Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Israel 2010 The Pill Camera

This stamp was released 14 April 2010 to mark the Shanghai 2010 World Exp, under the theme of "Israeli Innovations That Changed The World", together with 2 other stamps. The Pill Camera shown was developed by an Israeli company in 2000 to assist in the diagnosis of cancer of the small intestine.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pain drug from the poisonous cone shell

This stamp was issue by New Caledonia postal authority, on 12 April 2006, to commemorate the centenary of the work by Jules Déjerine and Gustave Roussy, in the field of neuropathalogy, that culminated in the discovery of the Thalamic Pain Syndrome or Central Pain Syndrom, also known as the Déjerine-Roussy Syndrome, allowing latter researchers to work on pain therapeutics. Much work has been conducted on using naturally occurring toxins to combat pain, and among these natural toxins are the conotoxins or toxin secreted by cone shells. This New Caledonian stamp features the shell of Conus geographus, or the geography cone; it is one of the most poisonous cone shell known to man, 70% of recorded untreated stings on human were fatal. The string of letters at the lower-left corner of the stamp is the amino-acid sequence of a peptide extracted from the toxin of the Conus magus, or the magician cone:


This peptide is known as the ω-conotoxin MVIIA, also called a ziconitide. It was developed as a drug for intractable pain and was approved by the FDA in December 2004. It is 100 to 1000 times more potent than morphine, available under the trade name of Prialt and it blocks acute pain in patients who no longer obtain relief from opiate drugs; by blocking calcium channels it disables nerves that transmit pain signals. This drug has to be delivered directly to the spinal fluid.

UK 2010 Dorothy Hodgkin & Protein Crystallography

This stamp shows Dorothy Hodgkin, and is part of a 10-stamp issue celebrating 350 Years of the Royal Society. Born Dorothy Mary Crowfoot, she married Thomas L. Hodgkin in 1937, hence the name on the stamp. She contributed to the development of protein crystallography that was to become so important in the discovery of the molecular structure of the DNA; her 3 greatest accomplishments in chemistry were the determination of the strucutre of penicillin (1945), vitamin B12 (1957), and insulin which she worked on from 1934 to 1972. Dorothy is also featured on a 1996 20p stamp from a set of "20th Century Women of Achievement".