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The Cost of Living

The Rising Cost of Cancer Drugs: "New drugs could extend cancer patients’ lives—by days. At a cost of thousands and thousands of dollars. Prompting some doctors to refuse to use them."
posted by lalex on Oct 27, 2013 - 50 comments

Doctor No

What doctors would not do
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 24, 2013 - 53 comments

"This is my gift to you. Do with it what you want."

The Course of Their Lives. While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 19, 2013 - 29 comments

For Safer Food, Just Add Viruses

In March 2012, inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture uncovered a problem in Elgin, Texas. Beef sausage from a small family-run meat processor appeared to have been contaminated with a nasty bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. The bug can make people sick and, in rare cases, be deadly. The processor had to recall more than a ton of sausage. It’s the kind of story that strikes terror in the hearts of other sausage peddlers, including Mike Satzow, so he uses phages to keep his small company's sausages safe to eat.
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 1, 2013 - 58 comments

United States of America

Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2013 - 49 comments

Truvada protects users from HIV with a 99% success rate

"Not enough gay men realize there’s an HIV-prevention pill."
posted by showbiz_liz on Sep 26, 2013 - 44 comments

PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn

PTSD and Gene Kelly's lost wartime star turn: For the last six decades or so, a copy [of "Combat Fatigue Irritability"] has been filed away, along with thousands of other films, at the National Library of Medicine. The only people it has been lost to are the public and Gene Kelly’s devoted and still numerous fans. But now the National Library of Medicine is featuring Combat Fatigue Irritability in Medical Movies on the Web, and the film will be given a well-deserved, though very belated, New York premiere, on October 5, 2013, at the New York Academy of Medicine. [more inside]
posted by theatro on Sep 25, 2013 - 8 comments

Use Only as Directed

ProPublica.org and This American Life partnered for a special report on acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol), the active ingredient in Tylenol, which is also found in many other over-the-counter medications. The narrow therapeutic index of acetaminophen means that often, the difference between safe use and overdose can be as small as one gram. From ProPublica.org: "About 150 Americans die a year by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, federal data from the CDC shows."
posted by fiercecupcake on Sep 23, 2013 - 76 comments

the need for late-term abortions will never go away

I think that the extreme, right-wing, misogynist religious fanatics have basically hijacked the Republican party and are moving toward being able to hijack the Democrats too. I'm appalled at the hubris of these legislators who, one after another, think they can make more sensible decisions about a woman's personal, private reproductive decisions than the woman herself. They know nothing about these situations. They don't know a thing about later abortions, or why women seek them out, and yet they presume that they should be making these decisions. Interview with Dr. Susan Robinson, One of the Last Four Doctors in America to Openly Provide Third-Trimester Abortions
posted by latkes on Sep 22, 2013 - 118 comments

Why make a big deal out of nothing?

Jackson Landers tells a brief story about getting bit by a black widow
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 17, 2013 - 197 comments

Don’t blow smoke up my ass

A medical enema device used for Blowing smoke up the ass.
posted by homunculus on Sep 14, 2013 - 26 comments

I can hear you now!!

The 2013 Lasker Awards were announced today. Often called the "American's Nobels", they recognize the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease. Included in today's crop of recipients are Dr. Graeme M. Clark, Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake S. Wilson who were awarded their prizes for developing the modern cochlear implant. [more inside]
posted by scblackman on Sep 9, 2013 - 2 comments

Visionary pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine and animal rights

Juliette of the Herbs is a beautifully filmed lyrical portrait of the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy: world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveller in search of herbal wisdom and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine. A list of Juliette de Baïracli Levy's books. Cythera Island
posted by nickyskye on Sep 3, 2013 - 15 comments

“It just got very, very old and all of us felt that we were whores."

More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 27, 2013 - 40 comments

A salt assault

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater - a brief story of the humble bag of saline solution given intravenously at ERs and hospitals, and how one unit of it can be marked up from 86 cents to $91 when given to patients
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 27, 2013 - 69 comments

Sick Costs.

John Green: "Why Are Americans Health Care Costs So High?" A quick, handy little overview of common misconceptions on the US healthcare system. (SLYT)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 22, 2013 - 73 comments

What Damage Control is Like When the Name of Your Product Is "666"

From the depths of the old internet (Deuce of Clubs), here is a prank call to the Monticello Drug Company about their "666" Cough Preparation, which was followed up by a cease-and-desist letter to the site, and explained the source of the "666" branding. DoC replied, and received letters of support from folks, including the CEO of Montiecello, who found the whole thing to be a laugh. The CEO also sent weird labels to the Deuce of Clubs, including a box of/for "Ghost Scent," a re-labeled version of a body odor eliminator that was initially intended for older individuals, but found a following with hunters. To finish this journey into the internet past, DoC collected images of products, and a painting of a rural scene, complete with a "666 Cold Tablets" sign on a tree. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 14, 2013 - 19 comments

My life is not getting better. I need a helping hand

Men Who Want AIDS—and How It Improved Their Lives Some homeless people find that having AIDS entitles them to assistance that will allow them to get off the streets. Some are desperate enough to deliberately get infected as they see no other way to get the help they need.
posted by 2manyusernames on Aug 14, 2013 - 37 comments

Another nefarious deed by history's greatest monster

"There is no vaccine for guinea worm, and there are no drugs that can cure those who are infected. The pest once afflicted hundreds of millions of people from the Gambia to India. But the worm is now gone from Guinea, and from almost everywhere else. At last count, there were only five hundred and forty-two people infected, down from an estimated 3.5 million in 1986. Of the remaining cases, exactly five hundred and twenty-one are in South Sudan." -- Parasitologist Mark Siddall on the very successfull, Jimmy Carter sponsored campaign to eradicate the guinea worm and how this campaign proved Malthus wrong.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 5, 2013 - 41 comments

Questions. Morbidity. Incept dates.

Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland... some of the safer places in America to live! Sure, big cities might have more murders per capita... but residents in large cities are *MUCH* safer when it comes to injury deaths than those living in more rural parts of America, according to a new study in The Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"Cars, guns and drugs are the unholy trinity causing the majority of injury deaths . . . Although the risk of homicide is higher in big cities, the risk of unintentional injury death is 40 percent higher in the most rural areas than in the most urban. And overall, the rate of unintentional injury dwarfs the risk of homicide, with the rate of unintentional injury more than 15 times that of homicide among the entire population."
posted by markkraft on Jul 25, 2013 - 71 comments

Paleopathology

CSI: Italian Renaissance. "Inside a lab in Pisa, forensics pathologist Gino Fornaciari and his team investigate 500-year-old cold cases." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 21, 2013 - 10 comments

"I didn’t die?"

A Life-Or-Death Situation. "As a bioethicist, Margaret "Peggy" Pabst Battin fought for the right of people to end their own lives. After her husband’s cycling accident, her field of study turned unbearably personal." Via.
posted by zarq on Jul 19, 2013 - 26 comments

Who By Very Slow Decay

A junior doctor writes about the experience of watching the slow deaths-by-old-age of the elderly. (see also How Doctors Die).
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Jul 19, 2013 - 40 comments

"We’re giving just enough to prevent them from dying."

Because of nationwide shortages, Washington hospitals are rationing, hoarding, and bartering critical nutrients premature babies and other patients need to survive. Doctors are reporting conditions normally seen only in developing countries, and there have been deaths. How could this be allowed to happen?
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 23, 2013 - 113 comments

HIV vs. Cancer: Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia

"Emma Whitehead was near death from acute lymphoblastic leukemia but is now in remission after an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia."

The New York Times has a feature from December 2012 and this incredible story was the subject of a short film as part of a GE/cinelan-sponored Vimeo series of 3 minute documentaries on "big ideas"
posted by 3rdparty on Jun 20, 2013 - 10 comments

Invented by a mother!

Obecalp, Standardized Pharmaceutical Grade Placebo (invented by a mother!)
posted by Elementary Penguin on Jun 14, 2013 - 49 comments

Anecdotally... yup

Could Magic Mushrooms Be Used to Treat Anxiety and Depression?
posted by showbiz_liz on Jun 10, 2013 - 63 comments

TGIF! Is it happy hour yet?

Surgeries on Friday Are More Frequently Fatal. New research shows that "operations performed on Fridays were associated with a higher 30-day mortality rate than those performed on Mondays through Wednesdays."
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 10, 2013 - 53 comments

Beyond recognition: the story of Carmen Tarleton's face transplant

"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]
posted by Homeboy Trouble on Jun 5, 2013 - 27 comments

...our ears, our voices, our hands, our pills and our scalpels.

Fat City. Physician Karen Hitchcock writes eloquently in The Monthly on obesity in Australia and the obesity-as-disease paradigm.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on May 28, 2013 - 105 comments

The girl who turned to bone.

A rare disease is defined as any condition affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. More than 7,000 such diseases exist, afflicting a total of 25 million to 30 million Americans.. One of them, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), might be approaching a cure. [more inside]
posted by dmd on May 24, 2013 - 21 comments

On Medical Neutrality

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]
posted by painquale on May 21, 2013 - 41 comments

Even better than the real thing?

Widespread fraud has been discovered in the case of an Indian generic drug manufacturer that makes generic Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) and many other drugs. Ranbaxy has "pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with intent to defraud." [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake on May 18, 2013 - 28 comments

The Science of Optimizing Your Health

An in-depth talk at Google that sums up the scientific research on living a healthy life with lots of practical advice.
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 10, 2013 - 15 comments

"Patients with mental disorders deserve better."

National Institute of Mental Health director Thomas Insell reports that NIMH will phase out its reliance on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in favor of a revamped psychiatric diagnostic system based on "genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system." [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on May 4, 2013 - 105 comments

Not So Evergreen

"India's supreme court has ruled against Swiss drug giant Novartis in a landmark case that activists say will protect access to cheap generic drugs in developing nations." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Apr 1, 2013 - 15 comments

Living In Science Fiction: 2013 Edition

Science Fiction Comes Alive as Researchers Grow Organs in Lab
1997 -- Charles Vacanti of University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Robert Langer of Massachusetts Institute of Technology report the growing of a cartilage structure – in the shape of a human ear – on a mouse’s back. 2008 -- Doris Taylor at the University of Minnesota and colleagues grow a beating rat heart in the lab. 2008 --Surgeons in Spain transplant a new windpipe into a patient. The organ is made from a cadaver windpipe stripped of its original cells and reseeded with the patient’s own cells. 2010 -- Researchers at Mass General Hospital grow a rat liver. 2010 -- Yale University scientists grow a functioning rat lung. 2010 -- Alex Seifalian in London transplants a lab-made tear duct into patient 2011 -- Dr. Seifalian makes a windpipe from nanocomposite materials plus a patient’s own stem cells; the new windpipe replaces the patient’s cancerous one, saving his life. In a separate procedure, an artery made at Dr. Seifalian’s lab is transplanted into a patient. 2012 -- Surgeons in Sweden transplant a major blood vessel into a 10-year-old girl. The vein was taken from a dead man, stripped of its tissue, then reseeded with the girl’s own cells. 2013 -- Scientists from Cornell University report the making of a human ear using living cartilage cells.

posted by jason's_planet on Mar 23, 2013 - 22 comments

Better, stronger, faster kidneys.

What do 3D printing, jelly, liver transplants, chainmail, dental fillings, ferrofluids, and the Six Million Dollar man have to tell us about our future? Materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik lets us know in this Royal Institution lecture.
posted by cthuljew on Mar 22, 2013 - 8 comments

Ayurveda in the Modern age

Ayurveda: Hoax or Science? "'Western science identifies these systems as folklore. They don’t see it as an organised system of knowledge—this is an alien epistemology to them because their medical traditions only go as far back as the medieval times and renaissance.' There is also the very real problem of complexity in natural-product research. It is harder to develop a drug from Ayurveda than it is to build a synthetic molecule, because of the large number of compounds in each Ayurvedic herb. All these factors are responsible for the state of Ayurvedic medicine today."
posted by dhruva on Mar 7, 2013 - 89 comments

We are powerless buyers in a sellers’ market

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us. Summary: Inside the Cover Story. Related video: The Exorbitant Prices of Health Care [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 21, 2013 - 85 comments

A Cardiac Conundrum

“The gap between what patients and doctors expect from these procedures, and the benefit that they actually provide, shows the profound impact of a certain kind of mechanical logic in medicine,” he explains. “Even though doctors value randomized clinical trials and evidence-based medicine, they are powerfully influenced by ideas about how diseases and treatments work. If doctors think a treatment should work, they come to believe that it does work, even when the clinical evidence isn’t there.” [more inside]
posted by latkes on Feb 18, 2013 - 30 comments

Herd Immunity Demo

A series of simulations demonstrating disease spreading through a population and the benefits of herd immunity
posted by mulligan on Feb 8, 2013 - 33 comments

RN Library, a library of nurses' practical tips

100 Really, REALLY Useful Web Sites for Nurses | 100 Educational Twitter Feeds for Med Students | What Really Happens on a Hospital Night Shift? | 10 Hotel Health Traps You Should Really Beware Of |The ABCs of Vitamins and much more.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 7, 2013 - 16 comments

This Post Cures and/or Causes Cancer

The (New) Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project tumblr, (previously) "an ongoing quest to track the Daily Mail's classification of inanimate objects into two types: those that cause cancer, and those that cure it." Inspired by The Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project, now defunct.
posted by Scientist on Jan 28, 2013 - 7 comments

"Medicine is a very religious experience"

The New Yorker's take on Dr Mehmet Oz.
posted by hat_eater on Jan 28, 2013 - 69 comments

Projectile Shit Vomiting For the Win

The Norovirus: A Study in Puked Perfection, "Each norovirus carries just nine protein-coding genes (you have about 20,000). Even with that skimpy genetic toolkit, noroviruses can break the locks on our cells, slip in, and hack our own DNA to make new noroviruses. The details of this invasion are sketchy, alas, because scientists haven’t figured out a good way to rear noroviruses in human cells in their labs. It’s not even clear exactly which type of cell they invade once they reach the gut. Regardless of the type, they clearly know how to exploit their hosts. Noroviruses come roaring out of the infected cells in vast numbers. And then they come roaring out of the body. Within a day of infection, noroviruses have rewired our digestive system so that stuff comes flying out from both ends." [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 3, 2013 - 120 comments

Undue Burden

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]
posted by zarq on Jan 3, 2013 - 66 comments

Symphysiotomy

“So when I was pregnant and about to give birth, I was expecting kindness, understanding, love. But, by god, was I wrong. They were torturers. They didn’t care. I was a thing. An experiment.” [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Jan 3, 2013 - 56 comments

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality [FULL TEXT HTML]: "We used data from a very large study, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–AARP Diet and Health Study (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00340015), to determine whether coffee consumption is associated with total or cause-specific mortality. The current analysis, involving more than 400,000 participants and 52,000 deaths, had ample power to detect even modest associations and allowed for subgroup analyses according to important baseline factors, including the presence or absence of adiposity and diabetes, as well as cigarette-smoking status." [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 25, 2012 - 85 comments

H+

This past August, producer Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) 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]
posted by zarq on Dec 19, 2012 - 66 comments

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