709 posts tagged with medicine.
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My First Life as a Nurse

I am in my first month of nursing school. It is the early 70s and this is a three-year program, hospital-based, all practical training. It is my first day in my first ward...
A remembrance, by English professor and disability studies scholar, Janet Lyon.
posted by Toekneesan on Mar 24, 2015 - 15 comments

The Man who gave us “Mesmerize”

Franz Anton Mesmer (1735-1815) was a Viennese doctor who incorporated hypnosis (which he called “Animal Magnetism”, meaning that planets had a “tidal” influence on the human body) into his medical practice. His peers considered him a charlatan, but he grabbed the attention of the rich, royal, and famous. And then he volunteered to cure the blind composer and pianist Maria Theresia von Paradis. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 24, 2015 - 9 comments

"There is no cure for our addiction to medical hype"

Every day, news sources report on medical studies that describe promising new treatments. Most of them don't pan out in the end. Julia Belluz reports on "why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study." Her article includes a figure showing which foods are reported to cause cancer and which ones are reported to prevent it. (Spoiler: they're the same foods.)
posted by grouse on Mar 23, 2015 - 25 comments

Rogue wounds

In the asylums, the garrison hospitals, the rogues’ hovels, and so on back through time, it is possible to see medicine moving toward this moment, when the malingerer ceases to be a monster and becomes a mirror to ourselves.
posted by zeptoweasel on Mar 18, 2015 - 3 comments

"If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul."

Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2015 - 46 comments

The World's First Successful Penis Transplant

The world's first successful penis transplant has been performed in South Africa.
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 15, 2015 - 70 comments

Does having "good posture" really matter?

Health-conscious people are haunted by the idea that they “should” correct their posture, and many fight a chronic, uncertain and tedious battle against crookedness. But is it necessary? After working as a massage therapist for many years, I became confident that poor posture is a “real” thing. I think it is sometimes a factor in chronic pain, mostly later in life, and probably can also be improved in some cases with a little effort. But it’s not a straightforward business, this posture stuff! There aren’t many “easy wins” for people here. And there’s plenty of potential to waste time and money — or even get hurt. Delving deeper into the topic as a journalist, studying the scientific literature and learning more from countless readers and experts, I have developed many reasonable doubts about posture’s importance.
posted by sciatrix on Mar 13, 2015 - 40 comments

The extraordinary life of Janet Vaughan

Douglas Starr, in Blood, quotes the British Secretary of War, asked in 1937 what the nation proposed to do about a mass blood supply. The secretary was dismissive. Blood could not be stored for long or in great quantities, he said. On the hoof was better. “It was more satisfactory to store our blood in our people.” Janet Vaughan did not agree, and Janet Vaughan did something about it. Her medical director gave her £100, and she sent off her assistants in taxis to find all the tubing that London shops could provide.
Longreads profiles Janet Vaughan, a British scientist who found better treatments for anemia than arsenic using herself as a test subject, was a major force in creating London's first blood banks using cheap tubing and ice cream trucks, studied emergency nutrition in a post-liberation concentration Nazi death camp, and continued active research into blood and radiation into her eighties, while occasionally serving as a model for Virginia Woolf characters.
posted by Stacey on Mar 12, 2015 - 6 comments

Shame and Ideology

Study Confirms That Abstinence Education Has Utterly Failed At Preventing AIDS In Africa
posted by Artw on Mar 7, 2015 - 22 comments

"I thought of it as an enterprise software problem I could solve."

Your new kidney is in the cloud. When former software developer David Jacobs was fortunate enough to get a kidney transplant eleven years ago, it occurred to him that there had to be a better way to match recipients with potential donors... so he bankrolled a company, and designed the cloud-based software needed to do it. As a result, thanks to paired kidney exchanges, a single kidney donation in San Francisco is saving six lives over the next few days... and will soon be saving a total of twelve lives, while removing people from the kidney waiting list, reducing the organ wait time for patients who don't have the time to spare.
posted by markkraft on Mar 6, 2015 - 10 comments

short documentary: NYU psilocybin cancer anxiety research

Eddie Marritz, a cinematographer and photographer in remission from small-cell carcinoma, was a participant in one of NYU's Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies. Marritz, and the researchers, take us through the experience. Magic Mushrooms and the Healing Trip. (7 min) [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Feb 27, 2015 - 7 comments

Fiction influences reality: Quincy M.E.'s role in the Orphan Drug Act

How Quincy M.E. Changed American Law and Saved Lives discusses the serendipitous way that a young man's need for medication for Tourette's syndrome came to the attention of a family member of actor Jack Klugman and resulted in the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. (main article by MeFi's own Garius) [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Feb 8, 2015 - 16 comments

Not everything broken can be fixed

In memoriam: Dr. Michael Davidson, cardiac surgeon, killed while doing a job he loved. A reflection on bad outcomes versus mistakes and taking risks versus playing it safe.
posted by treehorn+bunny on Feb 5, 2015 - 18 comments

Smartphone, finger prick, 15 minute diagnosis

Medical researchers at Columbia University have developed a smartphone accessory that can diagnose HIV and syphilis in 15 minutes. The device is estimated to cost $34 to manufacture, compared to $18,450 for existing equipment. It also does not require an external power source, which is a major benefit for use in areas without reliable access to electrical power.
posted by tocts on Feb 5, 2015 - 44 comments

"I'm so ready to stay sober."

"Dying to be free : there’s a treatment for heroin addiction that actually works. Why aren’t we using it?" -- A long-form article, focusing on heroin addiction and its "treatment" in Kentucky, by Jason Cherkis. (Huffington Post Projects) [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Feb 1, 2015 - 50 comments

Taking aspirin daily has a 1-2000 chance of preventing your heart attack

This fundamental lesson is conveyed by a metric known as the number needed to treat, or N.N.T. Developed in the 1980s, the N.N.T. tells us how many people must be treated for one person to derive benefit. An N.N.T. of one would mean every person treated improves and every person not treated fails to, which is how we tend to think most therapies work.
So it turns out that e.g. you need 2000 People to take a daily aspirin for two years to prevent one heart attack. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 28, 2015 - 55 comments

A new face

Violet Pietrok was born with a Tessier Cleft, a skull defect. Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital used 3-D prints of her skull to practice before cutting into Violet's own skull to repair the damage.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 27, 2015 - 9 comments

Cold Cream, or Galen's Cerate

Cold cream is mostly known from the beauty routines of old ladies or as a makeup remover for stage actors. However, its lengthy history goes back a ways further, to a medical treatment from the Renaissance, perhaps even to the ancient Greeks.
posted by Peregrine Pickle on Jan 23, 2015 - 12 comments

MOM, an inflatable incubator, and winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award

The annual James Dyson Award is open to current and recent design engineering students. The winner this year is James Roberts with his inflatable incubator MOM. The device costs around £250 compared to £30,000 for modern incubators and could prevent up to 75% of fatalities in premature birth cases in the developing world.
posted by shimmerbug on Jan 19, 2015 - 13 comments

DEEDS NOT WORDS

"Look around Endell Street in Holborn today and you could be forgiven for thinking it just an average London street. But one hundred years ago this year, this non-descript spot just off of Shaftesbury avenue was home to an important, and now near-forgotten, part of British history – the Endell Street Military Hospital, the first British Army hospital staffed, and managed, entirely by women.”
In WW1 Dr Flora Murray and Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson (daughter of the first Englishwoman to qualify as a physician) were determined to show that there was a place in military medicine for women. This is the story of the Women’s Hospital Corps and the now-forgotten pioneering London hospital they founded.
posted by Iteki on Jan 15, 2015 - 12 comments

The care of ~11 million people in America has fallen to emergency rooms.

It's easy to break a patient like Rogelio—Mexican and poor and chronically ill—down to his potassium level and to make medical decisions according to a number. But that's only part of the story of how the undocumented ill are cared for here in Houston. Within this city's history—a history that includes segregation during the 1960s, a large immigrant population, strong economic growth over the past half century, not to mention the world's largest medical center—is the story of how Houston sought local solutions to provide compassionate care to its indigent and undocumented, the latter of which, some might say, have helped the city grow.
Dr. Ricardo Nuila reports from the emergency room at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, where Harris County's undocumented ill can avail themselves of some of the country's best health care: Taking Care of Our Own. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jan 12, 2015 - 52 comments

The Secret History Of Thoughts

Locked-In Man - "Martin Pistorius spent more than a decade unable to move or communicate, fearing he would be alone, trapped, forever. NPR's new show Invisibilia tells how his mind helped him create a new life."
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2015 - 21 comments

The Art of Saving a Life

The Art of Saving a Life, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, is a collection of stories about vaccination and immunization, as told by more than 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers, and musicians. The intent is to promote vaccination just in time for an international effort to raise funds to inoculate millions, especially in poor nations. The full collection of art will be unveiled over the course of January 2015.
posted by gemutlichkeit on Jan 7, 2015 - 1 comment

Resistance is futile?

For the first time in nearly thirty years, a new class of antibiotics may be on the way — and the good news doesn't end there. [more inside]
posted by saturday_morning on Jan 7, 2015 - 51 comments

A very BMJ Christmas

It’s that time of year again: the British Medical Journal‘s Christmas Edition is out, featuring some of the most hilarious research published since… well, since forever! All this week, Discover's Seriously, Science? will be featuring the best of this and past years’ BMJ Christmas Research Articles to get you in the holiday spirit. First up: Sword swallowing and its side effects [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Dec 16, 2014 - 8 comments

hyperconnected: your brain on shrooms

How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 28, 2014 - 84 comments

DIY Diagnosis: How an Extreme Athlete Uncovered Her Genetic Flaw

She started by diving into PubMed—an online search engine for biomedical papers—hunting down everything she could on Charcot-Marie-Tooth. She hoped that her brief fling with a scientific education would carry her through. But with pre-med knowledge that had been gathering dust for 30 years and no formal training in genetics, Kim quickly ran head first into a wall of unfamiliar concepts and impenetrable jargon. “It was like reading Chinese,” she says.
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 27, 2014 - 15 comments

Why no one can design a better speculum

“If there was anything I hated, it was investigating the organs of the female pelvis.” [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote on Nov 17, 2014 - 85 comments

The craft of surgery

Professor Roger Kneebone and Joshua Byrne discuss the crossovers between surgery and tailoring.
posted by frimble on Nov 13, 2014 - 8 comments

Medical Legacy of the War 1914-1918

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1: a pivotal time for Europe and a key transition point for medical science. The Lancet marks this centenary with a three part series ‘Legacy of the war 1914-1918’. The three papers examine the impact of World War 1 on infectious disease, military psychiatry, and amputation related pain.
posted by gemutlichkeit on Nov 13, 2014 - 3 comments

Aren't they all bitter pills?

Do you hate swallowing pills? Let NPR's Nina Totenberg show you how using animated GIFs. A new study shows that the pop bottle technique for tablets and the lean forward method for capsules improve pill swallowing for 60% of people who use the pop bottle and 90% of people who lean forward. For kids, there are extensive resources that teach them how to swallow pills. Why swallowing pills is hard is a subject of study, and is a big deal, since it causes around 40% of people to delay, skip, or avoid taking medicine.
posted by blahblahblah on Nov 11, 2014 - 72 comments

Real science, all the way from Scotland.

Acute effects of a deep-fried Mars bar on brain vasculature [more inside]
posted by infini on Nov 11, 2014 - 29 comments

"Nobody had fooled around with the heart before."

Black laboratory technician Vivien Thomas was paid a janitor's wage, never went to college or medical school, and was one of the pioneers of open heart surgery.
posted by Snarl Furillo on Nov 5, 2014 - 20 comments

Ebola, from a guy who really knows his stuff.

Paul Farmer, back from Sierra Leone, discusses Ebola treatment strategies. Brigham and Women's Hospital Grand Rounds, October 31, 2014. Almost an hour but worth it for the depth of info and analysis.
posted by homerica on Nov 3, 2014 - 15 comments

Corpse pose

X-ray body in motion: Yoga edition
posted by a lungful of dragon on Oct 29, 2014 - 6 comments

Could you patent the sun?

Today is Jonas Salk's 100th birthday. Salk, who reimagined the idea of a vaccine by suggesting that immunity could be established in the body by using inactivated viruses chose not to patent his polio vaccine, which he first tested on his own family. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 28, 2014 - 19 comments

Markets in Clinical Trials for the Mega Rich?

If mega-rich people could buy places on clinical trials, would this help drive forward the development of new treatments that could benefit everyone? [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Oct 27, 2014 - 67 comments

We could use a few pointers on prudence.

"During the 2013-2014 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 46 percent of Americans received vaccinations against influenza, even though it kills about 3,000 people in this country in a good year, nearly 50,000 in a bad one." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 15, 2014 - 204 comments

The rise of Direct to Consumer advertising of perscription drugs

There are various changes that come with the greying of the traditional television audience, including the kinds of ads being aired, as the median age of a broadcast or cable television viewer is increasing faster than the median age of the US population at large. Older people are treated to a litany of drug ads, filled with lists of horrifying side effects, thanks to the ability for drug companies to market directly to customers. The rise in such advertising is now the most prominent type of health communication that the public encounters, but it hasn't always been the case.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 10, 2014 - 41 comments

Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” However, that’s not what the epidemiology of the disorder suggests. By age 35, half of all people who qualified for active alcoholism or addiction diagnoses during their teens and 20s no longer do, according to a study of over 42,000 Americans in a sample designed to represent the adult population.
Only a quarter of people who recover have ever sought assistance in doing so (including via 12-step programs). This actually makes addictions the psychiatric disorder with the highest odds of recovery.
Metafilter's own maias on myths surrounding the disease(?) of substance addiction, and their impact on medicine and policy.
posted by grobstein on Oct 1, 2014 - 84 comments

Nazis had more legal right to the Ark than Indy: Real jobs vs the media

“True, the Nazis were trying to find the Ark of the Covenant so they could destroy the world,” Canuto says. “But methodologically and legally they were in the right.” Why archeologists hate Indiana Jones. Also, why doctors don't like medical dramas; what is inaccurate about TV portrayals of lawyers and the legal process (PDF); and, finally, the terrific analysis of the portrayal of academics in children's books. When your profession is portrayed on TV, what do they get wrong?
posted by blahblahblah on Sep 14, 2014 - 200 comments

"'The family division is rooted in the same ground as fiction..."

Ian McEwan: the law versus religious belief. [The Guardian]
The conjoined twins who would die without medical intervention, a boy who refused blood transfusions on religious grounds…Ian McEwan on the stories from the family courts that inspired his latest novel.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 13, 2014 - 10 comments

Birth Culture

Since 2006, Alice Proujansky has photographed childbirths around the world for a project entitled 'Birth Culture.' Her intent is to highlight 'the universal aspects of childbirth, elements that are culturally-specific and the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful maternity care.' Images: Photographer's site. NYTimes Gallery. Agnostica. Slate. Some photos may be NSFW.
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2014 - 21 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part VII

Direct brain-to-brain communication in humans has been demonstrated for the first time. DARPA begins work on miniaturized implants to control and regulate the nervous system. Researchers study using brain signals to operate drones. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 3, 2014 - 56 comments

The compelling history of vaccination

A timeline of diseases and vaccines [warning: graphic photo of cutaneous diphtheria at year 1975]. Categories are: diphtheria, measles, polio, smallpox, yellow fever, and 'others'. You can select one keyword to view only that subject's timeline. From the History of Vaccines website (about page | FAQ). Similar timelines at the same site for pioneers, science and society, and there's an En Español timeline, too. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 26, 2014 - 22 comments

Women have always been healers.

Changing the Face of Medicine is an online exhibition from the National Library of Medicine, first published in 2003 but continuously updated, that honors the lives and achievements of American women in medicine. It is divided into sections (see the "more inside"), but you can also browse the biographies of the physicians alphabetically or by other criteria. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 6, 2014 - 4 comments

Vulnerable to coercion or undue influence

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
and
Why Are Dope-Addicted, Disgraced Doctors Running Our Drug Trials?
posted by Joe in Australia on Aug 5, 2014 - 28 comments

Anyone, Anything, Anytime

24/7/365: The Evolution of Emergency Medicine A documentary film made by an emergency medicine resident that describes the history of emergency medicine as a specialty has been made publicly available. This documentary reviews how the landscape of healthcare in the United States has changed over the past 50 years, with a specific focus on emergency medical care, its availability, how and where it is delivered. [more inside]
posted by treehorn+bunny on Jul 18, 2014 - 6 comments

"I forget to breathe sometimes"

AskReddit asks What's a strange thing your body does that you assume happens to everyone but you've never bothered to ask? In response, Slate's Medical Examiner column invites doctors to explain 13 of them.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle on Jul 18, 2014 - 156 comments

One Doctor’s Quest to Save People by Injecting Them With Scorpion Venom

A scorpion-venom concoction that makes tumors glow sounds almost too outlandish to be true.
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 10, 2014 - 15 comments

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