Rare Disease Day: 12 Rare Diseases
Today, February 28 is Rare Disease Day — a day organized by EURODIS, the European Organisation for Rare Diseases, as well as like alliances across the globe. The idea? To raise awareness about rare diseases, which affect 30 million people in the U.S. alone. So what is a rare or “orphan” disease really? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), it’s basically...
Stephen Hawking's Time Machine
In the days to come, you will be able to come back from tomorrow to remind yourself yesterday that the mistakes of today can be fixed last week, next Tuesday. Read more at: Discovery
Replacement Organs From Amniotic Fluid?
Amniotic fluid could be the source for replacement organs — the research is in its infancy, but has plenty of womb to grow..
Supreme Court Immunizes Vaccine Makers Against...
In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court voted to protect pharmaceutical companies from liability when their vaccines cause debilitating injuries and death. The high court majority considers vaccines “unavoidably unsafe” and was worried about drug makers being sued and obligated to compensate their vaccine victims. Instead of opting to protect children, the Supreme Court chose to...
Genetically modified foods threaten future life,...
You may not want to eat genetically engineered foods. Chances are, you are eating them anyway. Genetically modified plants grown from seeds engineered in labs now provide much of the food we eat. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States have been genetically modified to resist pesticides or insects, and corn and soy are common food ingredients. Organic food companies,...
Is Primary Care Worth It?
Thanks to twitter, I just heard of The Color of Atmosphere: One Doctor’s Journey In and Out of Medicine, a book by Dr. Maggie Kozel. As a medical student planning on going into primary care, I can’t help but wonder about my decision when hearing things like this. I haven’t read the book yet. I don’t know if I want to. Maybe I have to work up the courage to do so. One review by another physician...
Nuclear War Could Reverse Global Warming
Earth is currently in a long-term warming trend. After a regional nuclear war, though, average global temperatures would drop by 2.25 degrees F (1.25 degrees C) for two to three years afterward, the models suggest. This is not a joke! These ___holes are suggesting that if the United States (still the only nation to actually use nuclear weapons against population centers) were to nuke somebody,...
Finland's Underground City
Finland’s capital is combatting urban sprawl by making an underground city — complete with a swimming complex, a shopping mall, and a church..
The Illusion of Having Three Arms
Scientists prove that out-of-body experience is all in your head. Also convince people that they have a third arm or inanimate objects are part of them. Now they’re working on squeezing you into a tiny robot, among other things.. How we experience our own bodies is a classical question in psychology and neuroscience. It has long been believed that our body image is limited by our innate...
Now you can re-grow your hair in the most fashionable way possible with the iGrow, which suprisingly is not an Apple product, but it is priced like one.. Laser combs? Old news. The latest in laser-based hair rejuvenation is the iGrow, a stylish new wearable device from Apira Science that packs 21 laser diodes and 30 LED lights. According to the company, that matches the output of most clinical...
A tiny “big bang” that was set off in Long Island creates a new type of antimatter that’s literally off the charts. The new antimatter is the heaviest yet detected, which puts it in a new plane on the periodic table of elements. Read more at: National Geographic
"Munchausen by Internet" →
Psychiatrists are noting an increase in cases of “Munchausen by Internet”, in which people fake illnesses online. Read more at: The Guardian
How to Make Oatmeal... Wrong
Writing on the New York Times blog, Mark Bittman reviews McDonald’s nightmarish attempt at making oatmeal (a foodstuff with one ingredient): Yet in typical McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they’ve made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New...
All Research Is Actually Made Up: A Clinical Trial
Introduction: Since the beginning of time, people have been making things up. First, the Pilgrims made up that the earth was flat. Then Watson and Crick made up DNA. Also, dinosaurs are clearly made up. Roughly one billion scientific studies are published yearly. It is a well known fact that people are really lazy; therefore, it would be impossible for that many people to go through the amount of...
“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its...– Albert Einstein
What is the science book that has influenced you...
The “Atlas of Human Anatomy” by Frank H. Netter. If I wanted to talk about the best book out there, it would definitely be.. actually, I’m not sure what it would be — but Netter’s life is simply amazing. He went to both art school and medical school, drawing thousands of anatomical images to be used everywhere around the world. This is his Wikipedia article. “Dr. Netter’s contribution...
semperjeff: I love how some patients insist that all of our blood pressure machines and weight scales are grossly inaccurate. Ahh hahaha, it happens in about every 1 in 4 patients for me!
Mudskippers. Check out this weird fish.
This video is from the BBC TV series “Life” (one of my favourites), and shows these creepy, creepy fish crawling around in the mud and just looking weird, yet interesting — hang around for when they start fighting, it’s totally worth it.
Recognize the Signs of Stroke? Do You Know What to...
On February 14th, CBS reporter Serene Branson, broadcasting live from the Grammy Awards, devolved into garbled speech while on camera. The video went viral all over the internet along with much concern, compassion and curiosity. While there is speculation as to the cause of her symptoms and her actual diagnosis, this very public event has led to greater awareness and discussion of the...
Visualizing the wealth of America's super-rich...
A series of 11 infographics from Mother Jones vividly illustrate the widening gap between America’s rich and poor, and how skewed Americans’ views of this inequality are. The myth of the American dream has led plenty of ordinary Americans to believe that they are rich-people-in-waiting, leading them to support policies that benefit the rich at their expense (see the chart after the...
Rare Transplant: Man With Two Hearts In California
When most people hear about a heart transplant they assume something was taken out first. But, that’s not always the case… Tyson Smith, a 36-year-old San Diego man with an enlarged heart, received a heterotopic heart transplantation or “piggyback” transplant, essentially adding another heart to his weak one, allowing the pair to share the work. Dr. Jack Copeland,...
When Solar Flares Attack
When the Sun’s atmosphere explodes, it can have explosive consequences on Earth. The X-rays and UV radiation released by these solar flares are capable of interfering with everything from radio communication to our whole electrical grid. If that sounds a little scary, well, it should. That’s why scientists held a session at AAAS 2011 to talk about space weather and how Earthlings can...
A Personal (and partial) List of Science Tumblr...
Astronomy http://fuckyeahnebulas.tumblr.com/ http://cosmosscience.tumblr.com/ http://galaxyshmalaxy.tumblr.com/ http://itsfullofstars.tumblr.com/ http://fuckyeahspace.tumblr.com/ http://uraniaproject.tumblr.com/ Biology http://fuckyeahdevelopmentalbiology.tumblr.com/ http://billydalto.tumblr.com/ http://electricorchid.tumblr.com/ http://geneticist.tumblr.com/ ...
Chocolate's Startling Health Benefits
The food police may find this hard to take, but chocolate has gotten a bad rap. People say it causes acne, that you should eat carob instead, that it’s junk food. But these accusations are not only undeserved and inaccurate, they falsely incriminate a delicious food that turns out to have profoundly important healing powers. There is in fact a growing body of credible scientific evidence...
This is hilarious..
I’ve seen this patient so many times! Another reason to love the ED.
Melatonin: Not a Magic Bullet for Sleep
Many of you have made a New Year’s Resolution to get more and better sleep. I hope you are having great success! But I want to address a topic that has been asked about repeatedly — Is Melatonin good to take to help with my sleep? So what exactly is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone. It is not an herb, a vitamin or a mineral. Hormones are naturally produced by your body as you need...
The doctor will be in to see you now..
So far, my Family Medicine rotation has consisted of a lot of colds/flus, bronchitis, infections, diabetes, HTN, CHF, and basically pretty much everything else you can think of — and you know what? I’m loving it!
The Medical Definition of "Pimp"
I’ll often use “pimp” in a sentence, and non-medical folks give me a strange look. So, to set the record straight: Pimp, verb. — To question a medical person lower than oneself on the spot about a medical fact or truism to see if said person knows the answer, while showing how smart or dumb the person is in front of a group/person/patient. Examples: “Man, my attending pimped...
Driving Like An Old Person is Contagious
Sometimes scientific experiments sound like pranks. Case in point: a recent study that managed to turn a bunch of young men into the embodiment of every stereotype about old people driving. And all that was need was a driving simulator and some carefully chosen words. As powerful as the mind is, it’s remarkable just how easy it can be to hack. Here’s how the experiment worked: ...
The strange story of how skinning your knees could...
It’s been known for a while that certain injuries can cause cancers, but the reasons why are still foggy. Now, new research shows at least part of the answer when it comes to skin cancer. Follicular stem cells, associated with the spots on your skin that grow hair, are generally dormant. But when you get a scrape or cut on your skin, those stem cells flock to your wounds as part of the...
Can you really use crack socially?
Crack is whack, that much is for certain. But whether or not it’s inherently addictive is a whole ‘nother question. In a piece on addiction myths — vaguely related to the existence of Charlie Sheen, if you’re into that sort of thing — Time Healthland’s Maia Szalavitz explains that, statistically speaking, trying crack once is not a one-way ticket to a life of giving...
The human brain is a three-pound paradox..
The human brain is a three-pound paradox: We use it every moment of our lives, yet so much about our brains remains a mystery to us. How do our brains make decisions? Why is it so easy to remember the words to our favorite childhood song but we forget important passwords? Can someone really read your thoughts? Four leading psychologists and neuroscientists discussed these issues at a forum...
Don't stress about it, mon!
Adaptive responses to stress are generally more short term and they are usually quite good for you. As a result, one can conclude that some stress is actually good for you. However, too much stress leads to pathological responses which are bad. Stress responses of the body are mediated by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases a hormone called CRH (corticotropin releasing hormone)...
How Lithium Works Finally Explained →
Researchers are only now beginning to understand how lithium works. Ongoing research now suggests that lithium can help restore brain volume deficits. Despite a remarkable lifespan of over 70 years, lithium continues to be an effective treatment for the manic and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. Read more at: Psych Central
Forced perspective at it’s finest!
Do we need more doctors?
The debate over whether there really is a physician shortage is starting to heat up. A commentary in CNN makes the argument that we don’t need more doctors, instead primary care should be shifted more to nurse practitioners: However, we submit that these actions lead us in the wrong direction, and there is, in fact, no doctor shortage — as long as we accept the fact that health...
Navy creates Rail Gun, now working on Quad Damage
You guys, it won’t be long before wars really are fought by bunny-hopping space marines in power armor, head-shotting dudes from a mile away with rail guns. I mean, we pretty much already have all the pieces, it’s just a matter of putting them together. This test firing of the Navy’s experimental rail gun shows that our geeky weapon dreams are all coming true. Every step real life takes...
Who lives in the eleventh dimension?
Scientists discuss what sort of life could be found in the eleventh dimension. With talk of world of lightning bolts, electricity, unstable atoms and more, this video from BBC show ‘Parallel Universe’ is full of mind-bending theories to set your imagination racing.
Guinea Worm: Second Disease In History To...
For all of the mind-boggling achievements of modern medicine, only one — one! — disease has ever been completely eradicated: smallpox. But now guinea worm — the preventable disease that forces people to live with worms up to three-feet long inside them — is teetering on the brink of joining that very, very short list of diseases that disappear, never to return again. ...
Type 2 Diabetes: Could You Have it and Not Even...
Do any of these sound like you? You feel sluggish or have a little less “get up and go” than previously, but you attribute it to high stress levels or increased age. You’ve had gradual weight gain and chalk it up to age. You have an increased desire for carbohydrates and never really feel full after eating. People close to you wonder how you can always eat at the drop of a...
Complex Migraine? Stroke? Taking A Closer Look..
Video of CBS Los Angeles TV reporter Serene Branson went viral this week when the young journalist began speaking gibberish on-air, leading to concern that she’d suffered a stroke. The good news is, she didn’t.. ABC News reports that Branson’s episode has been diagnosed as a complex migraine, which can mimic the effects of a small stroke, particularly aphasia. According to the...
Elephant Devoured In 'Seconds'
It took seven days for animals to tear this elephant to pieces, but in the video below it takes just seconds. The experiment, which is a part of footage captured for a UK Channel 4 documentary called “The Elephant: Life After Death,” was put down by a veterinarian after it was mortally wounded by ivory poachers, according to New Scientist. Researchers were trying to determine...
“Not to say there isn’t good information out there but the internet is...– Dr. Green commenting on patient use of the internet as a credible source of information for self-treatment and self-diagnosis.
Alzheimer's Prevention: Reducing Your Risk
Alzheimer’s disease might well be considered an epidemic in our country.. With more than 5.3 million Americans diagnosed with the disease and that number expected to double by 2030, it makes sense to ask ourselves what can be done to prevent this devastating disease. According to a recent Medscape report, the costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease globally are staggering at an...
Money prevents medical students from choosing... →
by Kevin Pho, MD There are plenty of reasons why medical students aren’t choosing primary care as careers. Lack of role models. Perception of professional dissatisfaction. High burnout rate among generalist doctors. Long, uncontrollable hours. Read more at: Kevin MD