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Health

October 30, 2014

"‘Good Poop’ Diet Is the Next Big Thing"

The "microbiome" continues to be the new hotness in things dietary.

See also "An apple a day could keep obesity away".

October 29, 2014

"21 Days: An expert in biological warfare warns against complacency in public measures against Ebola"

Interesting. Apparently, as has been the case in other instances recently--proper diet, climate change, among others--the science is not "settled"

For one objection, Hatfill wants it known that, while it must be emphasized that airborne droplet and particle transmission between humans has not been evident in this outbreak, aerosol droplet transmission of Ebola virus has been shown in animal studies. “It is therefore irresponsible for government health officials to emphatically state that aerosol transmission does not occur,” he writes. He also believes the argument against a national quarantine is “inexcusable in light of the size of the current West African epidemic.”

But the politics are the same as almost always: "Life-saving drugs and deadly delays".

Related: "Ten Ways The Public Sector Is Failing And The Private Sector Is Succeeding Against Ebola".

October 19, 2014

"Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor"

In the New York Times, no less.

Three cheers for Obamacare!

October 14, 2014

"The CDC Doesn’t Have A Funding Problem"

Not that any of my regular readers would believe, for one single second, the Liberals' new line that Republican funding cuts are responsible for us not curing Ebola, but just in case, see Walter Olson's short piece.

See also Nick Gillespie, "Can You Blame Ebola Outbreak on "Republican Cuts" to Health Budgets?" and Bobby Jindal, "The Facts About Ebola Funding".

October 13, 2014

"Some Cancer Experts See 'Overdiagnosis,' Question Emphasis on Early Detection"

This is so true:

The conflicting messages have left many patients bewildered. After years of educational campaigns saying that early detection saves lives, it's no wonder that some people view recommendations to cut back on cancer screenings as dangerous, or veiled health-care rationing.

When I was a kid it seemed like at least once a week--sometimes, once or more per day--there was an ad on TV from the American Cancer Society telling us how very, very important early detection of cancer was.

October 09, 2014

"Cancer-Detecting Yogurt Could Replace Colonoscopies"

Bring it on!

A spoonful of yogurt could soon offer a cheap and simple way to screen for colorectal cancer.

Sangeeta Bhatia, a professor at MIT, is working to replace costly and uncomfortable colonoscopies and MRIs with a helping of yogurt followed by a urine test—a cheap method that could improve the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

Bhatia is developing synthetic molecules that can be introduced into the body via yogurt, and will interact with cancer in a way that produces telltale biomarkers. These molecules can then be detected easily when passed in urine.

October 07, 2014

"What Happens When We All Live to 100?"

"As recently as a generation ago, it would have seemed totally crazy to suppose that aging could be “cured.” Now curing aging seems, well, only somewhat crazy."

October 06, 2014

"When the Biomedical Industry Ignores Diseases, Private Money Saves Lives"

Private actors and actions are enormously powerful:

Fortunately, when the market doesn’t provide the right incentives, philanthropic groups have a unique opportunity to spur advances in treating diseases that affect millions but might otherwise be ignored. 

See also "Peter Thiel: the billionaire tech entrepreneur on a mission to cheat death".

Thiel believes there will be a cure for cancer in the next 20 years, and that a cure for Alzheimer’s is within reach. Immortality, he allows, may take a little longer. . . .

‘There are many arguments against life extension, and they all strike me as extraordinarily bad: it’s not natural; there will be too many people; you will be bored. But I don’t think it would be boring at all.’ He pauses. ‘People always say you should live your life as if it were your last day. I think you should live your life as though it will go on for ever; that every day is so good that you don’t want it to end.’

Related: the story of Rex Sinquefield, single-handedly trying to revive interest in the U.S. in chess.

October 01, 2014

"Wonder drug to fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease within 10 years"

Needless to say, bring it on!

Imperial College has discovered how to turn off an enzyme which is driving many incurable diseases.

The NMT enzyme makes irreversible changes to proteins which stop damaged cells from dying and, instead, speeds up their replication, causing cancer.

"We Used To Sleep In Two Segments Every Night Until Electricity Was Invented"

A comfort in my old age.

Roger Ekrich noticed many old books, including Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales", referenced two periods of sleep being the norm in their era.

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