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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

Sniffing out Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to progressive brain cell death and extensive loss of motor function. Despite much research being conducted on this disease, there are no definitive diagnostic tests currently available. Now, researchers report the identification of compounds that make up the signature odor of the disease with the help an individual who can detect Parkinson’s through smell. They report their findings in ACS Central Science.


By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - Full Story

The Great Tragedy of a Damaged Brain at Birth

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says that all Canadians receive justice. The U.S. Constitution states that “All men are created Equal”. But some children are born who do not receive justice. Nor will they ever be equal. It’s because they have damaged brains at birth, due to mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Recently, in Canada, there was an outpouring of public anger when police removed a newborn baby from her indigenous mother. I have no knowledge of whether this action was justified. Authorities claim that the woman was drunk when admitted to hospital. Others deny this.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, March 18, 2019 - Full Story

Israel’s hospitals incubate products for a healthier world

Israel’s hospitals incubate products for a healthier worldIsraeli hospitals aren’t only hubs of healing; they’re also emerging as global hubs of innovation.

What’s driving this trend? Three factors unique to Israel: An aggressive problem-solving approach, a robust innovation infrastructure, and a centralized, digitized healthcare system possessing 25 years of data from cradle-to-grave electronic medical records.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - Full Story

Americans are in no mood for another health care upheaval

Americans are in no mood for another health care upheavalPAEONIAN SPRINGS, Virginia — Conservatives and progressives agree that everyone should be able to get health insurance and have access to quality health care.  But the divide over how to accomplish that goal is wide and deep.

Progressives believe the government should make decisions about allocation of the resources in our health sector while conservatives believe these decisions should be controlled by individuals and families.

By Grace-Marie Turner - Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - Full Story

Breast milk as drug-delivery device

Breast milk as drug-delivery deviceTreating sick babies with engineered breast milk could someday be a reality, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. Modified cells in the liquid could potentially deliver vaccines, fix birth defects or provide proteins that some babies can’t make on their own.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, March 7, 2019 - Full Story

Seawater bacteria provides leads to fight melanoma

Seawater bacteria provides leads to fight melanomaMalignant melanoma can be a particularly dangerous form of cancer, and more therapeutic options are needed. Now, researchers report in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters that a bacteria from seawater has inspired promising leads for an entirely new way to treat the disease.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, March 7, 2019 - Full Story

Healthier dairy products with bacterial films and nanofiber membranes

Healthier dairy products with bacterial films and nanofiber membranesBacterial biofilms are typically the target of heavy-duty cleaning regimens, but these films aren’t always bad news. In fact, growing them on thin sheets of nanofibers is a great way to produce a fermented milk product that can deliver hardy probiotics to the digestive tract, according to research just published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, March 7, 2019 - Full Story

Small ‘microdoses’ of psychedelic drugs could treat depression and anxiety

Small ‘microdoses’ of psychedelic drugs could treat depression and anxietyLava lamps, tambourines and, of course, psychedelic drugs were hallmarks of the 1960s. Psychedelic drugs can make people euphoric, though users can also become extremely anxious and agitated. But that’s at a high dose. Now, in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, researchers report one of the first peer-reviewed studies on a new “microdose” psychedelic treatment regimen. In rats, the treatment appears to relieve anxiety and depression without the typical negative effects of the drugs.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - Full Story

Spinal Decompression?  Or Back to Rum or Chardonnay?

Spinal Decompression?  Or Back to Rum or Chardonnay?Can stretching spinal vertebrae ease lower back and neck pain? Can it circumvent surgery? It’s a question I’ve researched for several years as I suffer from spinal pain. The first spinal clinic I sought looked at my neck MRI’s and concluded that stretching the spine was too dangerous at my age. But recently another doctor agreed to treatment. So, was this therapy more successful than a 5 o’clock rum, or glass of Chardonnay?

After the cold and flu, spinal pain is the number one cause of work absence. Studies show that up to 85 percent of the North American population will suffer from back or neck pain at some time during their lives. Often it’s due to a ruptured spinal disc that sends pain down the leg and may cause numbness. Spinal surgery is also the second leading surgical procedure and costs our health care system billions of dollars. Unfortunately, it’s not always successful.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, March 4, 2019 - Full Story

Asthma-causing blood cells could help fight colon cancer

A surprising new study from Israel finds that malignant colorectal cancer cells can be eliminated with eosinophils — white blood cells that originate in bone marrow and may once have killed off intestinal parasites, but which today are responsible for chronic asthma and allergies.

The research, published in Cancer Immunology Research on January 21, was led by Prof. Ariel Munitz of the Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine department of microbiology and clinical immunology and conducted by his doctoral student Hadar Reichman, in collaboration with colleagues in Tel Aviv Medical Center’s gastroenterology department.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - Full Story

Israeli company plans to make insulin injections obsolete

Modern medicine sometimes really is a miracle, with many illnesses and conditions that in the past spelled sure death now treatable and curable. Not only is medicine effective, but in recent years it’s becoming more convenient, futuristic and innovative.

So why is it that many people still need to inject themselves every day to stay alive?

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - Full Story

Laughter Is Good Medicine

Laughter Is Good MedicineYears ago I told this story. A Russian member of the Russian Ski patrol arrived home after several months on duty. A TV interviewer asked, “What do you do first after being away so long?” He replied, “I make love to my wife”. “Yes, but what do you do next?”  “I make love to my wife again”. Frustrated, the interviewer continued, “but then what do you do?” “Oh, I take off my skis”.

Then, another famous skier boasted, “I’m so fast on the ski hill that I could make love on the way down and still win the race”.

At this point readers may be saying, “Gifford-Jones, if you plan to change careers and become a comedian, don’t sell the farm”!! I won’t, but we desperately need laughter these days. And it’s always been good medicine.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, February 25, 2019 - Full Story

Catholic Medical Association supports Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill”

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Catholic Medical Association today issued its full support of Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” which is set to be voted on in the near future. 

Once passed, the “Heartbeat Bill” will ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around 6-8 weeks into a pregnancy.

“In medicine, we place a special emphasis on the heartbeat. At this early stage of development, the heartbeat is indicative of human life,” said CMA’s Dr. Ashley Fernandes.

By Catholic Medical Association - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - Full Story

Powering a pacemaker with a patient’s heartbeat

Powering a pacemaker with a patient's heartbeatImplantable pacemakers have without doubt altered modern medicine, saving countless lives by regulating heart rhythm. But they have one serious shortcoming: Their batteries last only five to 12 years, at which point they have to be replaced surgically. Now, researchers have surmounted this issue by designing a pacemaker powered by the energy of heartbeats, according to a report in ACS Nano. The device was successfully tested in pigs, which have a similar physiology to humans.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - Full Story

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome is the most common birth defect, occurring once in every 700 births. However, traditional non-invasive prenatal tests for the condition are unreliable or carry risks for the mother and fetus. Now, researchers have developed a sensitive new biosensor that could someday be used to detect fetal Down syndrome DNA in pregnant women’s blood. They report their results in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - Full Story

This simple device could save your life

This simple device could save your lifeThe 1940s inflatable anti-gravity suit kept fighter pilots from losing consciousness by preventing blood from pooling in their legs. That invention inspired medical anti-shock trousers used in the 1950s to 1970s to stabilize hemorrhagic shock patients by shifting blood from their legs to their core organs.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - Full Story

New Usask treatment for bone cancer which hits young people—and dogs

SASKATOON – Teenagers and pet dogs stand to benefit from a novel therapy for bone cancer being developed at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Human and veterinary cancer specialists at USask have been awarded $765,000 in federal funding to develop a new treatment for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that particularly affects teenagers and under-25 year olds. It is also a common cause of death in large-breed dogs, such as Newfoundlands.

“In teenagers and young adults, the survival rates have not improved for 25 years. One of our goals is to improve this,” said Ekaterina Dadachova, who holds the Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation Chair in Radiopharmacy, and is also leading the research along with pathologist Maruti Uppalapati.

By News on the Net - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - Full Story

Will Dr. AI Eventually Be Your Family Physician?

Will Dr. AI Eventually Be Your Family Physician?How much will artificial intelligence (AI) play in the future when you require medical care? Today, millions are being spent to produce cars that drive by themselves. Will the same be spent on Dr. AI, your family doctor?

Ironically, this column wasn’t triggered by reading a medical report. Rather, it originates from an article written by Matt Harrison, Contributing Editor of the Park Avenue Digest, an economic news publication.

Harrison writes that we’re getting closer to seeing a robotic doctor than one would think. For instance, the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York already has a robot able to pick up pneumonia in chest X-rays, with the final diagnosis made by a human doctor. But I wonder how long this will last?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, February 18, 2019 - Full Story

Hibernating hamsters could provide new clues to Alzheimer’s disease

Hibernating hamsters could provide new clues to Alzheimer's disease
Syrian hamsters are golden-haired rodents often kept as house pets. Cold and darkness can cause the animals to hibernate for 3-4 days at a time, interspersed with short periods of activity. Surprisingly, the hibernation spurts of these cute, furry creatures could hold clues to better treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a recent study in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - Full Story

Darling, a Little Chocolate for a Little Amour?

Darling, a Little Chocolate for a Little Amour?Hmm, should I order flowers, maybe consider a romantic candlelight dinner, or a box of chocolates? This year, chocolate wins after reading an article from the highly respected Nutrition department at Tuft’s University. So, what’s good and what’s questionable about chocolate on Valentine’s day?

I believe readers will agree that we need a lot more love in this troubled world. The Aztec Indians thought so too. They considered chocolate an aphrodisiac.  The story goes that Montezuma consumed a huge chocolate drink before visiting his harem.   

Alas, this is more fiction than science. A chemical called phenylethylamine is present in chocolate and does play a small part in emotional arousal. But studies show that eating chocolate does not increase the level of this chemical in the brain.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Thursday, February 14, 2019 - Full Story