medicine

created 2 years ago

Dr. X is a dad. Appropriately – boringly – at 4:37 p.m. on a national holiday, he is lighting a charcoal grill, about to grab a pair of tongs with one hand and a beer with the other
Somewhat less conventionally, two hours ago, he was escorting a woman around his yard, helping her walk off a large dose of MDMA.
This would be psychedelic-assisted therapy, the not-new but increasingly popular practice of administering psychotropic substances to treat a wide range of physical, psychological and psycho-spiritual concerns.
She'd been skeptical going in, but after it was over, Dr. X says, "She was so angry that it was illegal."
"I'm seeing that consciousness correlates to disease," he says. "Every disease." Narcolepsy. Cataplexy. Crohn's. Diabetes – one patient's psychedelic therapy preceded a 30 percent reduction in fasting blood-sugar levels.
www.rollingstone.com
University of Michigan researchers reported in a 2014 study that infections – both those acquired inside and outside hospitals – would replace heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in hospitals if the count was performed by looking at patients’ medical billing records, which show what they were being treated for, rather than death certificates.
California does not track deaths from hospital-acquired infections. And unlike two dozen other states, California does not require hospitals to report when patients are sickened by the rare, lethal superbug that afflicted McMullen, raising questions about whether health officials are doing enough to stop its spread.
www.latimes.com
But even as some companies push back against federal agencies’ reach — contesting which rules, if any, apply to their work — there’s now recognition that the government can be a powerful ally rather than a brake on progress. And its stamp of approval can take firms from being worth multimillions to multibillions.
Given the super-hot field, the pressure to be first remains intense, however. Nearly 40 companies are working there, according to a research report by Piper Jaffray analysts William Quirk and Alexander Nowak, who valued the U.S. market alone at $32.6 billion a year. Liquid biopsies, they noted, could “revolutionize” cancer, transplant and prenatal care.
www.washingtonpost.com
At the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Fredrik Lanner is preparing to edit genes in human embryos. It’s the kind of research that sparked an international frenzy in April last year, when a Chinese team revealed that it had done the world’s first such experiments.
Last December, an international summit of scientists and ethicists declared that gene editing should not be done in human embryos that are intended for use in establishing a pregnancy—but it endorsed basic research.
Evan Snyder, a stem-cell scientist at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California, says that he doesn’t know of anyone in the United States conducting human embryo editing. But he thinks that US scientists will inevitably take on such research, although federal funding of research on human embryos and germline modification is prohibited. It is important for such research to go forward, Snyder adds, to determine whether technical hurdles would prevent clinical applications.
www.scientificamerican.com
The device performed medical tests, including blood and urine, within minutes for 1/100th of what we pay in the U.S. And it integrated into a patient management and AI-based diagnosis system designed for use by minimally-trained front-line health workers. In the one hour that I was there, I witnessed a woman’s life possibly having been saved.
After being asked her name and address, she was taken to see a physician who reviewed her medical history, asked several questions, and ordered a series of tests including blood and urine. These tests revealed that her fetus was healthy but Kaur had dangerously low hemoglobin and blood pressure levels. The physician, Alka Choudhry, ordered an ambulance to take her to a nearby hospital.
All of this, including the medical tests, happened in 15 minutes. The entire process was automated — from check-in, to retrieval of medical records, to testing and analysis and ambulance dispatch. The hospital also received Kaur’s medical records electronically. There was no paperwork filled out, no bills sent to the patient or insurance company, no delay of any kind. Yes, it was all free.
The Swasthya Slate costs only $600. It the size of a cake tin and performs 33 common medical tests including blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, blood hemoglobin, urine protein and glucose. It also tests for diseases such as malaria, dengue, hepatitis, HIV, and typhoid. Each test only takes a minute or two and the device uploads its data to a cloud-based medical-record management system that can be accessed by the patient.
techcrunch.com
TRENTON, N.J. –  Stepping into the furor over eye-popping price spikes for old generic medicines, a maker of compounded drugs will begin selling $1 doses of Daraprim, whose price recently was jacked up to $750 per pill by Turing Pharmaceuticals.
foxnews.com
The surgery took place in August at the NYU Langone Medical Center. The patient, 41-year-old Patrick Hardison, is still undergoing physical therapy at the hospital but plans to return home to Senatobia, Mississippi, in time for Thanksgiving.
The surgery has paved the way for him to regain normal vision, and in an interview last week he said that will let him accomplish a major goal: "I'll start driving again."
The transplant extends from the top of the head, over Hardison's skull and down to the collarbones in front; in back, it reaches far enough down that only a tiny patch of Hardison's original hair remains — its color matched by the dark blond hair growing on his new scalp. The transplant includes both ears.
Hardison was burned Sept. 5, 2001, in Senatobia in northwestern Mississippi. A 27-year-old father of three at the time who'd served for seven years as a volunteer firefighter, he entered a burning house to search for a woman. The roof collapsed, giving him third-degree burns on his head, neck and upper torso.
The donor was 26-year-old New York artist and competitive bicyclist David P. Rodebaugh. He had died of injuries from a biking accident on a Brooklyn street.
sfgate.com
The operation was a practice run. Within the next few months, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic expect to become the first in the United States to transplant a uterus into a woman who lacks one, so that she can become pregnant and give birth. The recipients will be women who were either born without a uterus, had it removed or have uterine damage. The transplants will be temporary: each uterus will be removed after the recipient has had one or two babies, so she can stop taking transplant anti-rejection drugs.
Uterine transplantation is a new frontier, one that pairs specialists from two fields known for innovation and for pushing limits, medically and ethically: reproductive medicine and transplant surgery. If the procedure works, many women could benefit: an estimated 50,000 women in the United States might be candidates. But there are potential dangers.
The recipients, healthy women, will face the risks of surgery and anti-rejection drugs for a transplant that they, unlike someone with heart or liver failure, do not need to save their lives. Their pregnancies will be considered high-risk, with fetuses exposed to anti-rejection drugs and developing inside a womb taken from a dead woman.
The donor’s uterus is connected to the recipient’s vagina and the uterine vessels are redirected to large blood vessels running outside the pelvis. The recipient’s ovaries are left in place, and if she has any remnant fallopian tubes, they are not connected to the transplant. The recipient will wait a year to heal before having in vitro fertilization.
nytimes.com
Figure 1 is for doctors, nurses, EMTs, and the rest of the professionally unsqueamish to share the latest morbidities from their shifts. Sure, some of the pictures are straight up medical oddities. But just as often, users post because they are stumped and looking for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, nth opinion. Or because they want to stump members of their community with little diagnostic quizzes. Compared to other social media, the app’s user base is small; it just surpassed 500,000 users last week. But as Figure 1 grows, it has the potential to become global health’s central nervous system—improving diagnostics, care, and treatment for non-users everywhere.
Figure 1 lets health professionals—not just doctors—immerse themselves in the stuff. Figure 1 is educational, engaging, and privacy-obsessed.
The app is also heavily moderated. Nine of Figure 1’s 25 employees (including Landy) make sure every image has some educational content. “Early on, we had what we would call scene of the accident images: Bodies poking out of vehicles or other things you might find upon arriving at some disaster,” he says. So the app made a rule that an image would be blocked if it didn’t pose some kind of medical question.
wired.com
Dizhou Tong, also called Ti Chou Tung, studied marine animals and helped introduce and organize experimental embryology in China during the twentieth century. He introduced cellular nuclear transfer technology to the Chinese biological community, developed methods to clone organisms from many marine species, and investigated the role of cytoplasm in early development. Tong's administrative and scientific leadership in the fields of marine, cellular, and developmental biology contributed to China's experimental embryology research programs.
embryo.asu.edu
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