 billion may still seem like a lot, the competition is fierce between thousands of established research programs, whose scientists peer-review each other’s proposals. Only a major increase in funding—and probably a major opening in medical minds—might soon leave room for novel, public investment in that humble herb, garlic.

Originally published in December 9, 2018 on the Dollars and Sense blog.

Fwd: Re. housing crisis

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Mon, 2019-04-22 14:29
The thin end of the wedge on educating people about the perils of using real estate as a vehicle for storing and increasing wealth? Erich. -------- Forwarded Message -------- Leadnow Dear Erich, It’s no secret that house prices are through the roof in Canada — but now, a groundbreaking

great article on HG

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Tue, 2019-04-16 21:59
The 140-Year-Old Dream of ‘Government Without Taxation’ < https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2019/04/henry-georges-single-tax-could-combat-inequality/587197/>

Waiting for a Basic Income... Funded out of Rent

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Sat, 2019-04-06 18:53
Another HGFC meme has today been released on the world. See below. The last one, Earned inome belongs to you, Unearned income belongs to all , had 13,700 views and 1,870 engagements. Our page now has 134 likes. Frank de J ================

HGFC Wine and Cheese followup

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Tue, 2019-03-26 08:15
Thanks very much to all who attended on Saturday, about dozen, it was an excellent event. Thanks to the Henry George Foundation of Canada for the financial support. Our speaker was charming and informed. Miguel Figueroa, President of the Canadian Peace Congress, who

Guest speaker bio Miguel Figueroa

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Thu, 2019-03-21 09:19
Should be very interesting to listen to Miguel. f https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Figueroa

Guest speaker, HGFC Wine and Cheese, Sat, March 23, 4 - 7pm

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Wed, 2019-03-20 09:23
I have invited a guest speaker for Saturday, Miguel Figaroa, who is the former leader of Communist Party of Canada and now works for the Canadian Labour Congress. He has just come back from Caracas, and will be speaking on Venezuela and NATO. I know him because I've run against him a few times

Federal budget 2019: The Liberals’ mortgage plan is bad news for the economy

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Wed, 2019-03-20 08:37
Federal budget 2019: The Liberals’ mortgage plan is bad news for the economy – and it might not even help home buyers [image: David Parkinson] DAVID PARKINSON ECONOMICS REPORTER

Karl Marx's "Labour Theory of Value."

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Fri, 2019-03-15 14:23
Yet another article unaware of how rental value capture to finance gov would solve the duel problems of the working poor and of the wealth gap in one fell swoop. Frank ======================================== Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, "Workers are often paid far less than the value

Henry George Foundation of Canada, Wine & Cheese, Sat, March 23rd, 4 - 7pm

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Tue, 2019-03-12 21:49
Hello all you mad Georgists, I'm hosting a Wine and Cheese drop-in at my Toronto house on Saturday, March 23, from 4 - 7 pm and would love it if you're available to pop over for some wine, munchies and George talk'en! I still live in Yukon till September, but I'll be in TO next week for my

Earned Income vs Unearned Income facebook meme

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Fri, 2019-03-01 03:05
Here are the stats from this past Monday's post on our Henry George Foundation of Canada facebook page. The theme of the post was timed with tax time in Canada. Pretty good response. Frank de J ============================ Performance for Your Post 3,566 People Reached 289 Post Clicks

Fwd: Add Province information to your Facebook Ad Account

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Mon, 2019-02-25 19:32
This is interesting. Is the internet public? If so, FB getting fabulously wealthy partially because they are collecting rent. So, good on Quebec to capture some of this for public benefit. f ---------- Forwarded message --------- From: Facebook Ads Team

'Class, State and Nation': 19 July 2019, Winnipeg, Canada

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Wed, 2019-02-20 01:20
Michael Hudson speaking in Winnipeg. I can't go, but would like to, sounds like fun. Michael is a well know US "Georgist". We claim him as one of our own, even as he resists the label, I can never figure out why. Frank ---------- Forwarded message --------- From: Radhika Desai

Happy V-tines all you Gerogist lovers

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Thu, 2019-02-14 12:09
Gorgeous Georgist Memes < https://www.facebook.com/singletaxftw/?__tn__=kC-R&eid=ARDSaa7u6uUBQMGksVMQvEcITRZf-niPJCf6rdTMwbcnJ-lcO58cBPCpRdaYR0Wd_ujTZni6KU4dVKId&hc_ref=ARQv0FZG2XFUoNgK4vyuVH6kuVpQCXnwcVCFcu-x36cbJk4tgDfM0IbcDjXuZin5sW4&fref=nf&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARCa7CWiGn4JgOuVOq2LU9-UL0zBbI-iVv3r

HGFC Facebook stats

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Sun, 2019-02-03 22:11
Hello all, I put up the Henry George Foundation of Canada's facebook "page" some months ago but only occasionally forwarded posts to it, so it didn't attract much attention. If you use facebook, please go to it and "like" it, if you haven't already done so. We have 75 "likes" now, which is

Stiglitz on wealth vs capital

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Thu, 2019-01-31 00:05
Joe Stiglitz: "My paper begins with the observation that in fact, you cannot explain what has happened to the wealth/income ratio by that analysis. A closer look at what has gone on suggests that a large fraction of the increase in wealth is an increase in the value of land, not in the amount

I told you Sasuke

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Fri, 2019-01-25 01:49
[image: image.png]

Ontario/Toronto planning to use some land value capture to get transit built

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Sat, 2019-01-12 11:55
... approach that would have the private sector fund their construction in exchange for assets such as development rights near station sites. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/01/11/smarttrack-proceeding-despite-metrolinxs-new-market-driven-approach-to-stations-mayors-office-says.html

Trump is a genuis

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Sun, 2018-12-30 14:02
Wow, here's the most screwed up, confused, uneducated letter to the editor (in the Globe and Mail). Where to begin!!! And it's written by an economist professor!!! The first paragraph is right on, but after that, wow. Not a clue. Never read HG, clearly. f ============ NARCISSISTIC GENIUS?

Our Faceook page metrics

Earthsharing Canada Google Group - Sun, 2018-12-30 13:23
Our page is getting quite a few views. This is for just one week. Not sure what this really means, but sure is impressive. Couldn't be all me. : ) Happy New Year to you all. Frank NEW - Posts from Henry George Foundation of Canada reached 861 people and had 70 engagements this
Syndicate content