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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

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

Flaws In Body Mass Index

Flaws In Body Mass IndexBody Mass Index (BMI) is a metric used for measuring health. It’s calculated by dividing a person’ weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s height in meters. If you prefer to use English units, it’s your weight in pounds divided by the square of your height in inches, then multiplied by 703.

BMI doesn’t scale well. A tall man with the exact same build and body composition as a shorter man will have a higher BMI. Secondly, the measure ignores variation in body shapes. Some people are slender, others are stocky. Moreover, people carry fat in different places. Subcutaneous fat just below the skin is generally not associated with a steep rise in mortality, while abdominal fat is. Finally, BMI does not differentiate between fat and muscle mass. This glaring drawback means that many muscular athletes are considered overweight, or even obese. 1

By Jack Dini - Sunday, February 10, 2019 - Full Story

Micromotors deliver oral vaccines

Vaccines have saved millions of lives, but nobody likes getting a shot. That’s why scientists are trying to develop oral vaccines for infectious diseases. But to be effective, the vaccine must survive digestion and reach immune cells within the intestinal wall. Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Nano Letters have developed oral vaccines powered by micromotors that target the mucus layer of the intestine.

By American Chemical Society - Friday, February 8, 2019 - Full Story

New hope for pediatric burn scars using Israeli lasers

New hope for pediatric burn scars using Israeli lasersMira from Jerusalem was severely burned in a bus fire when she was seven. But despite the loss of an eye, an arm, both ears and most of one foot, six years later Mira is not only alive but smiling.

Recently she became the first patient to be treated in the I-PEARLS (Israel Pediatric Aesthetic and Reconstructive Laser Surgery) Center of Excellence at Sheba Medical Center under the direction of world-renowned burn specialists Josef Haik and Arie Orenstein.

One of few of its kind anywhere and the first in the Middle East, the pediatric center uses Israeli-developed lasers including carbon dioxide (CO2) ablative lasers to safely and effectively reduce the devastating impact of scars in burned children like Mira, regardless of their ability to pay.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - Full Story

Too High to Drive on Less Than One Joint

Too High to Drive on Less Than One JointWarren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors has sound advice for those who want to become rich.  He counsels, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” This sage advice also applies to many aspects of life. For one, it applies to a recent report in the Canadian Automobile Association Magazine (CAAM), for those who believe they can use marijuana and drive safely. And what should you know about Bill-C 46?

Today, every 50 minutes someone in North America dies in a car accident due to alcohol consumption. And in these fatalities, 30 percent of drunk drivers are between 21 and 24 years of age.

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

Could an immunotherapy treatment from Israel cure cancer?

Ten years ago, Dr. Michael Har-Noy, founder and CEO of a Jerusalem-based startup developing an immunotherapy treatment that could potentially cure cancer, lamented that the fight against the dreaded disease “is a battle we are losing.” Today, Har-Noy’s company is getting closer to turning the tide.

 

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - Full Story

USask discovery may help improve cystic fibrosis treatment

SASKATOON – A University of Saskatchewan (USask) medical research team has made a ground-breaking finding with potential to lead to more effective, longer-lasting and better-tolerated treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF).

“Though we’re still at an early stage for developing new treatments, this is a major discovery of considerable potential relevance to CF patients,” said Dr. Juan Ianowski (PhD), a physiologist at the USask College of Medicine and senior author of a paper on the finding published today in the online Nature Research journal Scientific Reports.

By News on the Net University of Saskatchewan- Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Full Story

USask research turning ethanol waste into Alzheimer’s meds, industrial products

SASKATOON – A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team’s quest to extract protein from more than a billion litres of annually produced wastewater (called thin stillage) at Saskatchewan’s ethanol plants has yielded something far more valuable—a compound used in many countries to slow cognition loss in Alzheimer’s patients.

That compound is glyceryl phosphoryl choline (GPC) which is sold as a pharmaceutical drug (choline alfoscerate) for Alzheimer’s patients in Korea, Russia and some eastern European and South American countries, and as a cognition enhancer (nootropic) in North America.

By News on the Net -- University of Saskatchewan- Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Full Story

Fidget spinner as centrifuge separates blood plasma (video)

Fidget spinner as centrifuge separates blood plasma (video)Some people use fidget spinners –– flat, multi-lobed toys with a ball bearing at the center –– to diffuse nervous energy or whirl away stress. Now, researchers have found a surprising use for the toys: separating blood plasma for diagnostic tests. The new approach, reported in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, could be useful for medical applications in regions of the world that lack electricity and other resources. Watch a video of the spinner in action here.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Full Story

Coming soon: A blood test for Alzheimer’s disease?

People with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), such as cognitive difficulties, behavior changes and mood swings, may wait months or even years to get a definitive diagnosis. That’s because doctors lack a simple, accurate and inexpensive test for it. But according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, researchers are getting much closer to developing the elusive blood test for AD.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Full Story

Blister fluid could help diagnose burn severity

Severe burns can leave physical and psychological scars, especially in children. When a burn patient enters the clinic, doctors use factors such as the depth and size of the burn, as well as the time required for skin healing––or re-epithelialization––to determine the best course of treatment. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research have found another, possibly more accurate way to classify burn severity: analyzing proteins in blister fluid.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Full Story

Dry-cured ham bones –– a source of heart-healthy peptides?

Drinking bone broth is a recent diet fad that proponents claim fights inflammation, eases joint pain and promotes gut health. Simmering animal bones in water releases collagen and other proteins into the broth that may have health benefits, although more research is needed to validate these claims. Now, a new study in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that ham bones contain peptides that could have cardioprotective effects.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Full Story

Capturing chemotherapy drugs before they can cause side effects

Capturing chemotherapy drugs before they can cause side effects
Although chemotherapy can kill cancer cells very effectively, healthy cells also suffer. If doctors could remove excess chemotherapy drugs from a patient’s bloodstream after the medicines have done their job, they might reduce side effects such as hair loss and nausea. Now, researchers have developed a 3D-printed device that absorbs excess chemo drugs before they spread throughout the body. They report their results in ACS Central Science.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Full Story

Study reveals way to activate immune system against cancer

  Study reveals way to activate immune system against cancer
‘Activating’ the immune system could prove promising for the treatment of lung cancer. Image by create jobs 51 via shutterstock.com

Researchers from Harvard University and Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have revealed a new mechanism for activating the immune system against cancer cells, a discovery that could aid the treatment of lung and skin cancer.

 

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - Full Story

Expand Pharmacist Roles to Reduce ER Visits

Expand Pharmacist Roles to Reduce ER Visits
As I have recently experienced during a recent ER visit in northern Virginia, many cases presenting themselves are cases of sniffles of illegal aliens and their children who use the ER as their primary physician because ER visits are free to them, paid for by the U.S. taxpayers. 

A seven-year study just released on January 10, 2019, by the University of Waterloo in Canada found that pharmacists could dramatically reduce ER visits by “incorporating them with an expanded scope into the community or hospital emergency departments,” thus reducing the overcrowding of emergency rooms (ERs).

By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - Full Story

Preventing Deaths from Influenza

Preventing Deaths from Influenza, Vitamin C daily, Medi-C Plus
Death from influenza is always tragic. But it is particularly so when it occurs at a young age. This year an increasing number of influenza cases is being seen in emergency centers. And, as usual, thousands of North Americans will die from this seasonal disease. But are some dying needlessly?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. reports that, for the first time in 13 years, every state reports an increase in influenza caused by an aggressive virus.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, January 14, 2019 - Full Story

Alpha radiation startup eliminates 70% of cancerous tumors

Alpha radiation startup eliminates 70% of cancerous tumors
Alpha Tau is working toward commercializing its alpha radiation therapy technology to treat malignant tumors. Photo: courtesy

A breakthrough Israeli technology that eliminates cancerous tumors in 70 percent of patients was nearly lost in bureaucracy and university politics.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - Full Story

Dr. Sydney Bush; Why Not the Nobel Prize?

What a sad day for me! I should also add, for the world. I have just learned that Dr. Sydney Bush has died. During my 43 years of writing this column I have never devoted a memoriam to a colleague. But one is needed for Dr. Sydney Bush. In part, I’ll miss his presence. But more important, his scientific discovery should have been awarded the Nobel Prize. And it could yet save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease.

Ten years ago I learned that Dr. Sydney Bush, an English researcher, claimed he had made a huge scientific discovery. But I questioned its validity. So I travelled to England to interview him and spent several days at his laboratory.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, January 7, 2019 - Full Story

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