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Posts Tagged "medicine"

Anecdotes from the Archive

Care of the Wounded, 1914

Dogs for medical use: “Major Richardson of the British army and two of the famous hounds that he has trained for Red Cross work on the battlefield.” Image: Scientific American, November 21, 1914

Reported in Scientific American, This Week in World War I: November 21, 1914 From the Scientific American Supplement issue of November 21, 1914, we note, “The first object of an army in war is to disperse or destroy the enemy, but a correlative duty is the care of its own men when wounded or otherwise [...]

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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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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

Practicing Narrative Medicine

Just listen. (Credit: Rick&Brenda Beerhorst via Flickr)

Since the first day of medical school, I was in breathless anticipation of my third year. I came to Harvard with a background in creative writing and the big draw of medicine for me lay in its compendium of human stories. In college, I volunteered at local hospitals where my primary responsibility was to go [...]

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Guest Blog

The Health Insurance Shell Game

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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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Observations

U.S. Agency Aims to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

CDC’s Kitty Anderson holds up a 96-well plate used for testing the ability of bacteria to growth in the presence of antibiotics. Credit: CDC

When patients take too many unnecessary antibiotics it inches us ever closer to a world where essential drugs are no longer effective. More than two million people in the United States develop antibiotic resistant infection each year and some 23,000 of them die as a result. Yet understanding the origins of the problem remains a [...]

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Observations

Nasty Mosquito-Borne Virus, Now in Puerto Rico, Expanding Its Reach

Image: Thinkstock/iStock

It’s summertime so when the weather is fine many of us head outdoors. But there lurk mosquitoes, an all-too-familiar menace.  What’s more, a wave of mosquito-borne tropical disease that first appeared in the Western Hemisphere in late 2013 has now spread across the Caribbean, stoking concerns about a debut in the continental U.S. The painful [...]

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Observations

Psychedelic Chemist and “Godfather of Ecstasy” Alexander Shulgin Dies at 88

Credit: Wikimedia commons

Alexander Shulgin, chemist and renowned psychonaut who acquainted the world with the drug MDMA – or Ecstasy – died Monday evening at his home in Lafayette, Calif. after a battle with liver cancer. Shulgin spent much of his life synthesizing and experimenting with hundreds of psychedelic drugs, which he believed would give people a better [...]

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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

super bowl

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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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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Symbiartic

ScienceArt Exhibits Heat Up This Summer

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Take a break from the heat this summer to step into some cool galleries exhibiting scienceart. If the exhibits keep pouring in at this rate, I’ll have to split up this post by region. There are five scienceart exhibits in New York alone! But for those of you who are not in the NY-region, don’t [...]

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Symbiartic

Making the Ugly World of Medical Illustration Online Pretty Again

AMI_AMI2014_mini

Shortly after my Symbiartic co-blogger Kalliopi has run a workshop about social media for nature & science artists at the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators annual conference in July, I will be speaking about social media for medical illustrators and communicators at the Association of Medical Illustrators annual conference at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, [...]

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Symbiartic

Victorian Wallpaper in Your Lungs

Surfactant_UKansasS_mini

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!

Santastic-InViVo-mini

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

Eye_Heart_Yew-lismitchell-m

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?

AMI-skullpic

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

11-018GVartFeature

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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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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