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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Pissing for Science"

i read this article a couple of weeks ago, and had a laugh. the thought of all those lab rats and workers collecting their urine for use in developing a viable space toilet and waste processing system struck me as downright clever. since there is a lot of particulate and ionic material in urine, as well as the varying pH and conductivity, cooking up a lab version of urine would only give the researchers a "ballpark" soup.
why i laughed, though, is that it reminded me of boot camp.
yes, boot camp. August 1972, Great Lakes IL. our morning routine included more that the shave, shower, brush your teeth drill. i don't remember now whether it was a phara company, or a hospital that ran the program. they always brought a couple of sterile 5 gallon poly carboys in and set them on a stainless steel pan outside the company commander's office. as we were heading to the head for our morning ablutions, we stopped at the jug, and emptied our bladders. it was strictly voluntary. in boot camp, if the company commander wanted you to do something voluntary, you were automatically volunteered.
seems they needed "pristine" piss, uncontaminated with drugs or alcohol byproducts. it was used to extract a tiny tiny amount of some hormone or chemical that was used to manufacture a blood clotting agent for hemophiliacs.
i wonder if they still do that to any extent, or if they've finally managed to either synthesize it, or found a substitute.
so there you go, too much information, but i pissed in a jug for science just like these researchers. only 36 years earlier, and for a different reason.

5 Comments:

Blogger Vigilis said...

It was not too many years later that I worked for a very large, but ethical US drug manufacturer. Their source for pharmaceutical grade urea was the Japanese Army. Their reason was obviously not cost, but purity.

What did they know in rejecting similar US sources?

8/15/08, 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Ellen in Conn said...

I got my anise oil at an old-time pharmacy. U.S.P. Anise Oil. Very potent.

8/15/08, 3:27 PM  
Blogger Cookie..... said...

Hey Bothe, we were pissin in those same containers at Great Lakes in 1963. Ain't that a pisser?

8/17/08, 5:08 AM  
Blogger Nereus said...

I got to whiz in quite a few containers over my career, with the pleasure of someone watching. It wasn't for science, but to find those with off duty recreation habits.

I wonder what it was used for in your day.

8/17/08, 8:37 PM  
Blogger jeffox said...

Wouldn't a company that collects urine be called a "whiz biz"?

My 2c. :)

8/21/08, 7:57 PM  

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