"Postpartum depression isn’t always postpartum. It isn’t even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought." ‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’
and "After Baby, an Unraveling"
. [more inside]
Scientists Progress in Quest to Grow Muscle Tissue in Labs
- "The researchers
are now working
on optimizing the growth of human muscle tissue, including finding a way to get blood flow to the tissue, the best source of cells and the best growing medium for the cells."
Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions
. [more inside]
A chronic public health disaster.
Complex trauma and toxic stress puts children into a state of reflexive fight, flight, or freeze responses to a perpetually threatening world. The traditional authoritative response only serves to reinforce those behaviours and, perhaps worse, has long-term health consequences:
With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. The likelihood of chronic pulmonary lung disease increases 390 percent; hepatitis, 240 percent; depression 460 percent; suicide, 1,220 percent.
One doctor describes it as “a chronic public health disaster”. Remediating this problem is going to require listening, kindness, and parachutes.
Jane Pratt (formerly of Sassy Magazine
and her eponymous Jane,
) launched a website for women: xojane
, earlier this year. Last week the site's Health and Beauty Director wrote a blog post explaining that she never uses condoms, birth control pills, or other contraception (for fear of becoming fat) and instead relies on the emergency contraceptive Plan B to prevent pregnancy
. And a segment of the internet exploded. (Her responses to some of the comments seem a bit clueless for someone with her title.)
Critics have noted
that the post was filled with "ignorant
" "inaccuracies and misconceptions
" about womens' health, sex, Plan B and other forms of birth control
. [more inside]
Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists
. The structure of a protein causing AIDS in rhesus monkeys had not been discovered in 15 years of attempts. Players of a videogame did it in ten days. Foldit
, the game in question. Abstract
is a non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care, mostly aimed at the third world. Their first book, Where There Is No Doctor, A Village Health Handbook
, has been translated into 88
languages and is one of the most widely used
training and work manuals for community health care in the world. They have now made 20 of their publications available for free download, many of which can now also be browsed online through their website
using an "Ebrary
" in-browser interface. [more inside]
The New Biology
- Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via
Using a 3-D petri dish,
Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary
that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs
outside the body. (In vitro
) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy
or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release.
. (paywall) [more inside]
Scientists Repurpose Adult Cells
- "Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research." [nature abstract
, nature writeup
, audio announcement
West Nile virus and Avian influenza and Chronic wasting disease, oh, my! (and Monkeypox...) Outbreaks of disease in
populations of wild and domestic animals, having such a heavy impact on human health, has led the United States
and the University of Wisconson to develop a way to track news of disease outbreaks
planet: The Global Wildlife Disease News Map
Obesity and Diabetes
- another free supplement by Nature
Psychiatry by Prescription
- Do psychotropic drugs blur the boundaries between illness and health?
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."