It is increasingly clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to transform our lives in myriad ways, from weather prediction to military planning and in innumerable medical applications. I recently encountered first-hand a new, significant advance – the use of AI to improve the detection of lesions during colonoscopies.
A new study of associations between incident dementia and air pollution caught my attention because air pollution studies like this have been driving me toward dementia for decades. Let’s unpack their findings.
The consumption of raw oysters is being discouraged in the New York area, thanks to the appearance of Vibrio vulnificus, aka, the flesh-eating bacteria. Although Vibriosis is (thankfully) very rare, it can also be very serious, even deadly. The exceptionally warm ocean temperatures this summer have allowed the bacteria to spread northward, where there has been one confirmed death from raw oysters and two others from skin infections. Is there anything to worry about here?
Stressors, be they physical or spiritual, are often incited as causative factors in a variety of illnesses, including cancer. The effect of those stressors on our physiology can be passed on to our children, as studies of holocaust survivors have found. The integrated stress response (ISR) is a signaling network that bridges those stressors and the physiologic reactions within our cells. How can chemicals remember?
Shinrin-yoku, also known as a "forest bath," originated in Japan and it's believed to enhance one’s well-being while helping “connect” with nature. It involves immersing oneself in a forest or natural environment and mindfully engaging with the surroundings through the senses. Western medicine offers “nature prescriptions” – the walk with or without the mindfulness. Does it improve our health?
Good dental hygiene is extremely important to overall health. Even simple and inexpensive interventions, such as brushing, flossing and chewing sugar-free gum, can be highly effective.
The creation of sperm in mammals, known as spermatogenesis, is critically impacted by temperature. A very small increase results in a significant reduction in the little swimmers. Peto’s paradox points out that larger animals with more cells – and, therefore, a greater risk of mutation – have less chance of cancer than smaller animals. A new hypothesis connects these two seemingly unrelated dots.
β‐Hydroxy‐β‐methylbutyrate, aka, HMB, is a very safe supplement used to build muscle. But a group has recently demonstrated that HMB may also have properties to mitigate the symptoms of Alzheimer's in mouse models of AD. Could this be a useful drug in protecting the brains from the ravages of this awful disease?
COVID-19 has drifted away from public view, and current outcome rates have been submerged into statistical noise. So it seems to be a good time to tote up where we have been, and the total impacts on public health.
There are upticks in early indicators of a COVID surge, including hospitalizations, test positivity, and SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in wastewater. And a new Omicron subvariant is rapidly gaining in prevalence. We need to prepare.
I’ve been visiting doctors lately, and my blood pressure has been recorded many times. Some days it is 140/80; other days, it is 200/110. Why could that be? And what does it tell us about healthcare and BIG DATA?