Monthly Archives: August 2012


Acne—New Thoughts on Inflammation

Posted 28 August 2012 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Isotretinoin normalized Toll receptor 2 (TLR-2) responses, a measure of innate immunity, as reported by Thiboutot and colleagues in the September JID. Both circulating cytokines and cytokines from P. acnes-stimulated macrophages were measured. TLR-2 levels from stimulated macrophages were increased in untreated acne patients; after one week of therapy, these levels decreased. More interestingly, TLR-2 levels remained decreased for six months after stopping  therapy. Il-10, usually considered an anti-inflammatory cytokine, was increased in the patients, and was not affected by... Read more

Evidence-Based Nutritional Chemoprevention of Melanoma

Posted 22 August 2012 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Can nutritional supplements prevent melanoma? Interest in the role of nutrition in health dates back at least two and one-half millennia, and many Hippocratic writings emphasize the role of diet. Historically, Scurvy was the scourge of long ocean voyagers, and arctic explorers who ate polar bear liver suffered symptoms of Vitamin A intoxication. Nutritional deficiency studies in rats, emphasizing the morphological and biochemical changes in skin, were common in the first two decades of the JID (1940-1950s). We now know... Read more

Intimate Life of Mosquitoes

Posted 14 August 2012 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Sing to me, Oh wise muses, of foreskins, flaviviruses, saliva, blood, mosquitoes, monkeys, sylvan glens, and Dengue. Surasombatpattana et al’s article immersed me in this common (100,000,000 cases annually) – and serious -- tropical disease.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) summarizes clinical dengue, including the severe and frequently lethal hemorrhagic form. Surasombatpattana et al describe cultured foreskin keratinocytes infected with dengue virus and treated with extracts of Aedes aegypti salivary glands; the extracts increased viral titers and decreased secretions... Read more

Psoriasis, Reproducibility, and the Winner’s Curse

Posted 7 August 2012 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Reproducibility of experimental results is a hallmark of good science. Yet reproduction of results is rarely performed. There is little fame and often little external funding for being the confirmer, being second in the race. Hence the laurels in the Olympics of science are often awarded to those who publish first -- or for the more practically minded -- patent first. It is therefore encouraging and stimulating when there is a serious effort to reproduce the results of others, as... Read more

Urea: The Little Molecule that Could

Posted 1 August 2012 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Urea is a magical, symmetrical molecule, and reading Grether-Beck et al’s article transported me back in time, like Gil in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris”.  I visited two seminal years in urea’s history:  1828 and 1954. In 1828 Friedrich Wohler synthesized urea in vitro, delivering a fatal blow to the concept of “vitalism” that suggested that life, and molecules that were products of living creatures, required more than chemistry (i.e., a vital force) for their synthesis. Urea is easily... Read more