Category Archives: medicine and health

Sell your poop for $40 a shot and save lives!

You can change “shot” to another word in the title, but this is a family friendly website. On the subway to Cambridge yesterday, I saw this ad inside the car: Now what do you suppose this is all about? Although it’s properly multicultural, how could you earn money to donate your stool, and save lives […]

California downgrades the act of knowingly exposing someone to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor

Suppose you’re infected with a sexually transmitted disease that, unless treated, is deadly. When treated, you have a good chance of living a normal life, so you’re getting treated. But you want to have sex with other people, and if they know you’re infected, they might not want to engage. So you don’t tell them […]

On illness, dreams and encatment

About a third of the time I make long-distance trips, it seems, I come down with a cold or sore throat at the far end. This time I’ve got both, and I blame it on airplane contamination. As one expert at io9 notes, it’s not the “recycled air” that’s to blame for such illnesses (cabin air […]

Anti-vaxer denied visa to Australia because his message is “dangerous”

One could, I suppose, make a case that an anti-vaxer speaking in public is more dangerous than a Nazi or white supremacist speaking in public. After all, it’s clear that anti-vaxers have been able to persuade even reasonably intelligent people to stop vaccinating their kids, whereas someone of that ilk hearing a Nazi wouldn’t become […]

A neurosurgeon on medicine, euthanasia, and God

I’m off to my GP as I injured my shoulder, most likely acquiring bursitis, and will probably get a cortisone shot, which a friend just informed me “really hurts!” Now what was the point of telling me that? It adds no value to my day except a soupçon of fear (I’m not afraid of needles, […]

Congressional Budget Office TrumpCare cuts number of insured American by 22 million

The Congressional Budget Office is a nonpartisan outfit, and its prognostications are taken seriously. So when they analyzed the Senate’s GOP-inspired bill, and found that if it passes 22 million Americans will lose their health insurance, it doesn’t look good for the Republican Party. By cutting Medicaid, so the poor lose benefits, it will also reduce […]

My finger

After eight weeks after breaking a tendon in my forefinger in Rotorua, New Zealand, I’ve finally been able to take it out of the plastic splint for several hours a day and exercise it. It’s stiff but is getting more limber, but what a pain, both physical and logistical! Typing is still immensely difficult, explaining […]

How spinal manipulation could cause a stroke

After my denunciation by chiropractors and their advocates over the last few days—opprobrium that I welcome—Reader Pliny the in Between, whose website is The Far Corner Cafe, put together a series of drawings showing how spinal manipulation, such as that practiced by chiropractors, could produce a stroke. This, for instance, is what a real doctor, Orac, thinks […]

Your resource: the definitive collection of vaccines-don’t-cause autism papers

Peter Hotez is co-editor-in-chief of the journal PLOS NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases), is an expert in vaccination. Here are his qualifications: Prof. Peter Hotez MD PhD is professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where is also Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, and Dean of the […]

A “superbug”, resistant to all antibiotics, kills Nevada woman

PBS reports on the death of a Nevada woman who had a bacterial infection resistant to all known antibiotics (they tried 26). Microbes, it seems, are evolving resistance faster than humans can devise new antibiotics. The report from the Centers for Disease Control is here; the bit below is an extract from the PBS article: Public health officials from […]