Silver nanoparticles

Lyra Nara Blog

Ecotoxicity: All clear for silver nanoparticles?

Silver ions disrupt cellular metabolism in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (photo), inhibiting functions such as photosynthesis. Credit: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

It has long been known that, in the form of free ions, silver particles can be highly toxic to aquatic organisms. Yet to this day, there is a lack of detailed knowledge about the doses required to trigger a response and how the organisms deal with this kind of stress. To learn more about the cellular processes that occur in the cells, scientists from the Aquatic Research Institute, Eawag, subjected algae to a range of silver concentrations.

In the past, silver mostly found its way into the environment in the vicinity of silver mines or via wastewater emanating from the photo industry. More recently, silver nanoparticles have become common place in many applications – as ingredients in cosmetics, food packaging, disinfectants, and functional clothing. Though a recent…

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Cinnamon for Weight Loss

My Natural Cures

Original text:

Cinnamon Cinnamon

Many women around the world have been using cinnamon weight lossrecipes for decades now. It is one of the most popular spices in the world and its very appetizing oriental smell attracts all kinds of foodies. Most people use cinnamon for their own culinary masterpieces as a flavoring agent, so a lot of them don’t realize that cinnamon is good for you, especially when your aim is to lose some of that extra weight of yours.

Another reason why is cinnamon good for you, aside from the fact that this spice can help one in their journey to a leaner body, it also possesses various other health properties which can improve man’s general well-being. One of the research studies showed that cinnamon can be used as a sedative for nervousness and mood swings. Its fragrance used in the room is able to work wonders with whole…

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Green Lab Notebook: more on balancing & green metrics

Cheminformatics 2.0

gln_greensteps1 Recent blog posts ( here & here ) have chronicled the experiment editor for the Green Lab Notebook (GLN) app-in-progress. The green chemistry metrics and some interesting stoichiometry/equivalents/balancing issues for multistep reactions have been grappled with.

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Do not forget to take Vitamin K

Lyra Nara Blog

There’s been a lot written about vitamin K recently. It’s similar to where vitamin D was a few years ago. It turns out that vitamin K is lot more important than we thought; it has many roles in the body we never knew about, and we need quite a bit more than was previously thought.

Until recently, Vitamin K was known only for its ability to help blood clotting. In fact people on anticlotting medications (blood thinners like Coumadin) are still often given some bad advice by their doctors: they’re told to avoid green vegetables because they’re high in vitamin K. Green vegetables are of course among the healthiest foods on the planet, and we now know that vitamin K is a lot more than just a “clotting vitamin.” It’s even vital to prevent the very heart disease blood thinners are prescribed to address. Although I believe there are much…

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Garden Cress Extract Kills 97% of Breast Cancer Cells in Vitro

New Drug Approvals

garden cress

Garden Cress Extract Kills 97% of Breast Cancer Cells in Vitro: Garden cress, like broccoli, is a cruciferous-family vegetable but is unique because it contains very high amounts of BITC (benzyl isothiocyanate) which has emerged as a powerful anti-cancer compound. In this study, BITC was seen to kill 97% of ER- breast‪cancer‬ cells (MDA-MB-231) after 24 hours of treatment. For comparison, the same dose of sulforaphane from ‪‎broccoli‬ killed only 75% of the cancer cells.

In other research, BITC has been found to slow the rate of breast cancer metastasizing by 86% and when given to mice, resulted in breast tumors 53% smaller than in untreated mice. BITC is now being intensively studied for a variety of cancers and has been shown in lab studies to be active against melanoma, glioma, prostate cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and others. Garden ‪‎cress‬ is one of the best sources of…

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New Drug Approvals


Asparagusic acid

Asparagusic acid is the organosulfur with the formula S2(CH2)2CHCO2H. The molecule contains both carboxylic acid and disulfide functional groups. It is present in the vegetable asparagus and may be the metabolic precursor to other odorous thiol compounds.

The material was originally isolated from an aqueous extract of asparagus.

Biosynthetic studies revealed that asparagusic acid is derived from isobutyric acid. This colorless solid has a melting point (m.p.) of 75.7–76.5 °C. The corresponding dithiol (m.p. 59.5–60.5 °C) is also known; it is called dihydroasparagusic acid or dimercaptoisobutyric acid.

File:Asparagusic-acid-3D-balls.png3D MODEL

Over the past forty years several papers have been published on the subject, and several studies undertaken, to try and determine the chemical compounds responsible, and though there is still no definitive verdict as to the manner in which these compounds are formed, it has been suggested that they all form from…

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Top 10 Tips for Surviving and Thriving as a Yoga Teacher

Yoga in India

By Jane Mason


Jane lives and works in India and is part of the team. She is trained in vinyasa, hatha, viniyoga and prana vashya yoga, having practised with many teachers and explored different techniques around the world. She is currently completing her 500-hour yoga teacher training as well as training in yoga therapy. Here she shares some tips for yoga teachers who are just starting out, or for those who are looking for inspiring ideas on how to thrive as a yoga teacher.

“How do I survive on my earnings as a yoga teacher?” This is a dilemma that confronts many yoga teachers. The annual income for this profession is reported to be 41% lower than that of any other salaried position posted on job sites. When you consider that $30 is the average income per yoga class it would take ten classes per week to earn even…

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