Stories tagged Taiwan

I have a friend in Taiwan who told me he was deeply concerned about an approaching typhoon. The big storm has caused some huge problems as some sections of the island nation received 80 inches of rain over the weekend. Here is some CNN video of the impact the storm has had. More than 600 people in a village were buried in a mud slide. Here's a full report.

Aug
04
2009

I am constantly amazed by the world around me. Algae turned into fuel, energy turbines underwater and now this! A chemical derivative from coral is about to be used in a new kind of pain medication.

Painkillers with the essence of coral in them will be used for a certain kind of pain, not just your average headache that an aspirin can take care of. Neuropathic pain in less complex terms is chronic pain, and comes from having damaged nerves. Many things can cause damaged nerves. This is the kind of pain that morphine can only curb slightly.

Christmas Tree Worms...? Coral? Is that you?: If you're not going to save it because it's got the cure, save it because it's pretty!
Christmas Tree Worms...? Coral? Is that you?: If you're not going to save it because it's got the cure, save it because it's pretty!Courtesy Nhobgood

Capnella imbricata, or Kenya Tree Coral grows in the waters surrounding Taiwan. After extracting the chemical in question it was put through drug trials. The early trials where the drug was used on rats has shown some success. This isn't the first drug to be derived from coral. People suffering from HIV and certain cardiovascular diseases have also been aided by the the underwater sponge.

Capnellene works with the cells that surround the damaged nerve endings (the ones scientists think are causing all the pain) to lessen pain, pain that may be caused by inflammation around the nerve.

In a related article, coral reefs all of the world are still in peril. The ocean around Indonesia and other countries in Southeast Asia are thought to contain 75% of all the world's coral species. This area, called the Coral Triangle is particularly endangered and it is estimated that 40% of it has been damaged and lost in the last 40 years. For pain's sake, or rather the sake of those suffering from chronic pain, lets lay off the reefs for awhile, huh? Give them a break! We really need them. Really. Just think of all the undiscovered cures that lay out there...

I guess I'm in a nautical mood today -- here's a link to video of a tribe of Asian island people and their rituals of launching a new fishing boat. But they just don't go fishing for ordinary fish, they're after flying fish!