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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Chlorophyll and Billirubin Fluorescence at 460nm

Chlorophyll and billirubin fluoresce with blue light with a frequency of about 460nm.

There is an interesting link here showing the structure of heme (blood from which billirubin is derived) and chlorophyll (image from the link):

You can see how an unwound (my term) heme create the billirubin structure:

The fluorescence is described here and can be triggered with common plant lights:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Scott Gottlieb: FDA FOIA #3: Bolliger Study

I found this study from 2000 in the latest FOIA response:  Hopefully this is not old news.

Study Objective: To determine whether use of an oral nicotine inhaler can result in long term reduction in smoking and whether concomitant use of nicotine replacement and smoking is safe.

The study describes something remarkable similar to vaping: "The active treatment comprised nicotine replacement through an inhalation device (Nicorette Inhaler, Pharmacia and Upjohn).12 13 The inhaler consists of a plastic mouthpiece into which a disposable cartridge containing 10 mg nicotine and 1 mg menthol is inserted. At room temperature the total available nicotine content is 4-5 mg per cartridge. The inhaler delivers about 13 ìg of nicotine per puff (average puff volume of 50 ml), which means that about 80 puffs are required to obtain 1 mg nicotine. [My description of the Nicorette Inhaler relative to vaping was published here.]"

The result: "In summary, our study shows that sustained, long term reduction in smoking with the nicotine inhaler can be achieved and maintained. Smoking reduction seems a feasible first step towards improved health and may ultimately lead to complete smoking cessation in people unable or unwilling to stop smoking abruptly."

Scott: I wonder why the FDA CTP would take this down off their web site?

FDA: FOIA Response #3

I recently wrote "Scott Gottlieb: JUUL is Now Your Bitch" and "Scott Gottlieb: JUUL's Industrial Revolution Runs Away" (where I talk about this FOIA request).

As part of the latter I filed another FOIA request related to "The changes that FDA is allowing to these labels reflect the fact that although any nicotine-containing product is potentially addictive, decades of research and use have shown that NRT products sold OTC do not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence.

The changes being recommended by FDA include a removal of the warning that consumers should not use an NRT product if they are still smoking, chewing tobacco, using snuff or any other product that contains nicotine—including another NRT."

This statement used to be present on the FDA web site but was recently removed: see this.

I began interacting with the FDA FOIA people (interestingly this request went directly to a fellow with "JD" after his title who was relatively aggressive in responding).

In the end here's where it ended up: "Good Morning Todd,

Thanks for having a look at what’s been located thus far and clarifying the request for me.

I think I’ve located exactly what you’re asking for.

The consumer updates announcements are the consequence of the Federal Register announcements, like a news headline. They are usually based upon permanent agency notices. In this case the notice was this: “Modifications to labeling of Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products for Over-the-Counter Use,” 78 FR 19718, published on April 2, 2013. Please navigate to this link: , and scroll down to section IV, “published Literature Supporting Proposed Labeling Revisions.” You will find the complete list of references for the labeling changes. 

I will call in a few minutes to confirm that this is what you’ve been looking for.

Many thanks,

(NOTE: The FDA FOIA responder made clear NRT does not include vaping.)

Following the link ( you see section IV.

I have underlined several items related to, for example, nicotine inhalers and flavoring, that seem quite interesting.

The next step will be to track down these actual documents.

(From FOIA the link...)

IV. Published Literature Supporting Proposed Labeling Revisions

The published literature we have relied on in making the determinations contained in this notice is listed in this section of the document. Copies of the published literature will be on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and may be seen by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and are available electronically at

1. Batra, A., et al., “Smoking Reduction Treatment With 4-Mg Nicotine Gum: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study,” Clinical 78(6):689-96, 2005.

2. Benowitz, N.L., et al., “Suppression of Nicotine Intake During Ad Libitum Cigarette Smoking by High-Dose Transdermal Nicotine,” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 287(3):958-62, 1998.

3. Blondal, T., et al., “Nicotine Nasal Spray With Nicotine Patch for Smoking Cessation: Randomised Trial With Six Year Follow Up,” BMJ, 318(7179):285-8, 1999.

4. Bohadana, A., et al., “Nicotine Inhaler and Nicotine Patch as a Combination Therapy for Smoking Cessation,” Archives of Internal Medicine, 160(20):3128-34, 2000.

5. Bolliger, C.T., et al, “Smoking Reduction With Oral Nicotine Inhalers: Double Blind, Randomised Clinical Trial of Efficacy And Safety,” BMJ, 321(7257):329-33, 2000.

6. Bullen, C., et al., “Precessation Nicotine Replacement Therapy: Pragmatic Randomized Trial,” Addiction, 105(8):1474-83, 2010.

7. Dale, L.C., et al., “High-Dose Nicotine Patch Therapy. Percentage of Replacement and Smoking Cessation,” JAMA, 274(17):1353-58, 1995.

8. Etter, J.F., et al., “Nicotine Replacement to Reduce Cigarette Consumption in Smokers Who Are Unwilling to Quit: A Randomized Trial,” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22(5):487-95, 2002.

9. Etter, J.F., et al., “Post intervention Effect of Nicotine Replacement Therapy on Smoking Reduction in Smokers Who Are Unwilling to Quit: A Randomized Trial,” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 24(2):174-79, 2004.

10. Etter, J.F., et al., “Nicotine Gum Treatment Before Smoking Cessation—A Randomized Trial,” Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(11):1028-34, 2009.

11. Hajek, P., et al., “Dependence Potential of Nicotine Replacement Treatments: Effects of Product Type, Patient Characteristics, and Cost to User,” Preventive Medicine, 44(3):230-34, 2007.

12. Hall, S.M., et al., “Extended Treatment of Older Cigarette Smokers,” Addiction, 104(6):1043-52, 2009.

13. Hatsukami, D., et al., “Effects of High Dose Transdermal Nicotine Replacement in Cigarette Smokers,” Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 86(1):132-39, 2007.

14. Horst, W.D., et al., “Extended Use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy to Maintain Smoking Cessation in Persons With Schizophrenia,” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 1(4):349-55, 2005.

15. Houtsmuller, E.J., et al., “Flavor Improvement Does Not Increase Abuse Liability of Nicotine Chewing Gum,” Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 72(3):559-68, 2002.

16. Hughes, J.R., et al., “A Randomized, Controlled Trial of NRT-Aided Gradual Vs. Abrupt Cessation in Smokers Actively Trying to Quit,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 111(1-2):105-13, 2010.

17. Joseph, A.M., et al., “Chronic Disease Management for Tobacco Dependence,” Archives of Internal Medicine, 171(21):1894-1900, 2011.

18. Lerman, C., et al., “Genetic Variation in Nicotine Metabolism Predicts the Efficacy of Extended-Duration Transdermal Nicotine Therapy,” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 87(5):553-57, 2010.

19. Lindson, N. and Aveyard, P., “An Updated Meta-Analysis of Nicotine Preloading for Smoking Cessation: Investigating Mediators of the Effect,” Psychopharmacology, 214(3):579-92, 2011.

20. Murray, R.P., et al., “Safety of Nicotine Polacrilex Gum Used by 3,094 Participants in the Lung Health Study. Lung Health Study Research Group,” CHEST, 109(2):438-45, 1996.

21. Murray, R.P., et al., “Does Nicotine Replacement Therapy Cause Cancer? Evidence From the Lung Health Study,” Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11(9):1076-82, 2009.

22. Newhouse, P., et al., “Nicotine Treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment: A 6-Month Double-Blind Pilot Clinical Trial,” Neurology, 78(2):91-101, 2012.

23. Piper, M.E., et al., “A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of 5 Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapies,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(11):1253-62, 2009.

24. Rennard, S.I., et al., “Efficacy of the Nicotine Inhaler in Smoking Reduction: A Double-Blind, Randomized Trial,” Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 8(4):555-64, 2006.

25. Rose, J.E., et al., “Mecamylamine Combined With Nicotine Skin Patch Facilitates Smoking Cessation Beyond Nicotine Patch Treatment Alone,” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 56(1):86-99, 1994.

26. Rose, J.E., et al., “Nicotine-mecamylamine Treatment for Smoking Cessation: The Role of Precessation Therapy,” Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 6(3):331-43, 1998.

27. Rose, J.E., et al., “Precessation Treatment With Nicotine Skin Patch Facilitates Smoking Cessation,” Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 8(1):89-101, 2006.

28. Rose, J.E., et al., “Precessation Treatment With Nicotine Patch Significantly Increases Abstinence Rates Relative to Conventional Treatment,” Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11(9):1067-75, 2009.

29. Schuurmans, M.M., et al., “Effect of Pretreatment With Nicotine Patch on Withdrawal Symptoms and Abstinence Rates in Smokers Subsequently Quitting With the Nicotine Patch: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Addiction, 99(5):634-40, 2004.

30. Tønnesen, P., et al., “Higher Dosage Nicotine Patches Increase One-Year Smoking Cessation Rates: Results From the European CEASE Trial,” European Respiratory Journal, 13(2):238-46, 1999.

31. Wang, D., et al., ” `Cut Down to Quit' With Nicotine Replacement Therapies in Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness and Economic Analysis,” Health Technology Assessment, 12(2):iii-iv, ix-xi, 1-135, 2008.

32. Wennike, P., et al., “Smoking Reduction Promotes Smoking Cessation: Results From a Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Nicotine Gum With 2-Year Follow-Up,” Addiction, 98(10):1395-402, 2003.

33. West, R., et al, “A Comparison of the Abuse Liability and Dependence Potential of Nicotine Patch, Gum, Spray and Inhaler,” Psychopharmacology, 149(3):198-202, 2000.

34. Zevin, S., et al, “Dose-Related Cardiovascular and Endocrine Effects of Transdermal Nicotine,” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 64(1):87-95, 1998.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Ice Age Cometh (Again)...

In July of 2017 I wrote "The Ice Age Cometh..." describing how actual astrophysical science was potentially pointing in a much different direction that "Climate Change" Science.

We are again heading into a significant solar minima (2019 to 2020).  This means few if any sun spots and a reduced solar energy output.  For those with a modern education this means less energy from the sun to warm the earth.

NASA satellites have shown for some time (2002 - 2009) that the thermosphere (outermost layer of atmosphere) is cooling and shrinking (see this and this).  Does this mean we are headed into a new ice age?

Of course, there are skeptics (this for example, though written in 2013 before the minima and seems to exclude NASA satellite data).

In any case there's a lot to show no one really knows: hypothesizing is fine as is measuring actual data.  But so far, at least, there's not a lot of reconciliation between the sciences.

And let's not forget about Mars and it's now measured effect on our planet...

Friday, November 23, 2018

1970's ION Propulsion

An article An Airplane With No Moving Parts appeared over at IEEE Spectrum: MIT researchers have used ion drive—until now a purely space-based system—to fly a model plane a short distance indoors.

There's quite a lengthy video about the invention of this device here featuring Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT:

The article also says "... Ion drive was first demonstrated 101 years ago by famed rocketeer Robert Goddard, and it’s now routinely used in space, for instance to reposition satellites." 

Here's the dubious link for that

Goddard's rockets never reached outer space (he died in 1945).

As it turns out US Patent 3,130,945 describes exactly the device shown at IEEE Spectrum.  Here's the single claim from this 1964 patent:


I was intrigued by this article because I actually know quite a bit about this.

You see, about 47 or so years ago building ion-powered mechanical devices wasn't that uncommon.

I couldn't say where I got the idea from exactly, perhaps some variant of this Popular Mechanics article (I was not a fan, I read Radio Electronics and Popular Electronics and followed "Carl & Jerry quite closely).  I did not think it up myself, of that I am sure, the details are apparently lost to time.

(Lest you think I am kidding look up the Badger State Science Fair from the early 1970's - if you can find it.  Voice activated locks,  Plasma.  Lasers. Computers. All manner of things taken as "modern" today.)

Being 12 years old and living in rural Wisconsin didn't leave much room for entertainment.  Grandpa had an endless supply of electronics mags so that's what I turned to.

Unlike the IEEE article there weren't any well-to-do donors to fund the project so creativity was required.

First off a high-voltage power supply was required, at least 20kV.

The best source for this were abandoned TVs by the side of the road.  I specifically remember a DuMont TV I picked up one day while driving somewhere with my dad.  Something along these lines:

In the olden days TV's often had schematics pasted onto the inside back cover.  This made it easy to see if it contained all the parts you needed.

Before you could build a 20kV power supply out of tubes you needed aa 250vDC power supply to run the tubes.  This was easy because all TV's at the time contained such a DC power supply.  All you had to do was strip down the TV to remove the chassis.  Then strip the chassis down to remove the parts you didn't need leaving the 250vDC supply (usually a couple of transformers, a couple of rectifier tubes (5U4's), a couple of big caps and miscellaneous parts.

Next step was to convert the horizontal sync portion of the circuitry into a free-running multivibrator.  Something along these lines:

I used two distinct tubes and had to learn RC math to calculate the frequency needed.  Then you extracted the "flyback" transformer and tapped off the 20kV line:

Next you attach a pin pointing up off the tap.  Of course, you insulate things well: I used acrylic plastic my father brought home from job sites or clients.

When fired up, aside from the screaming flyback (no doubt because my frequency calculations were off), there is the distinct sound of ionization and a definite "wind."

Finally you bend up some wire like this:

Set it on the pin (the pin stuck through the loop) and watch it spin!

The whole apparatus probably weighed 25 pounds and plugged into a wall outlett so there was no chance of flight but the principles were there (it would take another 40 years for batteries to catch up).

It this weren't fun enough I learned how to build capacitors out of tin foil and acrylic.  The tin foil would convulse on discharge.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Scott Gottlieb: JUUL's Industrial Revolution Runs Away...

My father spoke about this book ( when I was young.  He studied under Wright...

I always found the statement "The Industrial Revolution Runs Away" a very interesting take on  disruptive technologies (like vaping).  Government can't control everything.  Wright figured this out in 1932.

Today, some 85 years later FDA is cracking down on JUUL; wrestling JUUL down by the horns to prevent "the children" from vaping.

Unfortunately for the FDA the industrial revolution (in this case JUUL tech) is running away.  The horse is out of the barn.  To wit from "Not Blowing Smoke" on Facebook we have

Note the second line "Santa Cruz will allow youth to possess and use cigarettes but not vapor."


I've met the guy that runs this.  I really don't think he is making this up.

I've written extensively about what would happen when the FDA "steps in" to save us all from vaping: Opioids vs E-Liquids: How the FDA Harms Children, Withholding THR from Children is Abuse and FDA: The JUUL of Denial as examples.

People will be encouraged to smoke.

Now it seems to be coming true, at least in California.

Adding fuel to this fire is the concept of JUUL "modding" as outlined in this Motherboard article:

Seems like JUUL has seeded the US with millions of recycle-enabled JUUL "pods" - (no, no says JUUL, they can't be refilled).

Ha, Ha, Ha says Motherboad.

Seems like the kiddies that wrote the article have rediscovered the origins of vaping:

Stuff that's freely available anywhere to anyone (see what I wrote on King Arthur baking flavoring).

Now there's no doubt millions of JUUL pods circulating that can be easily refilled via common hacking and maker techniques.  Enterprising kids can rifle through the garbage and sell their pals refilled JUUL pods.  Given JUULs reach there's virtually an unlimited supply of materials. If I were in high school this would be a big money maker: refilling JUULs and helping kids NOT SMOKE.

Imagine what will happen when these kiddies figure out they don't just need to use Mango...

Given you now own this problem where do you go next Scott?

Ban PG and VG?

Freeze sales of flavoring?

Maybe the SS should step in and rifle through everyones lockers, cars and homes for vaping supplies.

YOU have the kiddies heading back toward smoking, at least in Santa Cruz, instead of vaping... (Well, maybe just the loons in CA have done this but they are taking their directions from your anti-smoking minions.)

So what's next,  Scott?

Personally I think the FDA's attempts to put the Genie back in the bottle needs to end.

It's not working.

There is no real statistical basis for the under age vaping "emergency" except it looks bad relative to the status quo.

And I get that.

But wouldn't it be better if kids in CA couldn't possess cigarettes instead of vapes?

The collective "you" know (or at least you used to) that nicotine isn't the problem.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

FOIA Request for Nicotine Statements...


All scientific articles, research, web links, documents, emails and other information used to document the statement in the last paragraph (see PDF) "... decades of research [by the FDA] and use have shown that NRT [nicotine replacement therapy, i.e., vaping] do not appear to have significant potential for abuse or dependence" with FDA web page ""  (now removed).