Tag Archives: medicine

Marie Curie: Why her papers are still radioactive

Many library collections use special equipment, such as special gloves and climate-controlled rooms, to protect the archival materials from the visitor. For the Pierre and Marie Curie collection at France’s Bibliotheque National, it’s the other way around.

That’s because after more than 100 years, much of Marie Curie’s stuff – her papers, her furniture, even her cookbooks – are still radioactive. Those who wish to open the lead-lined boxes containing her manuscripts must do so in protective clothing, and only after signing a waiver of liability.

Marie Curie: Why her papers are still radioactive

Here’s a really interesting story about how naive the early pioneers of radiation were. Amazing work that these pioneers had accomplished.

Life Expectancy Is Dropping

For the first time since the Spanish influenza of 1918, life expectancy is falling for a significant number of American women. In nearly 1,000 counties that together are home to about 12 percent of the nation’s women, life expectancy is now shorter than it was in the early 1980s, according to a study published today.

The trend appears to be driven by increases in death from diabetes, lung cancer, emphysema and kidney failure. It reflects the long-term consequences of smoking, a habit that women took up in large numbers decades after men did, and the slowing of the historic decline in heart disease deaths.

Washington Post staff writer David Brown and Majid Ezzati, co-author of the study and researcher at the Harvard Global Health Initiative, were online Tuesday, April 22, at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the study.

A transcript follows.

Continue reading the transcript on the Washington Post

The sad thing is that most of these causes stem from preventable things. I remember a medical school lecture that I heard last year that said that in order to combat our nation’s growing obesity problem we as the medical community should treat obesity as a disease. For the current picture of the trend to obesity in the United States, I direct you to the CDC data from 1985-2006. And this site took that CDC data and made it into an animated GIF showing obesity rates over time. According to the CDC data, “In 2006, only four states had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Twenty-two states had a prevalence equal or greater than 25%; two of these states (Mississippi and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.”

If one of the national health objectives for the year 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults to less than 15%, we have a long way to go.

Homeopathy – Quackery Or A Key To The Future of Medicine?

Remember my post entitled “Diluting medicine: Homeopathy“? In it I linked to a number of videos refuting the practice of homeopathy. A few days ago I found a 2-hour video of a debate held at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. The debate alternates between both viewpoints. It can be watched fairly quickly because the video is cued up with a Powerpoint slide. Advancing the flash Powerpoint slide also advances the video. It’s quite interesting. The Canadian homeopathic doctor at the end makes the very radical point that the healthcare crisis would be completely solved if everyone switched over to homeopathy…ahh, yeah right. The moderator mentioned that more such debates would be happening in 2008. I wished the format is more of an actual debate. The video was just 4-5 different people talking with little discussion occurring. I feel the best part of the video could have been the question and answer session that occurred after the online webcast ended. Here’s hoping that the format will be different for their future debates.

Advertisement for the debate:

A Debate: Homeopathy – Quackery Or A Key To The Future of Medicine?
Donald Marcus M.D. (Baylor)

An international forum to explore the facts around this controversial modality in an attempt to determine whether it has any place in medical care.

Participants to include Donald Marcus M.D. (Baylor), Iris Bell M.D., Ph.D. (University of Arizona), Rustum Roy Ph.D. (Penn State) and others.

You are invited to watch a debate between six internationally renowned experts as they examine the basic science as well as the clinical and epidemiological evidence around this 200 year old system of medicine.

Link to video