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 August 31, 2015 09:29 GMT

SELFIE CRASH

ORIENT, Maine (AP) -- Texting and driving? Not safe. Driving while taking a selfie? Even more not safe. Police in Maine say a man crashed his car while taking a selfie with his passengers. Authorities say several people were hurt when 29-year-old Jordan Toner lost control of the vehicle he was driving with seven passengers. When he leaned over to take the selfie, his car ran off the road and hit a tree. He's been hit with a distracted driving summons.

DESTINY'S CHALLENGE

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Sheriff's deputies in Idaho are trying to find their destiny. That's Destiny as in the girl's name -- not their reason for being. Authorities have been interviewing more than a dozen girls named Destiny as they try to crack a vandalism case. It seems someone spray-painted a prom invitation on part of the Black Cliffs in southwest Idaho back in May. The message read: "Destiny, Prom?" If authorities can track down who was trying to woo Destiny, that person's destiny could be jail. The crime is punishable by up to six months behind bars and a fine of $1,000.

GRENADE BROUGHT TO POLICE STATION

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- A grenade in hand -- was worth a lot of concern to police in South Burlington, Vermont. A woman found a hand grenade in her grandfather's belongings -- and decided to bring it to the police station. That got their attention. Police cleared the department and nearby buildings -- because they weren't sure if the grenade was live. In the end, the state bomb squad had to come in to deal with the grenade. As late as yesterday, authorities hadn't determined whether the grenade was dangerous or inactive. They are urging residents who find grenades or other potentially devices to leave them where they are -- and call the police.

TELESCOPE MISTAKEN FOR RIFLE

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- They were hoping to check out some stars. But the first light they saw when trying to use their telescope -- was that from police officers who mistook their telescope for a rifle. Levi Joraanstad and Colin Waldera were setting up their telescope behind their apartment Monday when police flashed a bright light into their eyes and told them to freeze. The students couldn't see who was shining the light -- and thought it was a prank by other students. Despite the confusion, it turned out O.K. Police say the students were never in any danger -- and that police approached them because they'd rather be safe than sorry.

 
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