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 September 16, 2014 09:07 GMT

TOMMY CHONG

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Stoner comic Tommy Chong came out smokin' last night -- on the dance floor. The 76-year-old Chong is a contestant this season on "Dancing With the Stars." The judges were impressed by his cool and his smooth moves. Chong rode onto the dance floor in a low rider, with old partner Cheech Marin at the wheel. Judge Bruno Tonioli (toh-nee-OH'-lee) says he was expecting "bad grandpa" but got cool grandpa instead.

POT SHOP POACHING

SEATTLE (AP) -- A legal pot store dropping a dime on a pot dealer? It's happening in Seattle. Cannabis City is the city's only licensed recreational pot shop. Police report the staff at the legal pot store called officers to report a dealer trying to poach customers. Workers say the man was selling weed out of the back of his Buick and was handing out business cards. Employees at Cannabis City say the pot dealer threatened to "stomp" a worker who had confronted him. Police add the man had left by the time officers arrived.

CAPITAL BIKESHARE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Want to buy a used bike? How about 250 of them? Washington's Capital Bikeshare program is getting a bunch of new, old bikes. The bikes are coming from Ottawa at a discount. The Canadian city is planning a new bike sharing system based on different technology. So, WTOP reports D.C. Bikeshare is buying the bikes along with all 25 of Ottawa's old docking stations. Capital Bikeshare has more than 22,000 members.

TIPPING HOTEL MAIDS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tip the maid. That's the goal of "The Envelope Please" campaign. Former California first lady Maria Shriver and Marriott are launching a program to encourage the tipping of hotel maids. The name of the person who cleans the room will be written on envelopes left in the rooms. Shriver is the founder of an organization called A Woman's Nation that aims to empower women. She says many travelers don't realize tipping is customary. So how much do you leave? Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson says usually $1 to $5 per night.

 
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