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The Future Gets Closer, Part V: In Case You Missed It

PBS Newshour covers recent advances in medical technology in an 11 minute video. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 4, 2011 - 26 comments

"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."

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]
posted by zarq on Jun 28, 2011 - 20 comments

Follow your heart

Six Second ECG Simulator. "The Cardiac Rhythm Simulator generates 25 of the most common cardiac rhythms for you to explore, review, and play."
posted by Paragon on Jun 26, 2011 - 9 comments

"Here, eat this root."

The Triumph of New-Age Medicine "Medicine has long decried acupuncture, homeopathy, and the like as dangerous nonsense that preys on the gullible. Again and again, carefully controlled studies have shown alternative medicine to work no better than a placebo. But now many doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well, and at a much lower cost, than mainstream care—and they’re trying to learn from it." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2011 - 278 comments

The Girl Who Survived Rabies

Recently, 8-year-old Precious Reynolds became the sixth person in history to survive rabies without a vaccine. A few years back, Extraordinary People put out a documentary (1 2 3) on the first person to beat the only viral disease that hides itself completely from one's immune system.
posted by gman on Jun 14, 2011 - 56 comments

Street Anatomy

"Street Anatomy obsessively covers the use of human anatomy in medicine, art, and design."
posted by OmieWise on Jun 11, 2011 - 5 comments

Cowboys and Pit Crews

The public’s experience is that we have amazing clinicians and technologies but little consistent sense that they come together to provide an actual system of care, from start to finish, for people. We train, hire, and pay doctors to be cowboys. But it’s pit crews people need. - Atul Gawande’s commencement address at Harvard Medical School.
posted by AceRock on Jun 1, 2011 - 18 comments

Medicine in the Americas

Medicine in the Americas is a digital library project that makes freely available original works demonstrating the evolution of American medicine from colonial frontier outposts of the 17th century to research hospitals of the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 31, 2011 - 9 comments

“I’d gladly put my balls on the chopping block for the benefit of mankind.”

The Revolutionary New Birth Control Method for Men. Link NSFW. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 31, 2011 - 106 comments

Selling doctors on patient gag orders

"It's completely unethical for doctors to force their patients to sign away their rights in order to get medical care." Ars Technica dissects doctor "privacy" agreements that seek to limit patients' ability to post online reviews by making them sign the copyright of any future reviews over to the doctor, in exchange for vague (and possibly illusory) extra privacy protection. Doctored Reviews offers info and tools for fighting "anti-review contracts," whose language comes primarily from an "anti-defamation protection program" sold by a company called Medical Justice. Sources quoted in the article express doubts that this kind of "privacy blackmail" would hold up in court, with some wondering if Medical Justice is actively deceiving doctors by selling them a product that won't work as advertised. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on May 24, 2011 - 30 comments

Perverse Incentives

Obstetricians and gynecologists are meeting the increased demand for cosmetic vaginal surgery (NSFW)
posted by reenum on May 22, 2011 - 147 comments

The Amoral Maze

Jon Ronson - How to spot a psychopath
posted by Artw on May 21, 2011 - 151 comments

The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

After 45 years, $2.5 billion, and one legendary reunion, Jerry Lewis has announced that this year's Labor Day Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association will be his last. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 17, 2011 - 87 comments

Canada Cures Cancer

"Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the U of A Department of Medicine, has shown that dichloroacetate (DCA) causes regression in several cancers, including lung, breast, and brain tumors. " Between rumors that pharmaceutical companies have no interest in this discovery because it can't be patented and quacks jumping on the bandwagon to sell home made DCA to hopeful cancer patients for self medication, things are not exactly going the way Dr. Michelakis would have probably hoped.
posted by Hairy Lobster on May 13, 2011 - 33 comments

Pitcher’s Treatment Draws Scrutiny

Bartolo Colon, now of the New York Yankees, underwent a controversial stem-cell treatment in the Dominican Republic to regain his old form.
posted by reenum on May 12, 2011 - 23 comments

Grannies for Drugs

Grandmothers are agitated to the point of singing K’naan songs. This basically concerns the frustration over the Canadian Senate killing Bill C-393 (a law to facilitate production of cheaper life saving HIV/AIDS drugs for developing countries). With the new election looming, the “Grannies” would like to see folks use aidsaction.ca to email their candidates and ask them about their Access to Medicines stance.
posted by davidng on Apr 29, 2011 - 6 comments

Photographic Immortality

The Burns Archive is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 26, 2011 - 15 comments

No Mo-99

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)
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Apr 9, 2011 - 22 comments

master of information

The New Biology - Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via)
posted by kliuless on Apr 9, 2011 - 35 comments

Progesterone Gel Helps Prevent Preemies

One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2011 - 18 comments

Nanomachines will save us from the new medical Middle Ages

IBM researchers working on nanoparticles to destroy drug-resistant bacteria Hot on the heels of a report on the horrific threat of antibiotics-resistant bacteria, this article highlights one possible solution- using polymers that would attack bacteria membranes, instead of drugs. [more inside]
posted by Apocryphon on Apr 5, 2011 - 21 comments

A Mermaid's Tale

"One day a little boy came up, he must have been about four and he saw me taking off my (prosthetic) legs and he started with the 'why' questions, you know, 'why haven't you got any legs', etc. And I said 'have you heard of The Little Mermaid?' and he said 'yes' and I said 'I'm a mermaid' and he got this look on his face and he said 'wow that's cool' and ran off to tell his dad.

I'll have to turn up to that beach again sometime with my tail - just in case he's there."
Weta Digital are the special effects team behind the costumes, weapons and creatures of the Lord of the Rings movies, Avatar and even a sonic screwdriver prop that could be making an appearance on the next season of Doctor Who. In 2009, they created a fully functional mermaid tail pro bono for Nadya Vessey, an Auckland woman who is a double leg amputee. Video News Report: 1, 2.
posted by zarq on Apr 5, 2011 - 37 comments

Medicine: Back to the Middle Ages

Welcome to a world where the drugs don't work - it's here, today. 'A new wave of "super superbugs" with a mutation called NDM 1, which first emerged in India, has now turned up all over the world, from Britain to New Zealand.''After Alexander Fleming's 1928 discovery of the first antibiotic, penicillin, we quickly came to assume we had the chemicals to beat bacteria. Sure, bugs evolve to develop resistance. But for decades scientists have managed to develop new medicines to stay at least one step ahead of an ever-mutating enemy. Now, though, we may be running out of road.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Apr 1, 2011 - 77 comments

Trans*POO*sion

Fecal transplants have been used with success to treat C.difficile infections, often acquired in hospital or nursing homes and notoriously difficult to treat. They have also shown some efficacy in treatment of ulcerative colitis (pdf). [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter on Mar 28, 2011 - 97 comments

Happy 65th birthday to the MRC birth cohort of 1946

Epidemiology: Study of a lifetime. "In 1946, scientists started tracking thousands of British children born during one cold March week. On their 65th birthday, the study members find themselves more scientifically valuable than ever before." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2011 - 7 comments

Three Paths for Four Chambers

It was Alex St. Martin's gory musket injury that paved the way for cow fistulation, a hands-on method to explore the inner workings of bovine digestion.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 18, 2011 - 58 comments

More Americans are Surviving Cancer

According to new data released by the CDC yesterday, more Americans are surviving cancer thanks to advances in increased early detection and treatment. CDC analysis shows an unprecedented 20% increase in survival rates between 2001 and 2007, which is nearly a quadruple increase since 1971. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 11, 2011 - 27 comments

Premature birth-preventing drug faces cost spike

Progesterone caproate injections have been used to reduce the likelihood of premature births in at-risk pregnant women for years. Up until now, the drug was custom-compounded by wholesale and specialist pharmacies, legally, but without federal approval. These injections cost between $5 and $15 a dose and were regularly reimbursed by insurance companies and Medicaid. Last month, the FDA announced their approval of a commercially produced version of the compound, to be marketed under the brand name Makena by a company called KV Pharmaceuticals. No stranger to controversy and trouble, KV barely survived a rash round of layoffs and wrongful termination lawsuits. Their former chief executive now faces criminal charges surrounding the company's failure to notify the FDA that they were producing oversized morphine tablets. (He could also do for a shave, it appears.) Now, KV has announced that the new drug will be available at a cost of $1,500 per dose, bringing the total pregnancy term cost of treatment to $25,000-$30,000, from its former cost of $250-$300, a 100-fold increase—but it gets worse... [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on Mar 9, 2011 - 63 comments

"Take the death off the table."

The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday. Also: The Die-Later Diet [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2011 - 66 comments

"My brain seems to work okay, but how would I know?"

My Above-Average Stroke. From November 2010, Garrison Keillor writing about the stroke he suffered in 2009. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 4, 2011 - 52 comments

Coach Walt

Wake Forest University's slogan for their baseball team in 2011 is 'What are you willing to sacrifice to help make this team better?' "Head coach Tom Walter's intent was to have his players thinking about sacrifice bunts, moving runners over, and giving up personal glory to help the Demon Deacons improve as a team. But what Walter chose to sacrifice is greater than simply hanging in on a curve ball and taking one for the team. Walter gave up a kidney." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 13, 2011 - 6 comments

Don't shake the baby.

Shaken-Baby Syndrome Faces New Questions in Court. Earlier this month, the UK Crown Prosecution Service issued a guidance on "shaken baby" allegations. Emily Bazelon looks at the medical and legal gray areas in US prosecutions in this week's New York Times Magazine. An editorial last fall by law professor Deborah Turkheimer here touched on her own research into the issue [PDF], which she calls "the next Innocence Project;" it was met with some controversy by medical professionals.
posted by availablelight on Feb 3, 2011 - 24 comments

Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on

Dr. Jörg C. Gerlach has developed a new device for applying a regenerative skin and stem cell slurry onto burn victims in an airbrush-like spray - providing astounding results in mere days. (Warning - mildly graphic images of severe burns being remedied with SCIENCE!)
posted by FatherDagon on Feb 3, 2011 - 30 comments

Can we lower medical costs by giving the neediest patients better care?

The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 28, 2011 - 34 comments

Name-calling

"As Hannah Montana once said..." A Med School commencement speech about what it means to be called a Doctor. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 21, 2011 - 6 comments

Women of the Royal Society and elsewhere

The Royal Society's lost women scientists. Women published in the Royal Society, 1890-1930. Most influential British women in the history of science. Women at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Heroines of Science. Women Biochemists, 1906-1939. Women in Science. Previously: The Women of ENIAC.
posted by mediareport on Jan 12, 2011 - 9 comments

Tudei will make you sleep for two days

Kava: "a slightly bitter, slightly frothy, aromatic, resinous brew capable of inducing tranquility and an ultimate sense of wellbeing" [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Jan 4, 2011 - 45 comments

Placebos Without Deception

Meet the Ethical Placebo: "A provocative new study called 'Placebos Without Deception,' published on PLoS One today, threatens to make humble sugar pills something they’ve rarely had a chance to be in the history of medicine: a respectable, ethically sound treatment for disease that has been vetted in controlled trials." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 23, 2010 - 76 comments

A Not-So-Brief History of Pitching Injuries, Starring Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers

Jonah Keri looks at the unconventional methods being used by the Texas Rangers to improve the durability and effectiveness of their pitching staff.
posted by reenum on Dec 20, 2010 - 13 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part IV: Mouse Edition

Some scientists have used stem cells to regenerate myelin in mice, paving the way for new MS treatments. Other scientists have created mice from two fathers. Meanwhile, using stem cells to treat paralysis advances from mice to monkeys.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Dec 9, 2010 - 23 comments

"We are all children of Byzantium."

Byzantine Blog is what it says on the tin, a blog about Byzantium. It is written by Tom and Kim Sawford, with the occasional guest post by Laura Diaz-Arnesto. The blog has been going for over a year and a half now, and so has an extensive backlog of posts on a wide variety of subjects, for example: Byzantine holy relics in Siena in Tuscany, Princess Theophano who married Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, photos of mosaics and other art, the horrific realities of prostitution, the islands of Thasos and Lemnos and a couple of posts on Byzantine medicine, mandrake and wolfsbane. Besides essays and photos the blog also links to various sites, articles, podcasts et cetera that dwell on Byzantine matters.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 6, 2010 - 20 comments

The Beautiful Mind

"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]
posted by zarq on Dec 2, 2010 - 6 comments

What about poor Drosophilia?

I am trained and experienced in animal testing, and I am not ashamed of this fact. There, I’m out.
posted by shiu mai baby on Oct 29, 2010 - 93 comments

The Findings are Uplifting

An awkward moment at the diner (complete with startled waiter) leads into a lengthy article about regrowing breasts from stem cells that are themselves harvested from liposuction, the procedure of which has been undergoing trials and continual improvement since 2006. The FDA has yet to approve it in the USA. (maybe NSFW sideboobs) [more inside]
posted by Old'n'Busted on Oct 21, 2010 - 19 comments

Anatomical illustrations from Edo-period Japan

Old anatomical illustrations that provide a unique perspective on the evolution of medical knowledge in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868) [more inside]
posted by gman on Oct 14, 2010 - 27 comments

A Destination for the Incurably Curious

The Wellcome Library Blog is the accompanying blog to London's Wellcome Collection.
Each post examines new acquisitions or existing holdings of this fascinating and eclectic collection. This week's post is about Graphic Medicine - the intersection of Graphic Novels and Medicine. Interesting posts in just the past few months include Japanese colour printing, Do the English really have bad teeth?, A hot night in Bengal, Murder - He telegraphed and a post on Early Cycling.
posted by vacapinta on Sep 30, 2010 - 5 comments

An Artificial Ovary

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. Article link. (paywall) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 29, 2010 - 24 comments

Continuous Chest Compression CPR

Continuous Chest Compression CPR is a hands-only CPR method that doubles a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. It’s easy and does not require mouth-to-mouth contact, making it more likely bystanders will try to help, and it was developed at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. YT link for the video. The Mayo Clinic Presentation.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 23, 2010 - 57 comments

The Grand Design

An excerpt from Stephen Hawking's and Leonard Mlodinow's new book The Grand Design.
posted by lauratheexplorer on Sep 10, 2010 - 86 comments

Well-Scrubbed Marauders

Health, Grooming, and Medicine in the Viking Age. "John of Wallingford, the abbot of St. Albans Abbey wrote in his chronicles that the Norse invaders in England were far more attractive to Anglo-Saxon women since, unlike Anglo-Saxon men, they combed their hair daily, took baths weekly, and laundered their clothing regularly."
posted by rodgerd on Aug 19, 2010 - 48 comments

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