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 October 24, 2014 09:09 GMT

COIN TOSS-MAYOR

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Usually, one flips a coin to determine things like who gets the ball first in a football game or who gets first dibs at the last slice of pie or something. But to settle an election? That's what happened in a small town high in the Peruvian Andes. Two candidates tied at the ballot box -- with each getting 236 votes in the municipal election. Peru's electoral law allows tie races to be decided by a coin toss. So the coin was tossed. And the winner -- Wilber Medina. His rival says he's cool with the results. It isn't known whether heads or tails carried the day -- and the election.

PUMPKINS-PIGS

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. (AP) -- It started as a potential case of pilfered pumpkins. But it turned out to be a windfall for a group of pigs. Foster's Daily Democrat in Somersworth, New Hampshire reports hundreds of pumpkins were reported stolen earlier week. The gourds had been set aside behind a school to be sold this weekend at a craft fair. The investigation didn't get far. Turns out a farmer spotted the pumpkins and asked a school worker if he could take them to feed his pigs. The school employee didn't know the pumpkins were being saved -- and the farmer took them. Police say the only ones that turned out happy in the whole episode -- are the hogs.

FIREWORKS-FUNERAL

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- When the fireworks burst in the air tomorrow night over Springfield, Missouri -- it won't be the Fourth of July -- but the last of James Carver. A Missouri funeral director will be bidding farewell to his dad -- by having his cremated remains mixed with fireworks -- and launched into the sky. Carver's father is the first to try the program by Greenlawn Funeral Homes. His son Jim is the funeral director -- and says the eight-minute fireworks display will be followed by a cookout and memorial celebration.

 
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