Letters from the December 17, 2005, issue of Science News

C plus

Ewan Cameron, who in 1971 began to collaborate with Linus Pauling on vitamin C and cancer, typically initiated patients with 10 grams per day of vitamin C given intravenously for about 2 weeks, followed by an oral dosage continued indefinitely. The two Mayo Clinic trials referred to in “Vitamin C may treat cancer after all” (SN: 10/15/05, p. 253), which failed to show any benefit for vitamin C in cancer patients, used only oral doses with limited absorption. The new study by Mark Levine adds to the growing consensus that intravenous vitamin C is worthy of a clinical trial.

Stephen Lawson
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Ore

Flight path

The discovery of the early raptor Buitreraptor may resolve one puzzle of the dinosaur-bird relationship (“Raptor Line: Fossil finds push back dinosaur ancestry,” SN: 10/15/05, p. 243). The late-Jurassic “first bird,” Archaeopteryx, seems closely related to dromaeosaurids, yet those animals appear to have lived later, in the Cretaceous. The realization that raptors were around much earlier makes the dinosaur-bird link even clearer.

John Davis
Jackson, Miss

More bear facts

Nothing was said in “A Galling Business” (SN: 10/15/05, p. 250) about the situation in Canada, where killing bears for their gallbladders and paws is a serious problem. I suggest that you contact TRAFFIC North America and the World Wildlife Fund–Canada for detailed information on the problem in Canada.

Abby Schwarz
Vancouver, British Columbia

The article states, “Traditional medicine has been driving an active trade in bear bile and gallbladders, which produce it.” Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.

David J. Bartczak
Milford, Mich

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