Monthly Archives January 2005

’80s Geek Chic Goes Too Far

Categories: Dear God, Make It Stop!.

Thanks largely in part to the movies of John Hughes, outright geekiness became vaguely popular for a certain part of the ’80’s — at least, in pop culture, if not actually in high schools across the U.S.

However, it’s one thing to slap thick-rimmed glasses on Anthony Michael Hall and make him pretend he’s smart; it’s another thing altogether to photograph Bill Gates in “alluring” poses and publish them in Teen Beat magazine.

Sharks Can’t Get Cancer, Llamas Can’t Get Dandruff

Categories: Camelids and Health.

Apparently, most dandruff in humans is caused by the presence of a specific fungus (malassezia furfur). You may have noticed, for example, that the active ingredient in Nizoral is ketoconazole — which, when taken orally, is a systemic antifungal. You’ll notice the similarity to the name of omniprazole (Prilosec); they’re in the same family. Unfortunately, their similarities cause them to interact in a way that increases the chances of liver damage when used together. From what I’ve been able to find, the same sort of interaction occurs between ketoconazole and the popular histamine blockers used to treat heartburn and alergies (largely, the drugs ending in -dine). I’ve gone looking for research data regarding the interaction between H2 blockers/proton pump inhibitors and topical ketoconazole before, but there don’t appear to be any such studies. After discussing this with a physician, the prudent course of action seems to be to avoid using them at the same time until such studies are made. Now, there are plenty of other active ingredients that have been FDA approved to treat dandruff (selenium sulfide, coal tar, salicylic acid, and zinc pyrithione). Unfortunately, most of these aren’t very effective. My understanding is that most, if not all, of these active ingredients simply mask the symptoms without having significant antifungal properties.

As usual, it’s llamas to the rescue. Researchers have discovered that llamas produce an antibody which specifically targets and kills malassezia furfur. The implication is that this discovery could be used to make a more specifically targeted dandruff shampoo that has much, much lower chances of interacting with other medication. I wonder if this could even lead to the developent of an oral dandruff solution…

Macs for Everyone!

Categories: General.

Well, I think Apple has finally hit a point at which I can’t avoid buying one of their machines. For anyone who missed the recent announcement: go check out the Mac Mini.



You know you need one

The icing on the cake? Your cost for one of these machines is $500.