Entries Tagged as 'Medicine'

Former Surgeon General says Bush administration watched his every move

hlogo.gif Former Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Pomona, has said that when he brought up the science behind medical research he was ignored by politicians and that he was told he couldn’t do or say certain things due to political families and agendas. I first heard about this on NPR and was shocked. Well, not really.

“I was blocked at every turn, told the decision had already been made. Stand down, don’t talk about it,” he said.
Carmona said that throughout his term, his speeches were edited and talking points were provided by political appointees. President Bush was to be mentioned at least three times per page for example.

Are we really surprised? Even by the three times per page thing? Not I. To think that science has anything to do with profits and political agendas would be insane. I’m sorry to see that the Surgeon General position being compromised to political whims. I really am, since most people usually respect that position unlike the one of the Attorney General (which recently seems to be also politicized completely).
But it’s not unlike politicians or even ex-politicians to run public relation campaigns in things that they just happen to also have some sort of financial gain in. A great example is Al Gore. If you take a look at which companies that he sits on as the Board of Directors for and where he has his money invested in, it’s not difficult to see that everything seems to come together. The rest of the politicians are the same. If you’re not a ‘yes man’ then they don’t want you in a position where you could go against them.
It’s the way of those that have any say in society and the power of politics. Unfortunate.

Sometimes I wonder about the doctors….

Sometimes, I wonder about the doctors. Personal opinion, but I avoid most PAs like the plague. The fact that they didn’t go to medical school makes me question some of their judgments. Not that doctor judgments aren’t a dime a dozen and some around here are probably more interested in what your insurance can cover.
In my latest ordeal, there was a prescription of Omnicef. This antibiotic in my opinion is one of the strongest things I’ve ever taken in my life. It was also one of the most expensive. With insurance, it cost about thirty smackers. Side effects included me holding my stomach in constant pain. Maybe not everyone gets that, but it definitely wasn’t for me even though it was the first prescribed.
I had the doc call in a prescription direct to the pharmacy for amoxicillin. A more mild antibiotic, it cost under a dollar. Now call it paranoia, or whatever you wish, but why would they prescribe Omnicef if amoxicillin worked just fine? Sometimes you have to wonder.

Alzheimer could be a thing of the past…

University of Souther California’s Center for Neural Engineering has a team of brain hackers. Ted Berger and team are currently researching electronics implemented with brains that could turn lost memories into a thing of the past.
What’s interesting is that they’re currently determining the signal processing between the brain and how it fires off and how to recreate that with a chip and a slice of brain tissue. This leads the team to believe that they’re approximately four years away from animal testing and less than two decades from human trials.
Despite the great things that can arise from this and the no end of funding for such technology, there are some ethical bounds that this technology has and will face. What if you can implant other people’s memories as your own? Or destroy good memories with bad? Or erase someone’s identity completely with a fresh set of memories? Reminds us of Johnny Mneumonic or The Manchurian Candidate.
Either way, it’s a new age of medicine when we achieve such bionic type abilities by merging flesh with electronics.
Via PopularScience

Whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath?

You know… the hippocratic oath. The one where doctors are supposed to uphold saving lives and helping patients with illnesses? The reason we ask is because somewhere along the lines, we as a modern society have strayed from the calling. At least from a patient perspective, it’s difficult enough to find a doctor that won’t try to shoosh you out of the room within record time, even though you’ve been waiting in the waiting room for thirty minutes to an hour.

[Read more →]

Lazarus microbe’s secret found

Sometimes you wonder if science fiction isn’t just predicting the future. With Halloween coming up, the ghost and goblin movies are back. Along with zombie movies. So what? Fake stuff right?
Maybe not. In the latest issue of the science journal Nature, there has been a publication by a team in France studying Deinococcus radiodurans. Deinococcus radiodurans is a bacterium that evolved in the desert that basically went down the other end of evolutionary path. Instead of dividing and spreading as quickly as possible, the bacterium evolved into a very robust and hardy cell structure.

[Read more →]

Wake Forest Medical finds cure to cancer within mice

Wake Forest Medical researchers found a mouse three years ago that would fight off any cancerous cells no matter what they tried to give it. Now, they’ve found that the white blood cells from the descendents of that one mouse, can be injected into ordinary mice and have the diseases completely wiped out.
While this is not something that has progressed to human beings yet, researchers are working to find out what makes cancer-fighting mechanism work in hopes that one day, human beings will be able to fight off the disease the same way the mice do.
Via WESH

Conservatives against cervical cancer vaccine

Battles raging on the cervical cancer front. Apparently the vaccine is 100% effective against two of the most common HPV strains. Conservatives are claiming that making this a mandatory vaccine would increase the likelihood that teens would be having more sexual intercourse.
LUX’s view on this? It’s CERVICAL cancer. So would you not allow a breast cancer vaccine because that might lead to more topless showings at collegiate spring breaks?
The reality here is that the teens that will want to have sex, will have sex. Period. It’s been that way for ages, and will continue to be. Why? Call it rebellion, call it whatever, but most people have done things they’d rather not talk about. If so, what is the greater good? We at LUX would imagine stopping cervical cancer would be a bit more important than the educational stand. Like they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. But you can make sure that the horse doesn’t die from drinking algae contaminated water, by pre-filtering it. Same deal.
Via SFGate

Folding proteins to solve medical mysteries

I was part of a folding team in college because I ran my computers full time (all five my dorm room) and it was for a good cause. It seemed like years ago.
Just recently, Hack-a-day posted that they had a folding team going and interested persons should apply. I thought, what the heck and joined up again.
[email protected] is a Stanford University project:

What does [email protected] do? [email protected] is a distributed computing project which studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. We use novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, to simulate timescales thousands to millions of times longer than previously achieved. This has allowed us to simulate folding for the first time, and to now direct our approach to examine folding related disease.

So what’s the basic concept? You take your computer and run it as a workhorse when you’re not actually using it. Since I have multiple computers running all the time, I always have spare processor power to give. You can have it only run when you’re not using the computer, or have it run as a screensaver. Either way, every little calculation helps.
My team is slowly marching up the ranks and if you’re looking hard, you can probably find me in the midst of things. Help solve some of medicine’s mysteries by joining this massive brute force distributed computing movement.

VR Goggles Heal Scars of War

Technology is wonderful, but it’s even better when you know that something that usually isn’t used for helping soldiers, is effective.
BoingBoing – Xeni Jardin, “Snip from a story I filed for today’s Wired News about a new virtual reality system designed for treating Iraq vets suffering from acute combat stress.”
From what little I know about PTSD, this is a tremendously good thing.
BoingBoing < Wired

Sonosite MicroMaxx

Disclaimer: I’m related to a chief executive for Sonosite and having seen Sonosite grow from a handheld division of another corporation to what it is now. All opinions are my own.
Sonosite has just released their MicroMaxx, a lightweight, portable ultrasound device that is supposed to transition between the handheld devices that they currently carry and current cart-based systems that are bulky, but have all the greatest features. Among the features are: 12 second bootup, optimized power design, and the ability to edge detect and measure arterial walls for analysis on cardiovascular risk.
I have personally seen Sonosite grow up from a spinoff from Advanced Technology Laboratories’s handheld division to what it is now. The ideas are very sound and their minaturization of medical instruments can only spell out the advancements in future technologies. Just as laptops are soon to outgrow desktops, medical instruments such as these will provide a portable solution for a fast paced biotechnology era.
I hope to continue to see great technology arise from this corporation.
Via Engadget

[Read more →]