Pure Pedantry

Archives for March, 2009

Nature Clinical Practice Neurology has a salient article on ethics and medicine. The article asks the question: is it ethical to confront an individual with whom you do not have an official doctor-patient relationship, if you think they have a medical problem? Should you or should you not tell them if you see a medical…

It’s amazing what the kids are up to these days. This one comes live from Mount Sinai (my present educational residence). Hubner et al., publishing in Science, use an infectious, fluorescent strain of HIV to watch the virus move from one cell to another. Their results are fascinating and may help us develop better ways…

Sex and Attention

What you think about during sex matters. A guy who doesn’t want to, ahem, proceed too quickly will think of baseball or something non-sex related. A girl who wants to proceed more quickly might focus on surrounding milieu of a loving environment. These are stereotypes, I know, but the fact that we have them does…

Numerous studies have attempted to correlate general intelligence with different anatomical measures. (You might even argue that the phrenologists were working in this vein.) Likewise many studies have attempted to relate intelligence to the function of different brain regions — using techniques like fMRI or PET scanning. However, relatively few studies have attempted to correlate…

Go Blonde with Fungus

Wired Science reports on a way to bleach your hair without all issues of…you know…turning it so stiff and destroyed that it resembles a donkey tail. All you women of the world itching to turn blonde, take note. The system involves an enzyme from forest fungus. Which is good somehow. Forest fungus on your hair…

I caught this interesting sentence over at Marginal Revolution: as consumption approaches satiation, workers reduce their hours of work to prevent themselves from actually reaching satiation. More technically, as workers approach satiation, their labor supply curves start to “bend backwards.” The result is that rising labor demand stemming from rising productivity raises wages yet reduces…

I know this will be of interesting for about 1 in a hundred of you, but there is a REALLY good review of hippocampal and parahippocampal region connectivity in April’s Nature Review Neuroscience. Of special interest, there is an interactive .pdf in the supplementary information where you can identify the connections between one region to…

I have been reading more on the Natasha Richardson story overnight, and it appears the story has moved into blame-placing mode. (For the original discussion of the story, read this.) Possible places to lay the blame (that I have read thus far): The absence of mandatory helmet laws Canadian medicine’s failure to administer rapid CTs…

So I am way behind the news cycle on this, but I wanted to comment briefly on actress Natasha Richardson’s death as a result of an epidural hematoma. From everything I read, she seemed like a very good actress, a very decent woman, and an excellent wife and mother, so I was saddened to read…

Reversible Dementia in the Elderly

The New Old Age blog at the NYTimes — hadn’t read it before, but I like it — has a post about reversible causes of cognitive decline in the elderly. I think they make a really good point: there are reversible causes to senility. Not all mental decline in the elderly is “normal” and certainly…