A two-part series on problems in the clinical trials industry, from Medium.com:
The Best-Selling, Billion-Dollar Pills Tested on Homeless People
How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats
Why Are Dope-Addicted, Disgraced Doctors Running Our Drug Trials?
"If an NHS trust proposed today that it was going to introduce Viagra sales reps into men's genitourinary wards, or reps for walking aids to orthopaedic wards, the very least you'd expect would be some stout resistance. It is a measure of the strength of the association between "motherhood" and "buying stuff" that the presence of commercial representatives on maternity wards has been tolerated for so long." [more inside]
"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
is an open access resource featuring human bones which have been digitised using 3D laser scanning, CT and radiography. The resource focuses on a wide range of pathological type specimens from archaeological and historical medical collections, specifically examples of chronic diseases which affect the human skeleton for which many of the physical changes are often not directly observable within clinical practice. Of major interest to many will be high fidelity photo-realistic digital representations of 3D bones that can be viewed, downloaded and manipulated on their computer, tablet or smartphone. [more inside]
The Nazi Anatomists.
"How the corpses of Hitler's victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics."
NPR's Fresh Air interviews Elizabeth Rosenthal about her year spent investigating the high cost of health care.
"Every part of the system needs to rethink the way it's working. Or maybe what I'm really saying is we need a system instead of 20, 40 components, each one having its own financial model, and each one making a profit." [more inside]
Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin welcome you to Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine
. Every Friday, they dig through the annals of medical history to uncover all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we've tried to fix people over the years. [more inside]
"The first time I went into the grocery store, nobody looked at me. And I noticed [that] nobody looked at me. And that, well that's sort of really nice."
In 2007, Carmen Tarleton was assaulted by her ex-husband, resulting in chemical burns over 80% of her body. She recovered after dozens of surgeries, but her face was severely disfigured. In February 2013, Cheryl Denelli-Righter suffered a stroke that left her brain-dead. Her daughter Marinda was approached to see if she was willing to donate her mother's face. This past Valentine's day, Carmen received her face transplant, the 29th in the world. This is their story. (note: article contains photos and video of Carmen both before and after the transplant.) [more inside]
In 2011, the CIA reportedly hired a doctor in Pakistan to conduct espionage while giving vaccinations to children. In response, Pakistan expelled Save the Children
from the country. The New England Journal of Medicine comments on military operations masquerading as humanitarian relief. [more inside]
Groundbreaking Surgery for Girl Born Without Windpipe: [New York Times]
— Using plastic fibers and human cells, doctors have built and implanted a windpipe in a 2 ½-year-old girl — the youngest person ever to receive a bioengineered organ.
Then Christine stumbled upon a controversial homemade herbal remedy that she credits with enormously improving her dog's quality of life. She's grateful that, in his final year, Sampson weighed in at a robust 106 pounds and lived free of the wracking pain that had haunted him. Whereas before Sampson had been too weak to walk, almost overnight he became a born-again youngster. "He was a puppy again, happy and playful," Christine recalls. "He'd trot around the house with his toys in his mouth, wanting to play fetch!" Legalize medical marijuana for dogs!
(Don't miss the great picture of Mason the Vizsla looking very relaxed!) [more inside]
This past August, producer Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects
) launched a new digital series: H+
. The premise: in the near future, 33% of humanity has retired their smartphones, tablets and computers in favor of an implanted computer system, H+
, which connects them directly to the internet 24/7. The story begins as a computer virus attacks the implants, killing billions. In intersecting storylines across four continents (told in part through flashbacks,) the series then unravels what happened, who caused it and why. [more inside]
On November 30, the Tampa Bay Times published a sympathetic profile of Spring Hill, FL resident Gretchen Molannen: "Persistent genital arousal disorder brings woman agony, not ecstasy
." Her condition, also known as PGAD, is a rare sexual disorder (not recognized by the DSM,) 'characterized
by spontaneous, persistent, unwanted sexual arousal unrelated to feelings of sexual desire.' The Times reported that Ms. Molannen's condition had virtually destroyed her personal and professional life and led to several suicide attempts. One day after the article was published, she successfully committed suicide
. [more inside]
You're about to be the base doctor at Halley Research Station in Antarctica for a year. For ten months, no one gets in or out. Fourteen lives are in your hands, including your own. What do you put in your medical kit?
And how do your choices differ from those of your predecessors
(Eric Marshall and Edward Wilson) a century ago?
is a Massachusetts ballot initiative concerning the legalization of marijuana for medical use. There are some organizations
opposed to the initiative, who failed to register certain domain names. The Massachusetts voter's guide
accidentally directed voters to one of the unclaimed domains, now the satirical VoteNoOnQuestion3.org
"The business of recycling dead humans into medical implants is a little-known yet lucrative trade. But its practices have roused concerns about how tissues are obtained and how well grieving families and transplant patients are informed about the realities and the risks."
After an eight month international investigation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
has published an extensive four-part exposé into the black market for cadavers and human tissue: Skin and Bone: The Shadowy Trade in Human Body Parts (Via) [more inside]
Matt Might, computer science professor, has a son with a new genetic condition. This is the story of how they figured this out.
Matt Might, perhaps best known for the illustrated guide to a PhD
, tells the wrenching tale of their son's terrible medical condition and how they've worked to figure out what is going on with him.
"Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets."
After an extensive
, months-long debate
, one of two controversial
papers showing ways the H5N1 "avian" influenza virus could potentially become transmissible in mammals with only 3 or 4 mutations was published
today. The journal included an editorial on the merits and drawbacks of "publishing risky research
" with regard to biosafety. The debate included an unprecedented recommendation by The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to block publication -- a decision they later reversed.
's special report
has additional articles, including interviews with the teams behind both papers.
Hospitals in Minnesota have hired a collections company that plants its employees in the ER, squeezing money out of patients before they can get further care.
A retired grandfather
receives his medical marijuana card. He's never smoked before, and is trying it because he feels he is taking too many pills to control his back pain, anxiety, rage, and more. His exploration of the logistics (especially the pipe lighting techniques) is really quite charming.
is a science writer
with a degree in marine biology
. He is the father of two children. And, like many in this country
, he has no insurance. Earlier this week, his 6 year-old developed pneumonia.This
is his account of what happened.
Woman, 83, Has World’s First Lower Jaw Replacement – In 3D [abc.com]
In what has been called the first operation of its kind, an 83-year-old woman in the Netherlands has been fitted with a custom-made artificial jaw that was created by a 3D printer.
The titanium implant, which weighs less than 4 ounces, was created by taking a CT scan of the woman’s lower jaw and duplicating it with a 3D printer that lays down titanium powder instead of ink. The printer followed the pattern of the woman’s jaw bone layer by layer, fusing the titanium powder in place with heat. In just a couple hours, the 3D replica was ready.
In 2002, Doug Monroe placed his parents in assisted living
. A decade later, he's looking back at "the weighty financial and emotional costs that come with a parent's immortality": The Long Goodbye
Bioanimation companies like XVIVO
, Hybrid Medical (Previously)
, Argosy Medical
, and BioDigital
have been doing beautiful work for hire, freely available to watch. [more inside]
As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows
— Do too many digital devices distract doctors from their daily rounds and endanger patients?
The term never event
describes when something happens in a medical setting that should never occur. The list of never events (formally called "Serious Reportable Events)
released by the NQF
includes mistakes such as performing surgery on the wrong body part (or the wrong patient!), or patient suicide while under care. Despite their moniker, "never" events do happen
. [more inside]
Indian man has hysterectomy after doctors find uterus.
The 35 year-old farmer and father of two had a full female reproductive system
, which was removed from his stomach at a Chhindwara district
hospital. Joan Rivers is probably not surprised
Health News Review
rates and reviews medical reporting in US media. [more inside]
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive
A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret.
, an autoimmune mystery
traced to aerosolized pork brains from increased line production speed, and what sounds like one of the worst jobs in America.
On Wednesday, the House approved an amendment
from Rep. Virginia Foxx
) that would prevent a federal healthcare education fund from being used for abortion or to provide for training for abortion procedures. [more inside]
A Political Meltdown:
For decades, Canada has been a world leader in the production of medical isotopes. So why did the government announce that it was dumping the entire program? (alt)
The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide.
The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide is intended primarily for use on ships where no doctor is carried and it is necessary for laymen to assess and treat injuries and to diagnose and treat ill health. The Guide can also be recommended for use in other situations where professional medical advice is not readily available, for example on expeditions.
Antique contraception & protection from the disease
- (NSFW) male & female methodologies of birth control from antiquity to the 1900s in pictures and text (Translated from Russian) [more inside]
Roger Ebert gets a new chin
An inspirational story; and he is due back on TV real soon.
Jonah Keri looks at the unconventional methods
being used by the Texas Rangers to improve the durability and effectiveness of their pitching staff.
"It is only fitting that the story of the brain should be a visual one, for the visuals had the ancients fooled for millenniums. The brain was so ugly that they assumed the mind must lie elsewhere. Now those same skeletal silhouettes glow plump and brightly colored, courtesy of a variety of inserted genes encoding fluorescent molecules.
A glossy new art book, “Portraits of the Mind
,” hopes to draw the general reader into neuroscience with the sheer beauty of its images." Slide Shows: The Beautiful Mind
and Portraits of the Mind [more inside]
The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding". The US military administered the drug despite Pentagon knowledge that mefloquine caused severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety. The drug was used on the prisoners whether they had malaria or not. [more inside]