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Health

June 16, 2015

Two more on how gut bacteria . . .

. . . and how they might well be responsible for almost everything about your health.

"Everything you think you know about diets is WRONG: Counting calories is a total waste of time, it’s bacteria in your gut that make you fat and finally, cheese, alcohol and chocolate can all help".

"The Cure for Brain Diseases Is in Your Gut".

June 09, 2015

"Be Very Afraid of Ticks"

Lyme Disease and much worse.

Let’s start with some facts. Ticks in the U.S. can spread more than 14 diseases. They are “the most significant vectors of infectious diseases in the United States,” according to a write-up from a recent scientific conference. Research suggests that where I live, in the lower Hudson Valley in New York, more than half of adult-stage blacklegged ticks harbor the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. (It’s also carried by one-fifth of nymphal-stage blacklegged ticks—the tiny ones that are hard to see and therefore often go unnoticed for days.) Another one in five adult blacklegged ticks in the region is infected with the bacterium that causes anaplasmosis; one in 30 harbors the potentially deadly deer tick virus; and another one in 30 can pass along the parasite that causes babesiosis. And yes: Ticks can and do often harbor multiple pathogens, so that’s fun too.

Related: "Beware of Ticks: Lyme Disease May Be More Common This Year". (Includes a map of Lyme Disease incidence.)

June 08, 2015

"Why the Biotech Boom Is No Bubble"

Personalized medicine sounds awesome.

For the last 100 years, drug development consisted of small-molecule treatments aimed at mass audiences. For some patients it worked, for some it didn't; sometimes we knew why, often we didn't; and gigantic pharmaceutical companies grew rich. And then, at the turn of the last century, we began to understand a bit more about human genetics—what makes us all different. We knew not only how many genes there were but also what many of them did. We still don't know what to do with all this information, but we are getting better. And just now we are beginning to translate what we know about human genetics to make medicine. Personalized medicine. We are learning not only what "works" but also what makes us susceptible to illness by deciphering where genetics may load the gun and the environment pulls the trigger, and then devising personalized therapies.

Related: "The history of medicine will seem blunt and random compared with what's coming next" and "New era in the war on cancer".

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June 01, 2015

"This 14-year-old has come up with a faster and cheaper way to detect pancreatic cancer"

There may be hope for the country yet.

May 21, 2015

"7 of the biggest ‘facts’ about unhealthy food that actually aren’t true"

Including "Aspartame causes cancer, or, at the very least, is definitely bad for us" and six others.

May 20, 2015

"7 famous people who should have been cryogenically frozen when they died"

It's certainly a shame. (The author doesn't even mention polio.)

May 15, 2015

"Take Blood Pressure in Both Arms"

"It may be a good idea to get a blood pressure reading in both arms rather than just one. A difference in those readings, a new study suggests, is an independent risk factor for heart disease."

May 13, 2015

"30 Things That Are Making You Fat"

Heh.

May 12, 2015

"The 'Food Babe' Blogger Is Full of Shit"

I hadn't known about the "Food Babe," but I enjoyed this vigorous carpet-bombing of her work.

Vani Hari, AKA the Food Babe, has amassed a loyal following in her Food Babe Army. The recent subject of profiles and interviews in the New York Times, the New York Post and New York Magazine, Hari implores her soldiers to petition food companies to change their formulas. She's also written a bestselling book telling you that you can change your life in 21 days by "breaking free of the hidden toxins in your life." She and her army are out to change the world.

She's also utterly full of shit.

May 11, 2015

"This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study"

Discouraging, to say the least.

(But maybe this one will beat the odds: "Blood test hope on prostate cancer".)

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