Index of Medical Conditions

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Jan. 20, 2013 1:46 am
This blog is about the rather peculiar article by James (Jim) Watson (of DNA fame) in the Royal Society journal Open Biology entitled Oxidants, antioxidants and the current incurability of metastatic cancers . The article (published online 8 January 2013) is divided in 24 relatively short sections and has already attracted lot of attention because of the provocative statements in sections...  Read More
Dec. 27, 2011 5:41 pm
Many articles have been written about this (e.g. see the Trending Topic Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? ) and many millions of dollars have been spent on researching this connection. As we all know, the jury is still out but does it matter? The closest analogy to cell phones and cancer is, of course, smoking and cancer. It had been known since the 1930s that smoking causes cancer (e.g. pg. 67...  Read More
Sep. 21, 2011 4:07 pm
Getting enough quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for health and wellness. Yet Americans are chronically sleep deprived and getting less sleep as the years go by. In 2009 the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), a U.S. nonprofit group reported that 20 percent of the 1,000 people polled got 6 hours of sleep or less. This is compared to 13 percent in 2001. Only 28 percent reported...  Read More
Jun. 1, 2011 6:29 am
The answer, unfortunately, is: too long. I’d like to tell the story of one of our compounds that is hopefully going to be trialled in patients, probably next year. The compound was originally called SN 30000, wherein SN stands for Synthesis Number, which is as unimaginative as it can be. From now on it will be known as CEN-209 because it has been licensed to Centella (see press release from...  Read More
Jan. 29, 2011 1:40 am
The stroke struck without warning on the evening of January 19, 2011. Carmen Morse had not felt well earlier in the evening and had stayed home from church that night. Her husband Dave Morse returned home from the church worship service at about 9:30 p.m. and Carmen said something to him which he could not understand. Dave asked Carmen to repeat what she had said but it still did not make any...  Read More
Dec. 8, 2010 9:45 am
"she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not go her way — and surely it has not — she adjusted her sails.” - Elizabeth Edwards, Resilience Reflecting on Elizabeth Edwards today, I'm struck by her ability to face up to some of the most horrendous personal tragedies any human being ever has to deal with and keep going. Not only did she adjust her sails, she redefined and delivered her...  Read More
Sep. 7, 2010 6:29 am
Last Sunday a story featured on New Zealand TV titled “Wonder Drug” (here’s the link to the 16-min clip and here’s a brief introduction ). The drug is the pill, the contraceptive pill. The story was based on a scientific article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) “ Mortality among contraceptive pill users: cohort evidence from Royal College of General Practitioners’ Oral...  Read More
Aug. 17, 2010 7:03 am
A very recent Commentary in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) looked into the reasons why despite 25 years of research into biomarkers and high expectations (hope or hype?) this has not translated into success in the clinic (i.e. treatment of cancer). One of problems highlighted was the fact that papers from highly reputable groups/researchers appear to be reviewed in a...  Read More
Jul. 12, 2010 6:58 am
New Zealand is a small country, economically speaking, with only 4.3 million people. New Zealand is a member of the OECD and ranks at the bottom in terms of GDP (per capita) ; its investment in Research and Development is also low compared to other OECD nations, which is reflected in the number of patents . Somewhat puzzling New Zealand has a relatively high number of researchers . In order...  Read More
Jun. 13, 2010 5:04 am
Wikipedia – Loved and Loathed Two recent articles from widely different sources were dealing with the same issue: accessing scientific information on the internet, Wikipedia, to be precise. The first was in the newspaper: Lecturer relents on students' use of Wikipedia for research . Wikipedia is as tempting to students as a (good) review paper: all the information is in one place, literally...  Read More
Jun. 1, 2010 6:25 am
I didn’t even know this word existed but it comes as no surprise really since the dreaded C-word has struck fear in many people and will do so for some time to come I’m afraid. But first I want to acknowledge Emily Davidson’s comment to my previous blog that inspired me to write this one. The Bad and the Ugly It is true that cancer is a horrible disease that seemingly strikes indiscriminately...  Read More
May 18, 2010 5:30 am
The Economical Cost A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled Changes in the Use and Costs of Diagnostic Imaging Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Cancer, 1999-2006 started with some shocking figures on the costs associated with cancer in the US. The direct medical costs in 2008 were apparently $93 billion according to the sources cited in this...  Read More
 
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