Winter is here, which means a barrage of pathogens is patiently waiting to make our lives miserable. Influenza, colds, and the "stomach bug" are the top three nasties likely to get you, but can you prevent this by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based disinfectant? Or maybe neither?
Bioaerosols generated by infected patients constitute a significant source of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious agents. COVID-19 epidemiology has been limited to large populations in which varying behavior, living conditions, and life views may influence exposures. As a result, it is difficult to distinguish personal characteristics from concomitant levels of viral exposure.
Congestive heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to perform its basic function, which is pumping blood throughout the body. It comes in various forms, causing swelling of the legs and shortness of breath. It is a very debilitating condition that few outside medicine are aware of. A new study offers a unique treatment, but more importantly for our discussion, it sheds light on how “science” advances and looks at an infrequently used term, hormesis.
Sickle Cell Disease is an awful genetic disease that disproportionally affects black people. It's caused by a single-point mutation in DNA, which results in a modified hemoglobin protein, differing by only one amino acid. While this may sound insignificant, it's anything but. Simple organic chemistry explains why this change profoundly affects those unfortunate enough to inherit the disease, which is characterized by abnormal hemoglobin.
COVID-19 vaccination significantly lowers the risks of severe neonatal morbidity, neonatal death, and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit in infants during the first month after birth. Protection continues for six months after birth.
Anyone who has spent time in a traffic jam waiting to “get somewhere” can easily accept the premise that traffic can raise your blood pressure. If you don’t believe me, spend 30 minutes going 4 miles in Los Angeles or trying to go over the George Washington Bridge in New York at rush hour. A new study suggests that the creeping elevation of your blood pressure is not so much due to your fellow drivers but to pollutants in the air. Obviously, they haven’t driven in Jersey. What could they be thinking?
Once we became aware of our mortality, we wanted to know when death was upon us. While we have forsaken predictions by chicken bones or auguries, today we attempt the same predictive magic. That's at least at the population level, using new chicken bones like our co-morbidities or a frailty index. It should be no surprise that we have enlisted our latest oracle: A.I.
Exa-cel, a new CRISPR-based treatment, modifies the genes of the patient's stem cells to induce them to produce fetal hemoglobin.
Doctors use “diagnostic” labels to describe a condition or constellation of symptoms and signs before determining treatment or rendering a prognosis. Diagnostic criteria generally remain static and serve as a collective reference point for the medical world. Not so for the diagnosis of “excited delirium.” Not only has the meaning of “excited delirium” morphed over time, but the legal community has conscripted it for non-medical purposes, like defending claims of excessive force by police officers. Recently, the medical community rejected this use and “revoked” the diagnosis. Who benefits?
In this conversation on "CBS Eye on the World," John Batchelor and I discuss the development of a universal vaccine to prevent COVID-19. John has received multiple COVID-19 vaccinations and was curious about the concept of a universal vaccine that would protect against all – even future – variants of the virus.
We know the beat of our heart varies over time, increasing with exertion and slowing with rest or meditation. But, stable as those variations may appear, they vary even within those intervals. Dr. George Lundberg, former long-time editor of JAMA, muses about those variations – termed heart rate variability – and what they might tell us.