Medicine

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Category archives for Medicine

Safety: Life or Death

Recognizing the drawbacks of uranium reactors, Mike the Mad Biologist explains that using thorium for nuclear fuel would produce safer energy. Uranium was originally established as the element of choice “since it would yield plutonium which could be used to build nukes,” but thorium reactions produce less waste, less radioactivity, and no leftovers for warheads.…

Virus Season

As we shiver in the northern hemisphere, holiday cheer isn’t the only thing in the air—there are also flu, cold, and other contenders just waiting to hit a mucous membrane. Revere questions H1N1 terminology on Effect Measure, citing “10,000 deaths, 47 million infections and over 200,000 hospitalizations” caused by the virus, with the “heart of…

President Obama declared the swine flu epidemic a national emergency on Saturday, after more than 1,000 US deaths–over 100 of them children–were confirmed as linked to the virus. The Centers for Disease Control report that this is purely a step towards preparedness, but many are wondering how effective this measure will be in preventing the…

In the use of immunopharmacotherapy to treat drug abuse, antigenic molecules are hitched to molecules of the drug to stimulate a future immune response against the drug itself; as DrugMonkey reported this week, a recently published paper offers hopeful evidence that it could be a potentially effective treatment against cocaine addiction, though he cautioned, “It…

The Buzz: Nobel Prizes 2009

Announcement of the 2009 Nobel Prize winners began Monday morning with the prize in Physiology or Medicine. The prize was shared between two American and one Australian-American researchers who identified a vital mechanism in genetic operations of cells–Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, and Jack Szostak. The trio was honored for their discovery of the protective relationship…

The Buzz: Even More Prozac Nation

As David Dobbs reports on Neuron Culture, the use of antidepressants in the US has nearly doubled in the last decade. David agrees with fellow neuroblogger Neuroskeptic in attributing the increase to a broadened definition of depression. But if Americans are becoming more depressed, there is hope on the other side of the coin as…

Though reported Swine Flu cases have dwindled over the summer months, the Centers for Disease Control warns that a full-blown pandemic is on the horizon as fall inaugurates the 2009-2010 Flu Season, mirroring the progression of the 1918 Spanish Influenza. Now, with the advent of vaccines and medical technologies, as well as improved personal and…

One week ago, physician PalMD of White Coat Underground began to document his day-by-day attempts to reduce his BMI through a combination of diet and exercise. Other ScienceBloggers were quick to jump in: Isis the Scientist, Janet Stemwedel, Bora Zivkovic and BikeMonkey have all offered dietary guidance to PalMD and related their own efforts to…

A recent post by Megan McArdle on her Atlantic blog about the heritability of obesity prompted a discussion on ScienceBlogs about the often confused meaning of heritability. As Razib explains on Gene Expression, “Heritability is the proportion of trait variance within the population explainable by variance of genes.” The more an environment is able to…

As President Obama continues to garner support for his healthcare reform plan, ScienceBloggers are also taking a look at the issues in play. Peter Lipson of White Coat Underground investigates the perception that centralized, salary-based medicine is more efficient than a system based on private practice. Revere of Effect Measure discusses the dangerous tendency to…