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Everything posted by Mayanca

  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.
  16. I'm so pleased with all the thoughtful commentary about the tablet. And the info about the repair possibilities in Perez for Apple products. I finally did decide on an iPad, mainly because I can help with it even over the phone, as I have one also. I had hoped to buy a Spanish keyboard for it, but was unable to do so...it is just too awkward to use the English keyboard with all the accent marks and other marks...but the digital keyboard is easy to use for Spanish, even though it is small. The mother of the family will be in charge of it, and hopefully it will stay inside the house. I did get a sort of protective case...should have gotten a clamshell...but ran out of time. These folks are extremely careful, more than I am in many ways. The expense was not much of an issue as I have known for years that this day would arrive. It will be interesting to see how this works out for them. I have been an Apple fan and owner since the days when 64k was all that was available, as my son was a coder for Apple and gave me all his old computers..I don't think we have ever had a repair issue, even after my dog caught her leg in the power cord of one of the early laptops and ran down the stairs with it bumping behind her. I'm hopeful with the mini, but still concerned....
  17. I need to buy a tablet for my Costa Rica family, mainly for homework assignments for teenage kids. I can buy it in the states, either a Samsung or Ipad mini, with cellular connection. My main concern is reliability and if there is any place in CR that can repair either brand. We are in Southern zone...I have IPad for myself but I can also travel back and forth, whereas my CR family cannot and need the computer on a regular basis. Kolbi sells one Samsung model, but I don't know what they would do if it needed repair. Any suggestions appreciated.
  18. Mayanca

    Paso Canoas

    It seems as though that coyotes are being hired by people from several countries at Paso Canoas including Cubans and Africans, and are being taken by back roads to Golfito. Although many have been detained, there are undoubtedly more that are not. They must be trying to leave by boat from Golfito. As the world population and unrest grows, so will the numbers of displaced people. Lifeboat ethics come into play. A tragedy in many respects.
  19. What a great website! Thank you...Unfortunately their shipping policies are like the Apple Store..not to po boxes and have to be same address as billing, so that leaves us out as mail does not get sent to physical address..looks like very good prices..I may call them and try to work something out. I found that MEP (Ministerio de Educaciòn Publico) movil app is available for ios and Android...downloaded and watched astronaut Chang talk about childhood and read a bit of Tarzàn y Los Monos..shed some tears as that was what my father read to me as a very young child.
  20. Right..I will be careful. I plan to buy in the states, and have compared prices at several places..the tablets with cellular connections are considerably more expensive than just wifi.I'll probably start at Best Buy as they have both Apple and Samsung and other tablets and also Geek Squad to help answer questions...amazing change in one generation in remote part of Costa Rica...kids computer literate and parents both with little or no schooling..that is one reason that it is more difficult to communicate with dad about what the kids need for school.
  21. I'm not sure about the aps...I thought I would put eng/span dictionary, Word, Google Mail..Chrome..Google Earth...any others That make sense to me..no music or games..they can use their phones for that...this will be for work only...All I know is that the 15 year old can do her homework with an Android smart phone...so it must be fairly simple..but that phone is not available most of the time. Its hard to know without talking to the teachers. Most of the kids come from poorer families, so I don't know how they can afford computers. My son is a software architect at Oracle, and he too suggested Samsung and Nexus...I am only familiar with Apple products so thought it would be easier fo me to set it up for them. The prices are comprable, but the mini has a nice keyboard case that would make writing easier.
  22. Oh, that is super to know about the extended warranty being accepted...I get it sometimes, but have never had to use it...I did get it for my IPhone 6+ because of fear of dropping it. I wonder, anyone know if there is any service in San Isidro (Perez Zeledon). That would be the closest city for them, and still a long slog. Thanks so much for that info...maybe Apple has a data base somewhere about service centers around the world.
  23. I have purchased a nano sim in Costa Rica at ICE and used it in an IPad with the ICE Kolbi system...no problem, just that if you do not have a cell phone that uses a nano, you will need to go to a Kolbi office to have them turn it on...then pay for the service..I pay about 9000 colones every so often...probably about two weeks...to clarify, you need to activate the sim. I had my employee buy the sim, and did not have a cell phone that used the nano, so had to go to ICE and have them activate it, as the IPad is not a phone, and to activate the Sim it has to be inserted into a phone first, activated, then removed from phone and placed in the IPad. You call ICE...8888 as I remember then text Mes if you want to use it monthly.
  24. Mayanca

    What to bring

    When in the States we use unbleached paper filters sold by the box at Peets...That seems easier than trying to find natural cotton, that is if you are planning a trip and have the space to pack a bunch of boxes down. in Costa Rica we finally resorted to a coffee maker with a metal filter, after updating our solar power system. I did learn quite a bit about cloth and paper products and the chemicals they contain after reading the threads (bleached and unbleached) on this topic, so I thank you for bringing it up.
  25. Mayanca

    Laws on Shells

    Sorry if you think my comment about morphos was "needless and uncalled for"...definition of gratuitous. I agree....and promise to tattoo that definition on my forehead so that I remember to keep the duct tape handy when the temptation arises.

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