Deadly Tobacco Becomes A Lifesaver - 09/02/14

  The irony ~   Tobacco, the very plant blamed for prematurely killing 443 thousand Americans each year.  Tobacco, the same plant that led to a $246 billion dollar lawsuit settlement in the 90's against the tobacco industry.  Tobacco, the cash crop for Kentucky and North Carolina for decades.  This little green plant that's gotten the bad rap for snuffing out lives too early... has now saved at least two.... and scientists can't grow enough of this hybrid tobacco fast enough.

   The Ebola outbreak the CDC now says, "is out of control" is all of the sudden heavily dependent on tobacco and it's all being grown just up the road from us in a lab in Owensboro, Kentucky.  Somehow, this special tobacco is able to host a cocktail of antibodies that kick starts the immune system in Ebola victims and promotes healing.

    It worked for the two American aid workers who were brought back here to the states for the experimental treatment.  Now, the challenge is to grow more of it faster and substantiate the trials needed to use it on sick people who will otherwise die, according to doctors.

     Scientists have been working on this tobacco cocktail known as ZMapp for years with plans for trials at some point in the future.  They just didn't anticipate what's now a pandemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.   The CDC says for every day Ebola spreads in West Africa, it threatens people of all nations who may travel.  It's hard to contain and highly contagious.
 
    That's why the CDC is dispatching a team to Senegal to help prevent the spread of the disease. More than 1500 people have already died and another American doctor came down sick with Ebola today.  He had been working with pregnant women in West Africa. 
 
      Just a little news update interwoven with a redemption story for tobacco and I think it's all pretty darn cool that it's happening just up the road from us.  A hop, skip and a jump away. 

 

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Last Update on December 18, 2014 08:09 GMT

FAT BIKES

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) -- Cold and snowy? To some it's perfect bike weather. A new style of bike is gaining traction for winter use -- it's the so-called fat bike first developed in Alaska. The bike gets its name from the 4-inch wide tires that can get a grip in snow or sand. The tires are about twice as wide as those on a conventional mountain bike. Jeff Stine is the co-owner of Backcountry Bike and Mountain Works in Sheridan, Wyoming. He tells the Sheridan Press a fat bike buyer can get two sets of wheels, for summer or winter use. But a winter bike could give your wallet a chill. Prices start at about $1,500.

WREATH THIEF

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) -- The wreath thief has been busted. Police in Westerly, Rhode Island, report Christa Bradley turned herself in after a home security video was posted on Facebook. Police Chief Ed St. Clair says the video shows a woman walking up to Mary Sullivan's front door and walking off with her homemade wreath. The Westerly Sun reports Bradley is now charged with larceny under $1,500 and is due in court in about a month.

PISTOL PACKING HANDBAGS

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Paula Summers has the purse -- for ladies who are packing. She's a Washington state private eye and found it difficult to carry a gun. Summers did some research and found a number of purses designed to carry concealed pistols. But she felt there had to be a better way to market them. So, she's created gun-packers.com -- "for women who pack heat." Her handbags range from $45 to just under a-grand. But there's more to carrying a gun than the right handbag. Summers tells The News Tribune potential gun-owners need to be trained and licensed according to their local laws.

MOOSE FRIENDS

GWINN, Mich. (AP) -- Sunshine and Jumper have some human buddies. Sunshine and Jumper are male moose in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Food is short, so some people pals have been putting out healthy snacks, like alfalfa, apples and carrots for the moose. The animals have become regulars at an area cabin. The cabin owner asked not to be named by the Grand Rapids Press, so no one will come around to bother the moose. Their human buddies say the moose now eat out of their hands.

 
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