HOW DO BAR CODES WORK? Bar codes, or Universal Product Code (UPC) symbols, adorn nearly everything we buy today. The codes include both numbers and a series of stripes that checkout scanners can read. The black and white stripes are nothing more than a simple code that is a machine-readable version of the number on the symbol. The bars in a UPC symbol are similar to the dots and dashes of Morse code, only instead of decoding a string of sounds, scanners decode information stored in the widths of the alternating black and white stripes. Morse codes have two components - long dashes and short dots. UPC codes have three components; a thin line, a medium line that is twice as wide as the thin line, and a thick line that is three times as wide as the thin line.
ABOUT DRUG INTERACTIONS: Some drugs can cause negative consequences when combined with other drugs. In fact, even some foods can cause problems when consumed by a person taking medicine. Chocolate can conflict with medications for depression called monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors because the combination can lead to a spike in blood pressure. Alcohol can cause conflicts with medication, as can grapefruit juice and licorice. Dietary supplements can alter the behavior of different organs and cause interactions, including St. John's wort, vitamin E, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba. And as most people might expect, when multiple powerful drugs are ingested, they can greatly impact the body, sometimes in ways that can greatly stress the body.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.-USA, and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.