My everyday tidbits...

MD5 collisions!

Recently three chinese researchers,(Wang, Feng, Lai, and Yu), have reported during CRYPTO 2004 that using there technique a collision could be produced in an hour! Other resources: 1. Introductory level article on hashing and collisions 2. www.md5crk.com 3. Slashdot story on the article can be seen here. 4. Cryptography Research's Hash Collision FAQ.

Allergies again - Ayurvedic remedies

While searching the net for alternative cure for alllergies I came across a few ayurvedic remedies. I haven't tried any of these but the current literature shows that they have some positive effect. These are: 1. Septilin Tablets(Himalaya Herbal Health Care) - Septilin possesses immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, which potentiate the non-specific immune responses of the body. Septilin stimulates phagocytosis by macrophage activation, increases the polymorphonuclear cells and helps overcome infection. Septilin builds up resistance to infection and helps prevent re-infection. Septilin augments granulocyte-macrophage differentiation, natural killer cell activity and antibody-dependent cytotoxicity. Septilin’s stimulatory effect on the humoral immunity increases the antibody-forming cells, thereby enhancing the secretion of antibodies into the circulation. Septilin also augments the synthesis of erythropoietic and granulopoietic precursor cells, stab cells and primary myelocytes. Indications Septilin syrup and tablets are useful when the following symptoms are displayed: 1. As a daily health supplement in infection-prone individuals 2. In the management of: 1. Upper respiratory tract infections 2. Lower respiratory tract infections 3. Allergic disorders of upper respiratory tract 4. Skin and soft tissue infections and inflammations 5. Dental and periodontal infections 6. Infective and inflammatory conditions of the eye 7. Bone and joint infections 8. Urinary tract infections More information can be found at: http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/products/septilin.htm The site also has some research papers which show its effect. 2. Quercetin: Quercetin is a bioflavonoid rutin, a group of coloring pigments widely found throughout the plant kingdom, where they also provide plants with antioxidant protection against environmental stresses. Natural diets high in vegetables, fruit, sprouts, and whole grains typically provide a total of 1,000 to 2,000 mg. a day of a broad range of flavonoids. Blue-green algae are the usual source of quercetin, but it's also available as a food supplement Quercetin has a strong affinity for mast cells and basophils. It tends to stabilize their cell membranes, preventing them from spilling their pro-inflammatory, allergy-symptom-causing load of histamine/serotonin into the surrounding blood and tissue in response to the IgE antibody. And without the release of these potent inflammatory mediators, the familiar misery of allergies simply will not occur, even though you've inhaled the pollen, animal hair, or whatever normally triggers allergy attacks. Quercetin and tocopherol, in combination, were found to restore the immune homeostasis and to normalize clinical indices in patients with dysentery. Quercetin inhibits uric acid production, as well as the manufacture and release of inflammatory compounds. Sources: Fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, tea, and red wine. 3. Tylophora (Indian ipecac): Tylophora is a perennial climbing plant native to the plains, forests, and hills of Southern and Eastern India. In India, it has historically been used as a treatment for asthma and allergies. The primary ingredient in tylophora is the alkaloid tylophorine. This extract may have anti-inflammatory properties and may interfere with the action of mast cells, which are key components in the process of inflammation.It contains compounds that have been reported to interfere with the action of mast cells, which are key components in the process of inflammation responsible for most hay fever symptoms. Ayurvedic doctors sometimes recommend 200–400 mg of the dried herb daily or 1–2 ml of the tincture per day for up to two weeks. These historical and laboratory findings have been supported by several human clinical trials using differing preparations of tylophora, including the crude leaf, tincture, and capsule. One clinical trial with asthma sufferers, found that tylophora leaf (150 mg of the leaf by weight) chewed and swallowed daily in the early morning for six days led to moderate to complete relief of their asthma symptoms. 4.Sho-seiryu-to: The Japanese herbal formula known as has been shown to reduce symptom, such as sneezing, for people with hay fever. Sho-seiryu-to contains licorice, cassia bark, schisandra, ma huang, ginger, peony root, pinellia, and asiasarum root.