Health and Medicine

WhatFinger

When Are Heart Stents Lifesaving? When Not?

When Are Heart Stents Lifesaving? When Not?
Every year over 300,000 North Americans have a stent implanted to increase the flow of blood to heart’s muscle. Stents have been inserted for decades because of cardiologists’ concern that, without a stent, a heart attack may occur. Or, a coronary attack may have already caused angina, due to inadequate blood supply. Now, a study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, reports that some stents are life-saving, while others could have been avoided.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, August 20, 2018

Oral delivery of nanoparticles

Oral delivery of nanoparticlesNanoparticles show great promise as diagnostic tools and drug delivery agents. The tiny particles, which scientists can modify with drugs, dyes or targeting molecules, can travel in the circulation and squeeze through small spaces into cells and tissues. But until now, most nanoparticles had to be injected into the bloodstream because they weren’t absorbed well orally. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have modified nanoparticles to improve their uptake in the gastrointestinal tract.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, August 16, 2018

Marijuana; Did It Cure My Neck Pain?

Marijuana; Did It Cure My Neck Pain?
Is marijuana as good as its reputation for treating painful conditions? Many years ago I suffered a neck injury in Japan which resulted in chronic pain. So I decided to try medical marijuana as painkillers, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and massage have had no effect. So what has happened?

During my first visit to the marijuana clinic I was surprised when asked to provide a urine specimen to prove I was not taking illegal drugs. I’m 94, a doctor, have lots of gray hair, walk with a cane, and was tired after fighting Toronto traffic. So I asked the receptionist, “Do I really look like an addict?” This tack didn’t work. I did as I was told. But what a waste of taxpayer’s money because some people are dishonest!  It’s costing millions.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, August 13, 2018


Ingenious upcycling turns discarded medical device into water filter

NUFiltration’s water recycling technology for greenhouses. Photo courtesy of NUFiltration
Every year across the world, more than 250 million dialysis filters are thrown away after only a single use cleansing a kidney patient’s blood of toxins. What if those filters could be recycled for a new use, wondered Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine Prof. Yoram Lass.

Could a medical filter that can remove even the slightest unwanted particle from human blood also work for, say, water purification?

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Why ‘resilient dyslexics’ have good reading comprehension

Why ‘resilient dyslexics’ have good reading comprehension
Some dyslexics may improve their reading comprehension by baking cakes and playing strategy games rather than more traditional techniques such as learning the sounds of letters and phonological awareness.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New study offers hope of recovery from spinal-cord injury

New study offers hope of recovery from spinal-cord injury
An Israeli study shows great promise for improving the outcome of spinal-cord injuries, which often cause permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions.

In experiments with mice, scientists from Tel Aviv University found that injecting a potent enzyme hours after spinal injury can put the brakes on a cascade of pathological events responsible for neuronal death, such as inflammation and scarring.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New sweet protein holds out hope for diabetics

New sweet protein holds out hope for diabetics
Ninety-nine percent of all fruits in the world derive their sweetness from sugar. But there are a dozen or so fruits that grow along the equatorial belt that contain a sweet protein, rather than a sugar.

What if that protein could be turned into a commercial product? Proteins used as a sweetener would have significant advantage over added sugar: they’re digested by the body just like any other protein in the GI tract, they don’t raise your blood sugar or insulin levels, they steer clear of your liver, don’t burden your kidneys, nor do they affect the microbiome in the same way as sugar.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Placenta barrier-on-a-chip could lead to better understanding of premature births

Placenta barrier-on-a-chip could lead to better understanding of premature births
More than one in 10 babies worldwide are born prematurely, according to the World Health Organization. Now scientists report in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering that they have developed an organ-on-a-chip that could help explain why. The device, which replicates the functions of a key membrane in the placenta, could lead to a better understanding of how bacterial infections can promote preterm delivery. It could also lead to new treatments for this condition.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Prostate Cancer; Updated Advice for the PSA Test

Prostate Cancer; Updated Advice for the PSA Test
What’s a man to do? Equally important, what’s a doctor to advise when the PSA test is reported elevated? Or should men even be screened for this test? During the last 10 years there’s been considerable flip-lopping about it. Now a large study from the United Kingdom, reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association has new recommendations about PSA testing.

First, this shocking finding. The study showed that men who take the PSA test are just as likely to die of prostate cancer as those who do not have the test! Moreover, some men who do take a PSA are exposed to unnecessary treatment and develop complications that are very annoying.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 30, 2018

Cannabidiol: Hope or hype?

Cannabidiol: Hope or hype?
Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major phytochemicals in marijuana, has become a popular ingredient in dietary supplements, beauty products and beverages, with claims that the compound improves health and treats ailments ranging from insomnia to cancer. Although research on CBD is accelerating, medical evidence is still lacking for many of these claims, reports an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, July 26, 2018

Artificial enzymes perform reactions on living cells

Artificial enzymes perform reactions on living cells
Nature has evolved thousands of enzymes to facilitate the many chemical reactions that take place inside organisms to sustain life. Now, researchers have designed artificial enzymes that sit on the surfaces of living cells and drive reactions that could someday target drug therapies to specific organs. They report their results in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, July 26, 2018

A breath test for early-stage Parkinson’s

A breath test for early-stage Parkinson's
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremor, loss of smell and neuropsychiatric problems. However, many people aren’t diagnosed until their disease is well-advanced, which could limit their treatment options. Now, researchers have tested a sensor to detect early-stage Parkinson’s disease from the breath of patients. They report their results in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, July 26, 2018

Smart probes pinpoint cancer cells for precise surgery

Smart probes pinpoint cancer cells for precise surgery
Many cancer patients die not from the primary malignant tumor, but rather the spread of lingering cancer cells to other parts of the body, known as metastasis. The so-called “smart probe” developed by a team of Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers may be able to help surgeons pinpoint cancer cells more precisely, allowing them to guarantee the removal of more cancer cells than ever before.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Long Term Family Doctor Decreases Chance of Death

Long Term Family Doctor Decreases Chance of Death
How important are new tests to diagnose and treat disease? Or improved surgical techniques, speedier emergency care and doctors specializing in various fields of medicine? The fact is that all improvements in medical care make life easier for patients and save lives. But a long overdue English report shows the family doctor (FD) also helps to prolong life.

Sir Denis Pereira Gray, former head of the Royal College of General Practitioners, spear-headed research that analyzed 22 different studies. His conclusion, published in the British Medical Journal, claims that a long-term FD who knows you inside and out decreases the risk of early death by up to 53 percent. So, in this era of heart transplantation, medical advances, and drug therapy, the FD remains the solid bedrock of patient care.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 23, 2018

Children and Grandchildren Headed for Liver transplants

nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Who hasn’t heard of the “Mayflower”, the ship that brought pilgrims to the U.S. in 1620? What is rarely known is that towards the end of that voyage, it was necessary to ration beer, and some pilgrims died as a result. In those days beer was safer to drink than water. It’s still a safe drink when used moderately, but excessive amounts can cause cirrhosis of the liver. And how many know that too much food can also cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in young people, and eventually require a liver transplant?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Thursday, July 19, 2018

A safe and effective way to whiten teeth

A safe and effective way to whiten teeth
In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, everyone wants to have perfect pearly whites. To get a brighter smile, consumers can opt for over the counter teeth-whitening treatments or a trip to the dentist to have their teeth bleached professionally. But both types of treatments can harm teeth. According to an article published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, researchers have now developed a new, less destructive method.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, July 19, 2018

CRISPR’s growing pains

CRISPR gene editing
In the six years since its inception, CRISPR gene editing has experienced ups and downs, from giddy excitement over the technology’s potential to cure genetic diseases to patent disputes, ethical considerations and cancer scares. Despite recent setbacks, companies developing CRISPR therapies are forging ahead, reports an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, July 14, 2018

Cleaning out pollen shells

As allergy season intensifies, many people are cursing pollen – the powdery substance released by plants for reproduction. However, pollen may serve a purpose beyond making new plants and triggering sneezes. In ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, researchers report a new method for cleaning out the insides of pollen grains so that the non-allergenic shells can be used to carry medicines or vaccines into the human body. A video of the process is here.



By American Chemical Society - Friday, July 13, 2018

Doug Ford Is Dead Right, Injection Sites Dead Wrong

Doug Ford
Not all the lunatics are in the asylum. Why? Because federal prison officials are providing needles to prisoners so they can inject themselves with illegal drugs. Now, Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, is being criticized for damning the use of injection sites in prison and in Canadian cities. Condoning drug use is the most illogical way to combat North America’s opioid epidemic. But what else would work?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 9, 2018

Why Did Anthony Bourdain Commit Suicide?

Why Did Anthony Bourdain Commit Suicide?
Albert Camus, the French humanist, wrote, “There is only one true philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” Pliny the Elder had said earlier, “Admit the miseries of our life on earth, suicide is God’s best gift to man.”

But what prompted Anthony Bourdain of TV’s “Parts Unknown” to hang himself? And could medical care have prevented it?

Suicide rates are rising in North America. For instance, among girls 10 to 19 the suicide rate has increased a shocking 70 percent.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 2, 2018

The Greatest Threat to Your Life

Blood clot, Thrombosis, that occurs in the heart, brain or legs
Ask anyone, “What’s the greatest medical risk of dying?” and they’ll answer “Heart attack.” The correct answer is a blood clot (Thrombosis) that occurs in the heart, brain or legs.  Now, a shocking report in the health publication, “LifeExtension”, shows what can happen to our legs when we’re flying at 35,000 feet. So with an aging population, and increased air travel, what can be done to decrease the risk of a blood clot?

Thrombosis can happen anytime and anywhere. But the greatest risk is a long air flight. This is when venous blood pools in the lower leg due to inactivity. But the extent of this threat has surprised researchers. Using ultrasound imaging they detected venous thrombosis in the lower legs in 5 to 7 percent of passengers, whose flights lasted 7 to 8 hours. But without symptoms, passengers were totally unaware of the presence of the thrombosis, or that it could kill them!

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

“But Roosevelt Knows How To Be President!”

But Roosevelt Knows How To Be President!
72 years ago I arrived in Boston. I’d been accepted as a student at The Harvard Medical School. That night a full moon shone on the school’s white marble buildings, an awe-inspiring sight I’ve never forgotten.

I recently returned for a 68th reunion, attended lectures, and as a former student was interviewed by a film crew. At one point the interviewer asked, “What are your thoughts in this robotic age of medicine?”

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, June 18, 2018

Attacking bacteria with shark skin-inspired surfaces

Attacking bacteria with shark skin-inspired surfaces
Sharks are often the subject of TV specials or news stories focusing on their attacks on humans. But scientists are finding that sharks could inspire a new type of surface that would attack bacteria, helping humans instead of hurting them. As reported in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, researchers have designed a coating that is infused with antimicrobial agents and has the patterned diamond-like texture of shark skin.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Inexpensive detector is like ‘Velcro®’ for cancer cells

Inexpensive detector is like 'Velcro®' for cancer cells
Researchers have developed a new type of sensor that acts like Velcro® for prostate cancer cells, sticking them to a modified frosted glass slide, like those used in science classes, so that they can be identified from blood samples. The low-cost method, reported in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, could help doctors better diagnose and monitor the disease.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sensor detects whiff of bad breath

Sensor detects whiff of bad breath
Ever wish you could do a quick “breath check” before an important meeting or a big date? Now researchers, reporting in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, have developed a sensor that detects tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas, the compound responsible for bad breath, in human exhalations.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What Women (and Men) Should Know About HRT

What Women (and Men) Should Know About HRT
The year 2002 was a worrying year for women who were taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to combat troublesome menopausal symptoms.  Bold newspaper headlines reported that a study called The Women’s Health Initiative, conducted by the National Institute of Health, showed an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease and blood clots in the legs and lungs of those taking HRT for longer than five years. It was hardly prime time to be prescribed estrogen. But what are the facts in 2018?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, June 4, 2018

Helping dental retainers and aligners fight off bacteria

Helping dental retainers and aligners fight off bacteria
Clear, plastic aligners have been growing in popularity as alternatives to bulky, metal braces. And once the teeth are straightened, patients graduate to plastic retainers to maintain the perfect smile. But these appliances can become contaminated, so one group is now reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces that they have developed a film to prevent bacteria from growing on them.

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Heart Failure, What You Should Know About Mitochondria

Heart Failure, What You Should Know About Mitochondria
Ask anyone what is the nation’s number one killer and most people will say heart attack. But how many know that congestive heart failure (CHF) is the fastest growing cause of heart disease in North America? Why is this happening? And why are mitochondria of vital importance, particularly as we all grow older?

Congestive Heart Failure occurs for several reasons. A coronary attack may have destroyed cardiac muscle. Or hypertension over a period of years has weakened it. Or obesity and diabetes has resulted in hardening of coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to the heart. So, in addition to aging, a series of events may injure the heart. As the “Gifford-Jones Law” states, one problem leads to another and another.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 21, 2018

Diagnosing breast cancer with an imaging pill

Diagnosing breast cancer with an imaging pill
For women, mammograms are a sometimes uncomfortable, but necessary, annual ritual. But this procedure doesn’t always provide accurate results, and it exposes women to X-rays. In a study appearing in ACS’ journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, scientists report that they have developed a non-invasive “disease screening pill” that can make cancerous tumors light up when exposed to near-infrared light in mice without using radiation.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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