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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

“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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

Why Humans Get Kidney Stones and Gorillas Rarely

Why Humans Get Kidney Stones and Gorillas Rarely
Do large doses of vitamin C increase the risk of kidney stones? It’s a question I’m often asked, having reported the medical value of vitamin C in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). So is this concern fact or fiction? Or does vitamin C, by making acid urine, combine with calcium and oxalate to form stones?

I asked Dr. Linus Pauling this question. Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, had for years taken 20,000 milligrams (mgs) of vitamin C daily. He said, “Not a single case had been reported in medical literature. But some people who had a tendency to form oxalate stones might do so while taking large amounts of vitamin C, or those with a rare genetic problem.”

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 14, 2018 - Full Story

Does Melatonin Do Anything? (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON—Melatonin is a widely used supplement. Many people turn to the hormone hoping it will improve their sleep, but do claims of its efficacy have any merit? Clinical evidence suggests that the benefits of melatonin are modest, and it may not help everyone. And there’s little to stop supplement makers from selling you snake oil. Reactions explains the chemistry of this popular sleep aid:



By American Chemical Society - Thursday, May 10, 2018 - Full Story

Red Sea fungus yields leads for new epilepsy drugs

Red Sea fungus yields leads for new epilepsy drugs
New treatments for epilepsy are sorely needed because current medications don’t work for many people with the disease. To find new leads, researchers have now turned to the sea — a source of unique natural products that have been largely untapped for prospective drugs. The scientists report in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience that two metabolites produced by a fungus from the Red Sea look promising.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - Full Story

Coaxing the immune system to fight cancer

Coaxing the immune system to fight cancer
Immuno therapy was once the black sheep of cancer research. Originally conceived over a century ago, it aims to stimulate a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. That’s a very different approach than chemotherapy, which essentially poisons tumors.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - Full Story

Nutmeg’s hidden power: Helping the liver

Nutmeg's hidden power: Helping the liver, Nutmeg prevents damage to the liver
Smelling nutmeg evokes images of fall, pumpkin pie and hot apple cider. But the spice has been used for years in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gastrointestinal illnesses. Now one group reports in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research that they have figured out how nutmeg helps other organs, specifically the liver.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - Full Story