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About Mayanca

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  1. Oh...sorry....for a long time I’ve wanted to bring up what we keep for snakebite, but since it is based on circumstantial evidence, although of good quality, I have not mentioned it because of potential issues on the forum. That said, it seems to work. There have been no good scientific studies on this method but it has been used for years for viper bites in remote places, including by us on a Dog and a human bitten by Bothrops asper. The dog was certainly injected with venom, head swollen, barely able to sit. The campesino was in pain, but it was not possible to determine if he was invenonated (sp). He went to the hospital, where in spite of three witnesses, he was told he was not bitten by a snake and sent home. Because we are alumni of UCI, we receive the info I remitted above...it is already a year old, so I do not know what the status of the research is at present.
  2. Interesting article regarding a new approach SNAKE BIT? UCI CHEMISTS FIGURE OUT HOW TO EASILY AND CHEAPLY HALT VENOM’S SPREAD Molecular gel could save millions globally from death or disfigurement ON MARCH 7, 2017 UCI chemistry professor Ken Shea (right) and doctoral student Jeffrey O’Brien have developed a broad-spectrum snake venom antidote. Steve Zylius / UCI Irvine, Calif., March 7, 2017 — Chemists at the University of California, Irvine have developed a way to neutralize deadly snake venom more cheaply and effectively than with traditional anti-venom — an innovation that could spare millions of people the loss of life or limbs each year. In the U.S., human snakebite deaths are rare — about five a year — but the treatment could prove useful for dog owners, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts brushing up against nature at ankle level. Worldwide, an estimated 4.5 million people are bitten annually, 2.7 million suffer crippling injuries and more than 100,000 die, most of them farmworkers and children in poor, rural parts of India and sub-Saharan Africa with little healthcare. The existing treatment requires slow intravenous infusion at a hospital and costs up to $100,000. And the antidote only halts the damage inflicted by a small number of species. "Current anti-venom is very specific to certain snake types. Ours seems to show broad-spectrum ability to stop cell destruction across species on many continents, and that is quite a big deal," said doctoral student Jeffrey O'Brien, lead author of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Zeroing in on protein families common to many serpents, the UCI researchers demonstrated that they could halt the worst effects of cobras and kraits in Asia and Africa, as well as pit vipers in North America. The team synthesized a polymer nanogel material that binds to several key protein toxins, keeping them from bursting cell membranes and causing widespread destruction. O'Brien knew he was onto something when the human serum in his test tubes stayed clear, rather than turning scarlet from venom's typical deadly rupture of red blood cells. Chemistry professor Ken Shea, senior author of the paper, explained that the venom — a "complex toxic cocktail" evolved over millennia to stay ahead of prey's own adaptive strategies — is absorbed onto the surface of nanoparticles in the new material and is permanently sequestered there, "diverted from doing harm." Thanks to the use of readily available, nonpoisonous components, the "nanodote" has a long shelf life and costs far less. The existing antidote is made by injecting horses with venom, waiting weeks for the animals to develop antibodies, then extracting their blood and shipping it from Mexico or Australia to places that can afford it. The process is not allowed in the U.S. Major suppliers have discontinued shipments to many markets. In contrast, "our treatment costs pennies on the dollar and, unlike the current one, requires no refrigeration," O'Brien said. "It feels pretty great to think this could save lives." Since publishing their findings, the researchers have discovered that scorpion and spider bite infections may also be slowed or stopped via their invention. They have patents pending and are seeking public and private funding to move forward with clinical trials and product development. Additionally, Shea's group pioneered a synthetic antidote for bee melittin — the ingredient in stings that can kill people who have an allergic reaction — using similar methods. "The goal is not to save mice from venom and bee stings," Shea said, "but to demonstrate a paradigm shift in thinking about solutions to these types of problems. We have more work to do, and this is why we're seeking a fairly significant infusion of resources." The U.S. Department of Defense's research arm financed the first phase of the laboratory work. "The military has platoons in the tropics and sub-Saharan Africa, and there are a variety of toxic snakes where they're traipsing around," Shea said. "If soldiers are bitten, they don't have a hospital nearby; they've got a medic with a backpack. They need something they can use in the field to at least delay the spread of the venom." In addition to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health provided funding. About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It's located in one of the world's safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County's second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu. Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists. More SHARE Tweet it Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn Share via email MORE STORIES
  3. Mayanca

    Costa Rica is Changing....

    Yes, and we have visited and walked through what was his private forest with him. Those walks ended when Alexander became too deaf to hear his beloved bird songs. His wife showed us their kitchen, which was delightfully old style rural tico with the sink perched just outside the kitchen window. They were a very interesting couple. He spent his days in a small separate office, writing. She seemed quite lonely. We returned with one of our college natural history classes after Los Cosingos was dedicated as a reserve. His story of life in Costa Rica is fascinating. We traveled over the road from Cartago to San Isidro before it was paved with OTS, and on our own in 1968 and 1969, and it took an entire day just to get to the top of the Cerro de la Muerte and to the overnight rest stop, the name I have momentarily forgotten.
  4. Mayanca

    A Tico Life

    Your message beautifully expresses the spirit of Costa Rica! Thank you
  5. We, too, welcome the "cleaner" ants. If you have high ceilings where wasps build nests, or scorpions crawl, the brief visits of the army ants are helpful. They bivouac outside at night, forming a mass of thousands of individuals, so are not roaming around underfoot. After we converted from wooden floor and thatch roof to concrete and steel we do not see them as often. They do not seem to like concrete very much. In the more than thirty years that we have had a a home in the Southern Zone, we have never been bitten by an army ant. Can't say the same about the fire ants, but with care we have learned to avoid them as well. Así es la vida en los tropicos.
  6. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    I wondered about the formula for Excedrin, and saw that it is a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine...then went to a couple of Wikipedia sites. The one that starts with the word Aspirin has quite a long list of equivalent drugs that could possibly be available in Costa Rica. This may not be helpful at all for you, as I do not know the answer to your question about availability of Excedrin...just thought it might be interesting.
  7. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    Thanks JamesofOmaha for some specifics about availability and prices.
  8. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    Thank you Induna.......Así es la vida en los tropicos.
  9. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    Right, but he arrived at night in Alajuela and we were taking the six am bus next am..hoping to have the bag found and flown down nearer us...he isn't the sort to remind about stuff..i gave him a phone ahead of time but he arrived with it dead and with no charger...it all worked out that time, next time i am not going to get involved...i did my best to prepare him...he was peace corp in Ethiopia, so he should know about travel...I can't babysit him. He was more ditsy than any of the hundreds of students on our trooical field biology courses. Original question was are bp meds available over the counter? Yes or no is all i am looking for.
  10. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    Yes, but it is not so easy for us..we live in a remote area with no services at all, and it is a major expedition to go to town, so if the one pharmacy in the little town where we waited for Sansa to deliver his luggage did not have the meds, it would have required probably an entire day and lots of boat and taxi rides to other towns, then searching for pharmacies. This guy is planning to come down again, and I hope to know more about general availability. We always ask visitors to be prepared for a more primitive and remote experience, so I was quite annoyed with him. He is an expert on climate change, and a very nice guy, but quite scatter brained in many ways.
  11. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    Interesting..Its probably been 25 years since I purchased antibiotics for a friend for boils. That didn't work out anyway as he decided to use an "Indio desnudo" bark tea instead. Antibiotics have been so overused and abused that I was at first glad to hear that at least some pharmacies require a prescription...although that doesn't make much difference since drs over prescribe them anyway. Last year a friend lost his meds on a trip to CR and I wondered if blood pressure meds could be purchased over the counter at pharmacy. He had arthritis, and statins also, and stupidly packed them in checked bags. Ceniza on CR runway caused cancelled flight and lost baggage. Thankfully he was able to recover the baggage within 24 hours, as he proclaimed he would be a cripple without them.
  12. Mayanca

    Prescription drugs-crestor

    Is there a list anywhere that explains which items are not available over the counter? Just talking in general, as I do think any psychoactive drugs are not available or sleeping pills. I remember from many years ago a gringo acquaintance being denied something of that sort. I buy RetinA over the counter in CR but have never asked about blood pressure meds, for example.
  13. If you can find another solar company that can come out and check your system, it might be more efficient. Without knowing more about it, it sounds as though your company has some issues. I don't understand about the service calls. We pick up our tech (owner) with our boat, and he doesn't charge for his time. Our off grid system took over two years from ordering components to finished installation, and seemingly hundreds of unanswered calls, delays in getting products through customs, broken inverter, failed switch, etc. And, we actually trust our guy, and believe his stories. We have used the same company for many years, but we are Southern Zone. Even trying to ask him to recommend someone in your area might not work, as he doesn't return emails or calls with any sort of regularity.
  14. Mayanca

    KOLBI Booth at SJO

    I keep looking and hoping someone will answer this. We have used that Kolbi booth many times and although we have most accounts "fija", that little booth at the airport has been very helpful.
  15. And there is also the product called Camfin..Which is something you do rub on your skin...camphor I think...don't have a jar of it right now, but it smells good and feels good on bites and sore muscles...kind of like Vicks vapor rub but nicer.

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