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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 April 20, 2015 07:08 GMT

FIRST FAMILY-HIKE

McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- It was a family spring outing. But in this case it's the first family. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha took a walk in the woods yesterday. They hiked along trails just outside Washington at Great Falls Park in Virginia. The president greeted two eager kids. He also took a selfie with an onlooker before starting along the woody trail. The 50-minute trek ended as a light drizzle began.

LESTER'S GLOVE

CHICAGO (AP) -- It was a throw to first -- and not just the ball. Cubs Pitcher Jon Lester fielded a ball that was hit back to him. But the ball got stuck in the webbing of his glove. When he couldn't get it loose, he flipped his glove underhanded to first basemen Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo dropped his own glove and caught Lester's mitt, ball and all for the out. But the Cubs went on to lose to the San Diego Padres yesterday 5-2.

UNIVERSITY-FRESH FOOD

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Burgers made with grass-fed beef and topped with local cheese. That's what could be on the menu soon for University of Utah students. The school is committed to spending more on fresh, locally produced food. The move comes after students asked for more sustainable menus. University President David Pershing has signed the Real Food Challenge, making a commitment to spend 20 percent of the school's food budget on so-called real food over the next five years.

ANTARCTICA HIATUS

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) -- When Lee Clark moved for a job, it wasn't across town or even across the country. She went to Antarctica. Clark says she applied on a whim for a 911 dispatcher position at the bottom of the world. More than a year later she finally heard back and got the job offer. Clark recently completed her 8-month stint at McMurdo Station. She says Antarctica was so quiet and calm. So, what did she miss? Clark tells the DeKalb Daily Chronicle she couldn't wait to get back to roller derby. She practiced with her roller derby team the day after she returned to Illinois.

 
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