Leeuwenhoek had stolen and peeped into the fantastic sub-visible world of little things, creatures that had lived, had bred, had battled, had died, completely hidden from and unknown to all men from the beginning of time. Beasts these were of a kind that ravaged and annihilated whole races of men ten million times larger than they were themselves. Beings these were, more terrible than fire-spitting dragons or hydra-headed monsters. They were silent assassins that murdered babies in warm cradles and kings in sheltered places. It was this invisible, insignificant, but implacable-and sometimes friendly- world Leeuwenhoek had looked into for the first time of all men of all countries. ~Microbe Hunters

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Since I posted about blood testing in the Order of Draw, I thought it would be interesting if I posted about pee. I did, you probably don’t. Urine is a very revealing thing. Microbiology can test it for the presence of Chlamydia, and biochem can test it for the presence of HCG. Those are just a few examples. Drugs can also be tested in urine. The following are a few examples
·         Ethanol (the stuff that is in alcoholic beverages): When you drink too much, what happens is you get a build-up of acetic acid. The acid can decrease the pH of your body, causing many proteins to become inactive, or denatured, causing damage to organs and organ systems.
·         Methanol (the stuff that is in antifreeze): a lot of homeless people will drink this to get admitted to the hospital for free food, warmth and shelter. The effects are less severe than on overdose of ethanol, but can still cause blindness so it must be treated. The reason it is common for homeless people to overdose on it is that it is super cheap at Canadian Tire or Walmart. Quick trip into the warmth of a hospital in the dead of the Canadian winter.
·         Isopropanol (the stuff that is in rubbing alcohol): This is twice as severe as ethanol poisoning and by-products are rapidly formed including acetone. This is very toxic, so I would not recommend ingesting. Also, I saw on 1000 Ways to Die that someone bathed in it. Don't do that either, because you will die.
·         Opiates (morphine, codeine, heroine): These drugs typically used for pain management are highly addictive. The urine test that is done in the lab detects false positives if the patient has eaten a poppy seed bagel. Experienced drug users will walk in to give their urine sample eating a poppy seed muffin. In which case, we cannot test their urine to see if they are staying “clean” while on parole.
·          Acetaminophen (Tylenol): If you overdose on Tylenol, the antidote, or cure, could be more toxic to your cells than the actual drug. Health care professionals have to decide if it is worth giving the antidote on a case-by-case basis. A build-up of the by-products leads to protein inactivation and liver failure and death.

Darn good and sure of it,


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