Sunday Links

JUST THE SECOND HUMAN DISEASE EVER ERADICATED FROM EARTH

Guinea worms are a devastating parasite. I studied them as a graduate student in the 80’s and treated a couple of Sudanese orphans with it in the nineties. At that time, the thought they would be rendered extinct was laughable.

The effort was sponsored by the Carter Center.

It is a really, really big deal.

Of interest, ancient Greeks treated the parasite (also called Dracunculus, literally “little dragons”) by cutting open the skin over the worm, letting the worm grab onto a small stick and then twirling the stick to roll up the little sucker and pull it out of the skin.

The worm can be up to three feet long and you can only role it up a couple a turns a day.  Visiting the healer every day for weeks on end created the bond that we now know as the “patient-physician relationship.”

That’s also thought to be the origin of the Caduceus, the symbol of the medical profession.

Open with that at your next party, see how that goes.

 

 

 

PROSTHETIC HELPS MEMORY LOSS IN ALZHEIMER’S

“This is the first time scientists have been able to identify a patient’s own brain cell code or pattern for memory and, in essence, ‘write in’ that code to make existing memory work better, an important first step in potentially restoring memory loss,”

A “proof of concept”  regarding episodic memory restoration.

Very cool.

 

 

 

BRITISH MAN CONTRACTS FIRST CASE OF UNTREATABLE GONORRHEA

File this under “the benefits of monogamy”.

No photo header because…Ewww.

Related:

OVER-THE-COUNTER VIAGRA TO BE AVAILABLE IN BRITAIN

Also related:

VIAGRA SLOWS THE GROWTH OF PRE-CANCEROUS COLON POLYPS IN MICE

We could play connect-the-dots all day.

 

 

 

SMART WATCH CAN INDEED IDENTIFY ATRIAL FIBRILLATION WITH REASONABLE ACCURACY IN A POPULATION OF 10,000 USERS.

Whether or not it should is another question.

Afib can cause strokes. Is the number of strokes prevented with widespread monitoring worth the costs and risks of inappropriate treatment?

I know what the makers of the smart watch would say.

 

 

NOW THERE’S A SHORTAGE OF OPIOIDS IN HOSPITALS

Don’t get sick.

 

 

 

TRIAL FOR BIRD FLU VACCINE APPROVED

I’ve taken care of people with bird flu.  You don’t want it.

 

 

 

HOW ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE ALGORYTHMS OUTWIT THEIR CREATORS

Included because every health system executive dreams of being able to replace their clinicians with robots that use these algos—and given they way they treat their clinicians, they soon may have to.

 

 

 

ANOTHER STEP CLOSEr TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING HOW STEM CELLS FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY NEED TO BECOME.

Spoiler alert: the cells around them tell them what to do.

 

 

PLATYPUS MILK MIGHT LEAD TO BETTER ANTIBIOTICS

Hey, take what nature gives you.

The diabetes drug Byetta and Bydureon comes from gila monster venom—go figure.

 

WORDS TO LIVE BY:

Havelock Ellis

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”