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A Definition of the Definitively Prepared Engineer

The mere practical architect is not able to assign sufficient reasons for the forms he adopts; and the theoretic architect also fails, grasping the shadow instead of the substance. He who is theoretic as well as practical, is therefore doubly armed; able not only to prove the propriety of his design, but equally so to carry it into execution." The Architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, trans. Joseph Gwilt (London, 1826), pp 3-4

Stop, Don’t Wash That Clay Off Your Wound!

Once again medical truths of the recent past are being up ended. It appears that mom wasn’t always right about cleanliness- NOT! Cleaning a wound and dressing it is still the best approach but an alternative way of thinking about antibacterial chemicals inspired by medicinal clays appears to be gaining interest. Spurred by the evolution of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or the flesh eating bacteria scientific investigation into medicinal clays is beginning to unlock their secrets. Those secrets appear to be that certain chemical ions like Fe+2, Cu+2 and Zn+2 or in other words Iron,Copper and Zinc which ionize with two positive valences are important to the clay’s antibacterial properties. More work needs to be done but these scientists appear to be onto something.

So the take away message of this research in my mind appears to be that if you can change the environment that a microbe likes you can kill it.

While looking into this I found that montmorillonite clay has been used as part of the scaffold for tissue engineering in bone. I’ve included the link below.

Reviewed Article

Exchangeable Ions Are Responsible for the In Vitro Antibacterial Properties of Natural Clay Mixtures

Attacking MRSA with metals from antibacterial clays


Medicinal Clay

Clay and Bone

Synthesis and characterization of a novel chitosan/montmorillonite/hydroxyapatite nanocomposite for bone tissue engineering.

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