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Defying the FDA, Doctors in Colorado Offer Stem Cell Therapies for Joint Diseases

The FDA has yet to approve stem cell therapies for general use in medicine, but that hasn’t stopped doctors in Colorado from providing them anyway. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 17, 2010 - 50 comments

 

The "Still-Face" Experiment

The "Still Face" Paradigm (YT video) designed by Dr. Edward Tronick of Harvard and Childrens Hospital’s Child Development Unit, is an experiment which shows us how a 1-year old child will react to a suddenly unresponsive parent. It allows us to understand how a caregiver's interactions and emotional state can influence many aspects of an infant's social and emotional development. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2010 - 22 comments

Lessons of a $618,616 Death

Lessons of a $618,616 Death
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 8, 2010 - 74 comments

Third-world (and first) diagnosis under $0.01

Detecting a handful of diseases with comic book ink and a postage stamp (well, not quite, but the technology is related to the ink and it's on a postage stamp sized piece of paper). What's best is that the result is a simple visual that can be sent to doctors far away for recognition.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out on Mar 6, 2010 - 16 comments

Return of the Fungi

Paul Stamets profile in Mother Jones... humans and fungi still have nearly half of their DNA in common and are susceptible to many of the same infections. (Referring to fungi as "our ancestors" is one of the many zingers that Stamets likes to feed audiences.) [more inside]
posted by hortense on Mar 1, 2010 - 16 comments

Testing, Testing

Atul Gawande offers a way for health care to be improved through experimentation and pilot programs, much as agriculture was in 20th century
posted by reenum on Feb 27, 2010 - 24 comments

Mercenary Epidemiology

Mercenary Epidemiology: Data Reanalysis and Reinterpretation for Sponsors With Financial Interest in the Outcome. (.pdf link) When should scientists be required to release their raw data for (potentially hostile) re-analysis? A letter to the editors of Annals of Epidemiology from David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, public health blogger, author of the book Doubt Is Their Product, and, as of December 2009, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, unanimously confirmed by the Senate despite the dismay of some. Michaels interviewed at Science Progress about Doubt Is Their Product (podcast, with transcript.)
posted by escabeche on Feb 11, 2010 - 9 comments

It's a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed while it's light out.

Vegetated State conversations: To find out whether a simple conversation was possible, the researchers selected one of the four - a 29-year-old man who had been in a car crash. They asked him to imagine playing tennis if he wanted to answer yes to questions such as: Do you have any sisters? Is your father's name Thomas? Is your father's name Alexander? And if the answer to a question was no, he had to imagine moving round his home.
posted by bigmusic on Feb 3, 2010 - 22 comments

The 12% Solution

Everybody Loves That HADACOL~!
posted by jtron on Feb 1, 2010 - 16 comments

Wooden Bones

New research suggests that treated wood may serve as an ideal bone replacement. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jan 18, 2010 - 40 comments

Penguins aren't much help with surgery.

Auto-appendectomy in the Antarctic.
posted by dmd on Jan 13, 2010 - 56 comments

Images from the History of Medicine

Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) provides access to nearly 70,000 images in the collections of the History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the U.S National Library of Medicine (NLM). Their collection includes thousands of really fascinating images from warnings about winter driving to instructions about how to keep your privy clean. [more inside]
posted by misanthropicsarah on Jan 7, 2010 - 12 comments

"I need to watch Grey's Anatomy, so you need to be quiet for an hour."

"You're in love with Dr. Miracles!" "No, I'm in love with saving lives!" Dr. Miracles saves former President George Bush, Starbucks and Santa Claus by administering highly unorthodox medical treatments (NSFW)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 19, 2009 - 16 comments

Extra! Extra! Football causes brain damage!

Malcolm Gladwell did an article about this in the New Yorker, but this GQ article shows the opposition the researchers who discovered CTE faced from the NFL.
posted by reenum on Dec 19, 2009 - 61 comments

Cracking the Cancer Code

Cracking the Cancer Code: We already know that all cancers are caused by DNA mutations acquired during a person's lifetime. But what mutations actually cause cancer? We may be one step closer to finding out. International research teams led by the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have now mapped the entire genetic code of two of the most common human cancers: lung and skin (malignant melanoma). Their findings have the potential to revolutionize preventative and treatment therapies as well as pave the way for new early detection tests. More. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 17, 2009 - 36 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Again

Interesting developments in med-tech: gene testing machines for doctors, a plan to engineer stem cells to kill HIV, a new way to repair damaged nerves, the next generation of retinal implants, and the first bionic fingers up for sale. (Bonus for those uninterested in medicine: the newest take on a Minority Report-style interface, courtesy of MIT.)
posted by StrikeTheViol on Dec 11, 2009 - 2 comments

Inflammatory

"We were concerned that the study would raise a lot of controversy and be misused," Pardo said. "We were right." Some practitioners treat autistic children with the anti-inflammatory intravenous immunoglobulin, citing a study by Carlos Pardo, et al. showing inflammation in the brains of deceased autistic patients. Pardo: "modulators of immune reactions (e.g. intravenous immunoglobulins, IVIG) WOULD NOT HAVE a significant effect." Others, following the work of Simon Baron-Cohen on autism and the male brain, treat autistic children with testosterone inhibitors, a prospect which Baron-Cohen says "fills me with horror." Another anti-inflammatory treatment, hyperbaric therapy, is supported by one recent clinical trial, but looks bad in another. Side effects include horrible death by fire. (via the Chicago Tribune)
posted by escabeche on Nov 23, 2009 - 49 comments

"An Epidemic of Fear." Wired takes on the anti-vax movement

Wired profiles pediatrician Paul Offit, co-creator of the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine and a primary target of the anti-vaccination movement. Dr. Offit published a book,“Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008 but didn't tour, because he had received too many death threats. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 28, 2009 - 136 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part II

Practical gene therapy treatment emerges. Prosthetics that feel. Circumventing paralysis with brain implants.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Oct 25, 2009 - 15 comments

Heroine

"The Kindest Cut" A Colorado surgeon is helping to restore sensation, biological structure and self-esteem to victims of female genital mutilation. She's "Trinidad's Transgender Rock Star"
Bowers performs the surgery free of charge, and the hospital caps its fees at $1,700. "...you cannot charge money to reverse a crime against humanity," she says. "Sexuality is a right."
[more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 21, 2009 - 51 comments

The "boy-killing, man-mutilating, money-making, education-prostituting, gladiatorial sport."

Does american football unavoidably lead to brain damage over time? Does a culture favoring perseverance at the expense of well being begin in high school?
posted by phrontist on Oct 13, 2009 - 96 comments

Aaron Beck & Cognitive Therapy

The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.” How Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
posted by Non Prosequitur on Oct 9, 2009 - 53 comments

Poland Approves Mandatory "Chemical Castration" Drug Treatment for Convicted Pedophiles

In response to an incest case in which a man imprisoned, raped and fathered two children with his own daughter, Poland's Lower House of Parliament has approved an amendment to their penal code which makes chemical castration of pedophiles mandatory in certain cases. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 26, 2009 - 127 comments

Gene Therapy for Color-blindness

"But after five months, something clicked. The monkeys picked out red and green, again and again." UW researchers use gene therapy to give squirrel monkeys trichromatic vision. “Not only might we be able to cure disease, but we might engineer eyes with remarkable capabilities. You can imagine conferring enhanced night vision in normal eyes, or engineering genes that make photopigments with spectral properties for whatever you want your eye to see.”
posted by spitefulcrow on Sep 16, 2009 - 72 comments

The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia

The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia presents its collection of mysterious, terrifying antique items once used to render people unconscious.
posted by Faint of Butt on Sep 12, 2009 - 25 comments

The Future Gets Closer

The practical possiblility of augmented reality contact lenses. Contact lenses that reshape the eye. Bone-anchored hearing aids. Voice box transplant plans.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 7, 2009 - 22 comments

First, do no harm

Was it triage or murder? A disturbing NY Times story about the choices made by certain medical staff at a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina. Long and not easy reading.
posted by anigbrowl on Aug 28, 2009 - 81 comments

Placebos

Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.
posted by homunculus on Aug 25, 2009 - 106 comments

He says every patient is a golden trout. We need to go get those trout.

The Deadly Cost of Swooping In to Save a Life (single-page version): Deregulation and America's health care system combine to make medical helicopters increasingly dangerous.
posted by parudox on Aug 20, 2009 - 28 comments

A very good article on health care economics

How American Health Care Killed My Father After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem. (via mr) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 18, 2009 - 144 comments

Terminally Illin'

Cancer is hilarious. [more inside]
posted by digaman on Aug 13, 2009 - 39 comments

A rational conservative solution for health care reform

E.D. Kain with a moderate conservative solution to the health care crisis
posted by reenum on Aug 13, 2009 - 88 comments

Where do you get your health insurance from?

A simple question shows how complex the issue is. Chris at "Cynical C" asks his fellow citizens where they get thier health care (insurance) from and the incredible diversity of the current options and situations is immediately apparent. Quite spontaneously (but surely not unexpectedly), the question of "How much does it cost you?" becomes an essential part of the answers. Outsiders opine and tell stories and commiserate. [more inside]
posted by sid abotu on Aug 4, 2009 - 117 comments

Healthy Honey

When it was found in Ancient Egyptian tombs, it looked fresh - so somebody tasted it. Honey can last thousands of years without spoiling, a remarkable feat for a foodstuff. These antibacterial and antioxidant qualities of honey have been applied to food preservation for years, but the medical community is just beginning to look closely at how this can be used to assist in healing. In particular, Honey from Australia and New Zealand seems most successful in helping large wounds heal without infection. This is due to particular plants that the bees frequent, which provide greater antibacterial qualities to the honey. The FDA has even approved honey-infused bandages for use in healing. After the buzz of medicinal leeches and medical maggots, I'm glad there's a natural therapy that doesn't creep people out.
posted by AzraelBrown on Jul 22, 2009 - 91 comments

Why We Must Ration Health Care

Why We Must Ration Health Care by Peter Singer.
posted by grouse on Jul 19, 2009 - 93 comments

What she thought she knew: a love story

What she thought she knew.
posted by alms on Jul 12, 2009 - 57 comments

Neurosecurity

Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus on Jul 8, 2009 - 22 comments

Threatening the merc's way of life

Debate over government-funded services heats up. [SLSO]
posted by boo_radley on Jun 30, 2009 - 47 comments

Canadian War Posters

Canadian War Poster Collection at McGill University. And if that doesn't strike your fancy, the list of digital collections include such time-honoured favourites as Expo '67, and the award-winner for unexpected collection, Gynaecology in Traditional Chinese Medicine. (previously)
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jun 26, 2009 - 7 comments

I await Trepanation with great Trepidation.

We've discussed trepanation, the boring of holes in the head as practiced in antiquity and by a fringe do it yourself-ers, before. There now seems to be research indicating that the procedure may have medical merit, and even help stave off age related cognitive decline. This curious research brought to you by the Beckly Foundation which "promotes the investigation of consciousness and its modulation from a multidisciplinary perspective" and has a sweet logo.
posted by phrontist on Jun 18, 2009 - 50 comments

A new treatment for cancer?

Rose bengal is a red dye that has been used for decades to identify eye and liver damage. A company, Provectus Pharmaceuticals, has developed a drug based on this compound, which clinical trials show may be able to destroy advanced melanoma with minimal risks. Melanoma is an extremely dangerous form of skin cancer. The company hopes to extend this drug to other cancers as well as to other skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, for which poor treatment solutions exist. Claims such as these inspire skepticism, but the melanoma trials have been conducted by some of the most eminent names in the melanoma community. Does this drug hold potential, or is the whole thing snake oil?
posted by prunes on Jun 11, 2009 - 18 comments

The birth of anesthesia

The day pain died. "The date of the first operation under anesthetic, Oct. 16, 1846, ranks among the most iconic in the history of medicine. It was the moment when Boston, and indeed the United States, first emerged as a world-class center of medical innovation. The room at the heart of Massachusetts General Hospital where the operation took place has been known ever since as the Ether Dome, and the word 'anesthesia' itself was coined by the Boston physician and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes to denote the strange new state of suspended consciousness that the city's physicians had witnessed. The news from Boston swept around the world, and it was recognized within weeks as a moment that had changed medicine forever." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 9, 2009 - 46 comments

8 at 1 minute, 9 at 5 minutes

Dr. Virginia Apgar was born 100 years ago today. Although she is best known for her scoring system for assessing the health of newborn infants, she was a remarkable person in many other ways. [more inside]
posted by TedW on Jun 7, 2009 - 19 comments

I'm detecting an anomaly, Captain

Although a cellphone is about as close to a Star Trek communicator as you can get, something more practical has come along to make you feel like you're finally living in the future. The Standoff Patient Triage Tool (SPTT) is nearly a Starfleet medical tricorder: it can detect pulse, body temperature, and respiration from an injured person at a distance of forty feet, allowing first responders to identify the injured before setting foot into a dangerous situation.
posted by AzraelBrown on May 28, 2009 - 26 comments

Healthcare costs and quality of care

The Cost Conundrum: What a Texas town can teach us about health care. Via Musings of a Distractible Mind.
posted by zinfandel on May 28, 2009 - 40 comments

How a Civil War Amputation Was Performed

How a Civil War Amputation Was Performed NSFS [not safe for the squeamish]
posted by marxchivist on May 22, 2009 - 22 comments

Do they preserve scientific transparency, protect profits or both?

On behalf of medical organizations, universities, & individual patients, pathologists and genetics researchers, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Utah-based Myriad Genetics and the US Patent and Trademark Office. Myriad holds the US patents to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, associated with hereditary causes of breast and ovarian cancers. Their patents guarantee the company the right to prevent anyone else from testing or studying those genes, which the ACLU says is unconstitutional and inhibits researchers from finding treatments and cures. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 13, 2009 - 64 comments

Wu Xing

Behind Chinese medicine, feng shui, acupuncture, diet, music and cosmology itself is the concept of Wu Xing. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on May 7, 2009 - 15 comments

Just imagine the hijinx if they'd had Facebook.

Gather 'Round the Cadaver! : A new "coffee-table" book, Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine is a new collection of photographs documenting what happened when bored medical students of the early 1900s met the camera.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Apr 29, 2009 - 22 comments

Male mental illness in History

No matter their approach, the typical French physician who accepted the notion of male hysteria continued to think that its victims were in some way sexually abnormal: "Thus, despite Charcot's innovative work, the male victim of hysteria in late-nineteenth century French medical imagination was still frequently envisioned as an effeminate heterosexual, an overt homosexual, or a physical or emotional hermaphrodite." If not different sexually, male hysterics were said to be different in other ways, such as race or nationality, among whom African, African-American, south Asian, Arab, or Eastern European Jewish men predominated. Outside of France, other methods of denial appeared, such as the suggestion that male hysteria was restricted to Frenchmen. The medical literature of the time is full of evasions and denials and contradictions of the truths that Charcot had quite obviously demonstrated.
- Macho Misery, an extensive and interesting review of Hysterical Men: The Hidden History of Male Nervous Illness. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 26, 2009 - 8 comments

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