While we may think of moxa as a therapeutic technique that has been introduced to the United States in the last few decades of the twentieth century, this oriental healing procedure that applies the heat of burning herbs to acupuncture points was first employed in the United States by American physicians nearly two hundred years ago. Conceptualized as a counter-irritation method, moxa was used to treat a range of conditions, including inflammation, organ dysfunction, pain, and paralysis. Moxa's presence in nineteenth-century medicine was neither widespread nor of long duration, however, and notes of its use appear in medical records and doctors' daybooks only from the 1820s to the 1840s. Ultimately, moxa would be replaced by new procedures such as galvanism and the electro-magnetic machine. The tale of how doctors acquired and used moxa in the early nineteenth century is interesting in its own right. But the story of why this treatment was abandoned ties moxa to the larger saga of medicine's paradigm shift to bio-medical science and technology.
Bacterial heat-labile (LT) enterotoxins signal through tightly regulated interactions with host cell gangliosides. LT-IIa and LT-IIb of Escherichia coli bind preferentially to gangliosides with a NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-3GalNAc terminus, with key distinctions in specificity. LT-IIc, a newly discove ... more
Phosphate deficiency is characteristic for many natural habitats, resulting in different physiological responses in plants and bacteria including the replacement of phospholipids by glycolipids and other phosphorous-free lipids. The plant pathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, whi ... more
A tryptophan side chain was introduced into subsite +1 of family GH-18 (class V) chitinases from Nicotiana tabacum and Arabidopsis thaliana (NtChiV and AtChiC, respectively) by the mutation of a glycine residue to tryptophan (G74W-NtChiV and G75W-AtChiC). The specific activity toward glyco ... more