Medicine

The Corpus Callosum

Category archives for Medicine

National Geographic reports: A new strain of hypervirulent, deadly Cryptococcus gattii fungus has been discovered in the United States, a new study says. The outbreak has already killed six people in Oregon, and it will likely creep into northern California and possibly farther, experts say… Cryptococcus infections in humans are hardly new.  And so far,…

This is a pretty neat idea.  This technology, still under development, promises to enable the printing of skin grafts.  It uses a technology similar to inkjet printers: Inkjet Cell Fabricator Prints Healing Flesh Directly Onto Wounds Popular Science By Stuart Fox 04.09.2010 As if fabricating a new heart from scratch wasn’t impressive enough, the doctors…

I saw this headline on Google Fast Flip, and had to read it.  I’m always game for an anti-big-pharma story: even though I appreciate their efforts to relieve suffering, I do like to take notice of their shadier practices. Is Glaxo’s Charity Really Theft? Jan 20 2010, 5:30 pm by Daniel Indiviglio Is there a…

Those of us who watch the drug development pipeline have been pining for a nonaddictive anti-anxiety drug.  Occasionally there are glimmers of hope.  One candidate is emapunil, aka XBD-173 or AC-5216.  In 2004, there was an article in the British Journal of Pharmacology about this.  That article described promising findings, in rats and mice.  Now,…

When Trucks Stop, Hospitals Stop

One of the more enlightening and worrisome articles I read recently was The Perils of Efficiency, by James Surowiecki.  The article was a discussion of the practical effects of the mathematical concept, that you can only optimize one variable in an complex system.  So if you optimize for lowest cost per unit of production, you…

Good News for Coffee Drinkers

Actually, this is only good news for coffee drinkers who also have late-stage hepatitis C.  A recent study in Hepatology showed a possible benefit to coffee consumption in patients with hepatitis C, First I will show the treatment of the study as shown in the popular press, then the actual journal article.   Coffee Could…

General Fatigue of the Insane?

This is about chronic fatigue syndrome and the association with XMRV.  I apologize in advance for the provocative title, and the subsequent gratuitous references to the Nobel Prize, but there is a point to this. Take a look at this summary of the “old-fashioned disease”: During the nineteenth century general paresis of the insane emerged…

The topic of neural enhancement has created controversy.  This came to wide attention in late 2007, upon the publication of various articles in Nature, as noted by  Shelley Batts, Janet Stemwedel, David Dobbs, Daniel MacArthur, Scicurious and others.  But so far as I know, no esteemed medical organization has taken a position on the subject. …

This is from an open-access article in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry: an article featuring a debate about the relevance of randomized, controlled trials to clinical practice.  It is mostly about research on psychotherapy, but with some treatment of psychopharmacology. Are Randomized Controlled Trials Relevant to Clinical Practice? Can J Psychiatry. 2009;54(9):637-643. Steven D Hollon,…

Air Pollution and Appendicitis

This is an odd one.  A study of 5191 adults showed an association between air pollution and attacks of acute appendicitis. Effect of ambient air pollution on the incidence of appendicitis CMAJ 10.1503/cmaj.082068 Published online ahead of print October 5, 2009 Abstract Background: The pathogenesis of appendicitis is unclear. We evaluated whether exposure to air…