Thursday, November 16, 2006

My mum was right, YET again!

You're a 5-year-old kid out for a walk in the local park, and you spy the primary colours of the play area. "Don't come running to me when you break a leg!" yells your mum as you hurtle toward the climbing frames. Do you listen? Hell no! And do you fall over? Hell yes!

And as you lay there, your knees throbbing, and your chin grazed, you know that the worst is yet to come. First there will be the humiliation of the 'I told you so' look on your mother's face, and then, horrors! She produces a hankerchief from her pocket, LICKS it, and pinning you to the floor to stop you wriggling away, begins applying it to the mud and cuts! Aarghhh!

Well, as if to reinforce a previous blog , New Scientist reports: [edited]

Saliva from humans has yielded a natural painkiller up to six times more powerful than morphine, researchers say.

The substance, dubbed opiorphin, could spawn a new generation of natural painkillers that relieve pain as well as morphine but without the addictive and psychological side effects of the traditional drug.

When the researchers injected a pain-inducing chemical into rats’ paws, 1 milligram of opiorphin per kilogram of body weight achieved the same painkilling effect as 3 milligrams of morphine.

Rougeot and colleagues discovered that opiorphin works in nerve cells of the spine by stopping the usual destruction of natural pain-killing opiates there, called enkephalins.

Opiorphin is such a simple molecule that it should be possible to synthesise it and produce large quantities without having to isolate it from saliva, Rougeot explains. Alternatively, it might be possible to find drugs which trigger patients’ bodies to produce more of the molecule themselves.


conradgempf said...

So, like, when Jesus spit in the guy's eyes....?

Can Opener Boy said...

I'm an RN and I work with three Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons @ Stanford University Hospital. One of my responsibilities is to monitor patients' use of narcotics, and also to educate them on the after-effects of surgery: dealing with the pain in th emidst fo rehabilitation.

This new discovery sounds very promising and I look forward to reading more about it -- thanks for the lead!

~ Keith

Major Look said...

Sorry to dampen your enthusiasm, but I think the article is correct in the healing power of saliva - but make sure it is your own saliva, not someone elses!

Other people's saliva can be a cause of infection.

A&E wards report when there have been fist fights with cuts sustained by hitting someone in the face, and cutting the hand on the opponents teeth.
The opponents saliva is introduced to the wound and this has been shown to cause infection if not cleaned out :-(

If you need advice on treating human bites:

In fact this web site also has something dear to your heart Brett - how to chop carrots properly ;-)

brett jordan said...

So, let me get this right Major... you're saying that *deep breath* our mum ISN'T always right?

sorry, gotta go and have a quick lie down... feeling a little faint...

Major Look said...

Yep - I rang mum and said that you said she was wrong ;-)

brett jordan said...

Spoke to mum on Sunday. She's read the blog. It could be a difficult Christmas :-)