Get Up Stand Up: A Brief History of Sedentarism and Why Movement is Good Medicine

By Tony Federico Journal of Evolution and Health (2016) Introduction Sedentary behaviors, like watching TV, have been have been linked to an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality independent of other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diet, and waist circumference [1]. While it is unknown how much actual sedentary[…]

I Won’t Have Blood! A Battle between Belief and Duty?

Blood bank image / University of Michigan, Creative Commons Lecture by Dr. Martin Elliott at the Museum of London / 03.15.2017 Professor of Physics, Gresham College Professor of Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, University College London Co-Medical Director, The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Introduction I am going to consider the belief held by some that[…]

Epigenomics Leading to More Personalized Cancer Treatment

Cancer precision targeting at the Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism Laboratory. Credit: Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism Laboratory. Fabian V. Filipp, Author provided By Dr. Fabian V. Filipp / 04.03.2017 Assistant Professor of Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism University of California, Merced Molecular insight into our own DNA is now possible, a field called personal[…]

Using the Placenta to Understand How Complex Organs Evolve

Developing lizard embryo beneath placental tissues. Oliver Griffith By Dr. Oliver Griffith / 03.23.2017 Postdoctoral Associate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Yale University Considering how different they look from the outside, it might be surprising that all vertebrates – animals with a backbone – share the same, conserved set of organs. Chickens, fish, human beings[…]

Life on Earth is Used to Gravity – So What Happens to Our Cells and Tissues in Space?

Look ma, no gravity! / NASA By Andy Tay / 03.09.2017 PhD Candidate in Bioengineering University of California, Los Angeles There’s one force whose effects are so deeply entrenched in our everyday lives that we probably don’t think much about it at all: gravity. Gravity is the force that causes attraction between masses. It’s why[…]

Republicans Go ‘1984’ and Seek to Give Employers the Right to Your Genetic Information

The “death panels” never materialized with the typical GOP conspiracy scare tactics, but they’ve blatantly placed into their health care package exactly the sort of thing reminiscent of “1984” / Photo credit: Mehmet Pinarci (Creative Commons licensed) By Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.10.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Donald Trump’s biographer, whose words were touted by Trump as[…]

The People Who Help You Die Better

A network of compassionate volunteers caring for their terminally ill neighbours is allowing more people in Kerala, India, to end their days at peace and at home. Jeremy Laurance meets the man leading the movement. By Jeremy Laurance / 02.26.2017 Thirty years ago a young anaesthetist, newly appointed as head of department at Calicut Medical College[…]

Those Pearly Whites: The Archaeology of Teeth – Their Historical and Anthropological Value

Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago. Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg By Dr. Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg / 03.02.2017 Professor of Anthropology The Ohio State University “Show me your teeth and I’ll tell you who you are.” These words, attributed to 19th-century naturalist George Cuvier, couldn’t be more correct. The pearly whites we use every[…]

What Does the Environment Have to Do with Diseases that Affect the Immune System?

Photo © iStockphoto.com/champja The rise in recent decades of diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis suggests that factors in the environment are contributing. By Lindsey Konkel / 01.04.2017 In 1932, New York gastroenterologist Burrill Crohn described an unusual disease in 14 adults. The patients had bouts of abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and[…]

Prehistoric Tuberculosis in the Americas

By Dr. Jordi Gómez i Prat and Dr. Sheila MF Mendonça de Souza / Jan. 2003 Prat: Unitat de Malalties Tropicals, Importades i Vacunacions Internationals, D.A P. Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Catalunya, España de Souza: Departamento de Endemias Samuel Pessoa, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil Abstract Tuberculosis is a prehistoric[…]

Healing History: The Story of Agnodice, a Woman Practicing Medicine in Ancient Greece

This marble plaque depicts a ‘parturition’, or birthing scene. Such scenes eased the fears of expectant mothers by depicting positive birthing images. Here, a pregnant woman reclines on a couch covered in drapes, attended by three women. They are dressed in classical Roman robes and one is holding the baby. / The plaque was excavated[…]

Big Pharma-Backed Dems Join GOP to Block Sanders Effort to End Drug Price Gouging

Introducing the amendment on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders asked his senate colleagues if they “have the guts finally to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and their lobbyists and their campaign contributions and fight for the American consumer?” (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI) Sen. Cory Booker and others draw sharp rebuke from observers, who pointed out that[…]

The History of Smallpox – ‘The Speckled Monster’ – from 1600 to 1977

Smallpox hits the Aztecs, from the Florentine Codex, Book 12, 16th century / Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Florence Lecture by Dr. Frank Snowden / 02.01.2010 Andrew Downy Orrick Professor History and History of Medicine Yale University Smallpox, Not Plague Introduction   Smallpox (left) and Plague (right) / Wikimedia Commons Plague was a bacterial disease. Smallpox instead is[…]

Electroconvulsive Therapy: A History of Controversy

An electroconvulsive therapy machine is seen at an exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London in 2012. REUTERS/Chris Helgren By Dr. Jonathan Sandowsky / 01.12.2017 Theodore J. Castele Professor of Medical History Case Western Reserve University Carrie Fisher’s ashes are in an urn designed to look like a Prozac pill. It’s fitting that in death[…]

With Late Night Vote-a-Rama, GOP Takes Aim at Key Healthcare Gains

The U.S. Senate voted after 1:00am Thursday morning to get the ball rolling on Affordable Care Act repeal. (Screenshot) Sen. Brian Schatz called the Republican senators’ action “shocking, reckless, and immoral” By Deirdre Fulton / 01.12.2017 Early Thursday, Senate Republicans took the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, overcoming a[…]

Physical Activity, Even in Small Amounts, Benefits Both Physical and Psychological Well-Being

Photo by Moyan Brenn, Creative Commons The largest-ever smartphone-based study examining the relationship between physical activity and happiness has found that even minimal levels of activity can have a positive effect on happiness.  01.05.2017 A new study, based on reports from more than 10,000 individuals, has found that physical activity, whether or not it is[…]

The Sociology of the Anti-Vaccination Movement

By Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos / 02.28.2016 Any time there is an article about vaccine initiatives, a segment of the public begin to shout about government conspiracies and their perception of nefarious science. What is behind the anti-vaxxer movement? I start by discussing the scientific evidence about the fraud that inspired the anti-vaxxer movement before providing a broad[…]