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Posts Tagged "medicine"

Anthropology in Practice

Standards of Healthcare in Your Medicine Cabinet

What story would your medicine cabinet tell about you? Medicine cabinets are amazing spaces. They can contain a multitude of pills, pastes, syrups, and wrappings that we know we can reach for to manage many types of pain, ailments, and illnesses ourselves. They can provide a window into a person’s well-being—really? you’ve never peeked after [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The Ways We Talk About Pain

Excerpts from the Personal Journal of Krystal D’Costa [i] Tuesday: I fell. Again. This time it was while getting out of the car. I’m not sure how I managed it. I got my foot caught on the door jamb and tumbled forward. I hit my shin—hard—against the door jamb and I think I tweaked my [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Can Diseases Cross Oceans By Wind?

kawasaki_aneurysms_200

That’s the question I examine in my first feature story for Nature, published today online and in the print magazine April 5. A bizarre disease of toddlers and infants called Kawasaki Disease — which only emerged in the 1960s in Japan — causes little kids to develop rash; fever; swollen hands, feet, and lymph nodes; [...]

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Culturing Science

The Best Things I’ve Read All Week (8 Jan 2012)

girlreading

Here are the best things I’ve read all week. The pieces are not necessarily news and could be decades old, and they’re probably longform writing but not always. Maybe there is one link, maybe there are forty. But they all were thought-provoking enough that they hopped around in my brain long past the read. Enjoy. [...]

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Doing Good Science

The ethics of opting out of vaccination.

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At my last visit to urgent care with one of my kids, the doctor who saw us mentioned that there is currently an epidemic of pertussis (whooping cough) in California, one that presents serious danger for the very young children (among others) hanging out in the waiting area. We double-checked that both my kids are [...]

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Doing Good Science

Book review: Coming of Age on Zoloft.

One of the interesting and inescapable features of our knowledge-building efforts is just how hard it can be to nail down objective facts. It is especially challenging to tell an objective story when the object of study is us. It’s true that we have privileged information of a particular sort (our own experience of what [...]

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Doing Good Science

Reading “White Coat, Black Hat” and discovering that ethicists might be black hats.

During one of my trips this spring, I had the opportunity to read Carl Elliott’s book White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine. It is not always the case that reading I do for my job also works as riveting reading for air travel, but this book holds its own against [...]

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Doing Good Science

Health care provider and patient/client: situations in which fulfilling your ethical duties might not be a no-brainer.

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Thanks in no small part to the invitation of the fantastic Doctor Zen, I was honored this past week to be a participant in the PACE 3rd Annual Biomedical Ethics Conference. The conference brought together an eclectic mix of people who care about bioethics: nurses, counselors, physicians, physicians’ assistants, lawyers, philosophers, scientists, students, professors, and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Ayurveda out of balance: 93 percent of medicinal plants threatened with extinction

Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of Ayurveda

Traditional Ayurvedic medicine could face an uncertain future as 93 percent of the wild plants used in the practice are threatened with extinction due to overexploitation, the Times of India reports. The Botanical Survey of India recently prioritized 359 wild medicinal plant species and conducted an assessment throughout the country to determine their health. The [...]

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Guest Blog

The Health Insurance Shell Game

viewer1

The insurance industry had a rocky start a century ago. It was clear that there were untoward events that could befall any of us with catastrophic results, from the incineration of a home to the loss of the ability to maintain gainful employment from injury or death. Insurance offers a mechanism to share this risk. [...]

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Guest Blog

It’s Your Virtual Assistant, Doc. Who Is Watson?

Ever since IBM supercomputer Watson beat Jeopardy! champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, there’s been a lot of talk about putting the computer’s question-and-answer capabilities to real applications. In addition to consuming massive amounts of information, the supercomputer has been trained to understand literary references, interpret linguistic nuance, generate hypotheses, perform analysis, and score its [...]

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Guest Blog

When, and Why, Did Everyone Stop Eating Gluten?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the ingestion of gluten induces enteropathy, or inflammation of the gut, in genetically susceptible individuals. This destruction of the gut means that nutrients cannot be absorbed, leading to a variety of clinical symptoms: anemia due to the lack of iron, atherosclerosis due to the lack of calcium, [...]

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Guest Blog

Superfetation: Pregnant while already pregnant

Some weeks back, I came across a case report published in 1999 in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology [1]. It presented a twin pregnancy wherein one of the fetuses seemed to be at a younger developmental stage in its mother’s womb compared to its sibling. It wasn’t the first time that I had [...]

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Guest Blog

Should everyone have access to lifesaving medicines? [Video]

30 minutes, 70 fates. You don’t know it, but as I write this piece, there is some serious procrastination going on. My attention span is weak and sidetracked constantly by a variety of diversions, and if you must know, it’s taken me close to half an hour to write these first two sentences. Still, one [...]

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Guest Blog

Blaming parents: What I’ve learned and unlearned as a child psychiatrist

The fact that he’d stopped crying scared me. Damn rear-facing car seat. I couldn’t see him as I was driving to the hospital at 3 a.m. Now the hospital construction was making it impossible to find the entrance to the emergency room, let alone a place to leave the car. Getting out of the car [...]

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Guest Blog

World Health Day: Combat Drug Resistance

Without effective antibiotics, much of modern medicine would not be possible. The treatment of cancer, the care of premature babies and even the most common surgical procedures would not be possible. Yet as each day passes, we move closer to a post-antibiotic era. The severity of the problem, which has rendered many of the strongest [...]

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Guest Blog

Short Story Science: Lenina versus the Pneumococcus

Today is January 28, and Lenina has a smashing headache; she is a Streptococcus pneumoniae researcher. Not that this was the main reason for the headache, but an important meeting was being held today to launch the Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network’s [PMEN] new paper in Science. Oddly enough, her role at the meeting is to [...]

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Guest Blog

What’s the deal with male circumcision and female cervical cancer?

Recently, while I was getting drinks at a pub with about a dozen or so other biologists, I was involved in a very animated discussion about circumcision — because that’s what biologists argue about when they’re drinking, apparently. "They do it to increase stamina. It desensitizes the penis," said a microbiologist. (There’s some evidence to [...]

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Guest Blog

Amber Waves of…ah…ah…achoo! What you need to know about allergies

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining, flowers are beginning to bloom and pollen is in the air. Often thought of as a bright and cheerful time, for many people spring is a season when their heads feel like over-ripe melons, their eyes water and the tissue industry is kept in business. Many people feel [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Understanding medical news – “Between the Lines”

First, a confession—I’m a mathphobe, traumatized by growing up in a family skewed with an overabundance of math genes for whom math skills came as naturally as breathing.  I always got confused, and thought it was “sadistics,” not “statistics.” So it was with a bit of hesitation that I tentatively began Between the Lines (BTL), [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

TEDMED: Tougher topics to chew on

With earlier posts about TEDMED, I hope I whet your appetite and energized you to take on the tougher topics. There were several talks that either particularly resonated with me or that left a sour aftertaste. Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, offered excellent perspective on the current trend of treating “preconditions” more aggressively, [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Welcome to Molecules to Medicine!

I’m Dr. Judy Stone, an infectious diseases physician and author. I love helping people understand issues and look at things from a different perspective. I hope I can offer you some different insights—bridging the gap between basic science and your medicine chest—as I am still a practicing physician, as well as having had broad clinical [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Taste of #TEDMED 2012: Appetizers

Traces

Innovation. Story telling. Discovery. Connections. Beauty. Heartbreak. TEDMED 2012 had it all. What seemed initially like disparate sessions later proved to be a carefully planned series that wove together important themes for making a healthier future. The three days of immersion were, at times, overwhelming, but the careful planning interspersed intense talks with music or [...]

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Observations

The Quest: How to Get a Medical Librarian to Do Your Search for Free

In my last blog post, I said one of the things I like so much about MedlinePlus (a service of the National Library of Medicine, or NLM) is that “the medical librarians at the NLM have already done a lot of the heavy lifting for you.” I thought I’d give more detail about what I [...]

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Observations

The Quest: Practical Advice for Online Medical Searches

Being an informed patient is, in many ways, tougher than ever. A tsunami of material is freely available on the Internet nowadays, from medical datasets to research papers to instructive videos. But when you’re searching for something specific for yourself or a loved one, the most relevant streams of data are often hard to find [...]

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Observations

Mobile Emergency Room Will Treat Super Bowl Fans On-Site

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The 80,000 or so football fans converging on MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII are paying anywhere between $500 and $2,500 per ticket—or much, much more on the resale market—for the privilege of being there. One slip and fall on the ice—a real possibility given some forecasts are calling for light rain—could land ticketholders in [...]

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Observations

Researchers Win Nobel for Cell Transport System

This year’s Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology was—true to the often-overlooked second half of its name—awarded for discoveries in basic physiology. The 2013 prize recognizes ground-breaking research into how cells use simple bubbles of fatty molecules (known as vesicles [pdf]) to safely transport proteins and hormones from one compartment to another within cells as [...]

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Observations

Docs Frequently Fail to Sniff Out Boozers

alcohol use doctor

Height? Weight? Any changes in your health? Do you smoke? Simple screening in the doctor’s office can help clinicians pick up on potential health problems. But these perfunctory questions—combined with any other follow-up an individual doctor might decide to do—fail to detect one exceedingly common health issue: too much drinking. Each year more than one [...]

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Observations

Print It: 3-D Bio-Printing Makes Better Regenerative Implants

3-d bio-printing tissue scaffold cells

Desktop 3-D printers can already pump out a toy trinket, gear set or even parts to make another printer. Medical researchers are also taking advantage of this accelerating technology to expand their options for regenerative medicine. Brian Derby, of the School of Materials at the University of Manchester in England, details the advances and challenges [...]

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Observations

Newer Docs Might Be Driving Up Health Care Costs

doctor experience health care cost

Health care spending increases have slowed over the past couple years. Still, we are spending some $2.6 trillion—that’s trillion with a “T”—a year on health costs, which is a higher percentage of our GDP than any other developed country. And we don’t seem to be getting that much healthier. So economists and policy researchers are [...]

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Observations

How Computational Models Are Improving Medicine [Video]

computational medicine

The more we learn about cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s, the more vexingly complex they seem—and the more elusive their cures. Even with cutting-edge imaging technology, biomarker tests and genetic data, we are still far from understanding the multifaceted causes and varied developmental stages of these illnesses. With the advent of powerful computing, better modeling [...]

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Observations

NASA Plans to Commercialize a Nasal Spray for Motion Sickness

Woman administering nasal spray

A new product designed to fight motion sickness promises to put the “NASA” back in “nasal spray.” The space agency announced October 12 that it had signed an agreement with a pharmaceutical company to develop, test and bring to market a nasal gel designed to ward off queasiness from spaceflight, as well as from more [...]

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Observations

Cut the Appendix Surgery–Antibiotics are Effective for Uncomplicated Appendicitis

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For something thought to be largely extraneous, the appendix can be a real pain. Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. have appendectomies each year, often for an appendix that is swollen rather than ruptured. But a new study suggests that many of those surgeries might often be as unnecessary as the organ they’re [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

How Octopus Arms Regenerate With Ease

octopus arms regenerate

Like a starfish, an octopus can regrow lost arms. Unlike a starfish, a severed octopus arm does not regrow another octopus. But the biological secrets inside their arm regeneration feat do hold the promise of learning more about how we might better regenerate our own diseased or lost tissue. If not whole limbs, at least [...]

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Oscillator

The Urine Wheel

Urine Wheel

I recently saw an image that perfectly encapsulates many of my current interests, including odor and flavor mapping, the senses in scientific analysis, medieval ideas about health and disease, body fluids, and metabolic profiling. The Urine Wheel was used for diagnosing diseases based on the color, smell, and taste of the patient’s urine in the [...]

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Symbiartic

Victorian Wallpaper in Your Lungs

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No William Morris didn’t design this 18th century simulacrum – it’s “a microscopic image of lung surfactant, a lipid-protein material that aids in respiration by reducing the amount of energy needed”. And it’s elegantly fantastic. In a recent issue of BioMedical Beat, authors Prajnaparamita Dhar, Elizabeth Eck, Jacob N. Israelachvili, Dong Woog Lee, Younjin Min, Arun [...]

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Symbiartic

Pro-Vaccine Communication: You’re Doing it Wrong

© Glendon Mellow

A particular drum I like to beat, is about science communicators learning how to use images effectively. Give your blog post illustration some thought. Don’t just stick any old candied cherry on the top of your post: make sure it’s the right maraschino cherry. Then add sprinkles. If you are having trouble finding good images [...]

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Symbiartic

Zap the West Noël Virus to Save Santa!

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What happens when a studio, specializing in medical illustration, animation and interactive apps, sets out to make a Christmas card? You get The Santastic Voyage, a video game where you shrink down, zip through Saint Nick’s bloodstream, zapping the West Noël Virus and Bah Humbugs in order to save Christmas. InViVo Communications finished the candy [...]

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Symbiartic

What Did You Miss?

Last month, we posted a wide variety of science-art here at Symbiartic. We thought it’d be nice to post an overview in case you missed or wanted to revisit any. Enjoy!

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: Eye Heart Yew

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Everyone loves a rebus!  It all began with a painting of crumpled paper and an eyeball. You’re welcome for this look into Lis Mitchell’s creative mind. – - Eye Heart Yew by Lis Mitchell / Pixelfish 2002, digital painting. For more about this painting, see Elizabeth’s DeviantArt entry. Portfolio Gallery Blog DeviantArt Twitter: @pixelfish – [...]

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Symbiartic

Grappling with New Media, Can The Association of Medical Illustrators Find A Way Forward?

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Last month I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Illuminate: The Association of Medical Illustrators meeting here in Toronto. In addition to astonishingly good illustrations – and we’re talking about art that has the potential to save real human lives here remember! – what I found surprised me. Medical illustration as a discipline [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt Plugs 5: Lectures, Exhibits, News and more

© Lynn Fellman

New this week: a New York City gallery is featuring three-dimensional topographic maps designed by cartographer Jeffrey Ambroziak; science artist Lynn Fellman hosts an open studio in Minneapolis; the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Greater New York Chapter’s member show closes; and ScienceOnline2012 nears registration time (Nov. 1st!) SCIART LECTURES/EVENTS **NEW** Artists’ Studio Open House: [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt Plugs 4: Lectures, Exhibits, News and more

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This week, we’re adding a new science art exhibit in the UK inspired by the saline destruction of the Murray Darling basin in Australia and the bleaching of coral reefs as a result of sugarcane harvesting and another featuring work from the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators in Ontario. Don’t miss out! SCIART LECTURES/EVENTS [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt Plugs 3: Lectures, Exhibits, News and More

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This week, a new science art exhibit and a call for entries. Also, just six days left to submit a video in support of the James Webb Telescope. Get on it! SCIART LECTURES/EVENTS SONSI’s 2011 Presentation Day (Toronto, ON) October 16, 2011; 12-5pm | An afternoon of illustration-related presentations by members of the Southern Ontario [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt Plugs 2: Lectures, Exhibits, News and More

This week, there are several new exhibits to note, as well as a monthly discussion forum on science and art in DC. Also, don’t miss the calls for entries in two new exhibit opportunities – one pays in cash, the other, glory! SCIART LECTURES/EVENTS SONSI’s 2011 Presentation Day (Toronto, ON) October 16, 2011; 12-5pm | [...]

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Talking back

Statistical Flaw Punctuates Brain Research in Elite Journals

Neuroscientists need a statistics refresher. That is the message of a new analysis in Nature Neuroscience that shows that more than half of 314 articles on neuroscience in elite journals   during an 18-month period failed to take adequate measures to ensure that statistically significant study results were not, in fact, erroneous. Consequently, at  least some [...]

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Talking back

World-Class (and Free) Heart Surgery in the Sudan—an Interview with Gino Strada

When Italy’s populist Five Star Movement held an online poll last year to probe who might make the best presidential candidate, surgeon Gino Strada came in second. Laughingly, Strada declined any possible entreaty to run with an Italian variation of “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.” Strada’s star, nonetheless, [...]

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Talking back

Spring (and Scientific Fraud) Is Busting Out All Over

  I went to a panel discussion at the New York Academy of Sciences on the evening of April 30th that addressed the topic of various forms of scientific malfeasance, ranging from plagiarism to outright manipulation of data. A gripping and deeply unsettling topic, as it relates directly to the research studies that I pore [...]

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The Curious Wavefunction

G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) win 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Brian Kobilka (Stanford) and Robert Lefkowitz (Duke) have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on one of the most important classes of proteins in living organisms, the G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). A lot of us had predicted this prize based on groundbreaking work done during the last decade on several [...]

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