Given the highly scientific and technical nature of medical practice, it is tempting to assume that the system of residency training developed in response to intellectual forces within medicine. There is much truth to this. After all, the need to learn scientific concepts and principles, to develop skills of critical reasoning, to acquire the capacity to manage uncertainty, to master technical procedures, and to learn how to assume responsibility for patient care all reflected powerful professional demands.
In our study analyzing data from the New England Centenarian Study, we found that for people who live to 90 years old, the chance of their siblings also reaching age 90 is relatively small – about 1.7 times greater than for the average person born around the same time.
Today, 25 April is a joint celebration for geneticists, commemorating the discovery of the helix nature of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953 and the completion of the human genome project fifty years later in 2003. It may have taken half a century to map the human genome, but in the years since its completion the field of genetics has seen breakthroughs increase at an ever-accelerating rate.
Analyses of Neanderthal genomes indicate that when anatomically modern humans ventured out of Africa around 50,000 years ago, they met and mated with Neanderthals, probably in regions of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The past can sometimes point to the present. The patient may present with a flare up of a previous medical condition, or may suffer a complication of a previous problem. For example a patient who has had previous bowel surgery can develop an acute bowel obstruction because of adhesions produced by the past surgery.
As a resident of Los Angeles, one of the most polluted cities in the United States, I think a lot about the air we breathe. It’s well established that outdoor air pollution is a health threat — exposure to high pollution concentrations has been linked to increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular damage, emergency room visits and hospitalization, and premature mortality.
When Charles Darwin died at age 73 on this day 133 years ago, his physicians decided that he had succumbed to “degeneration of the heart and greater vessels,” a disorder we now call “generalized arteriosclerosis.” Few would argue with this diagnosis, given Darwin’s failing memory, and his recurrent episodes of “swimming of the head,” “pain in the heart”, and “irregular pulse” during the decade or so before he died.
Many medical students are familiar with the “cheese and onion,” but not the person responsible for the series. We caught up with Oxford Medical Handbooks’ Senior Commissioning Editor, Liz Reeve, to find out about her role in producing Oxford’s market leading series.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is widely thought to be a disease of immune dysfunction, whereby the immune system becomes activated to attack components of the nerves in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. New information about environmental factors and lifestyle are giving persons with MS and their health care providers new tools…
Can smoking marijuana prevent the memory loss associated with normal aging or Alzheimer’s disease? This is a question that I have been investigating for the past ten years. The concept of medical marijuana is not a new one. A Chinese pharmacy book, written about 2737 BCE, was probably the first to mention its use as a medicine for the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria, constipation, and (ironically) absent-mindedness.
The Reith lectures were inaugurated in 1948 by the BBC to celebrate and commemorate Lord Reith’s major contribution to British broadcasting. Many distinguished names are to be found in the alumni of lecturers, whose origins are not confined to this sceptred isle in which the concept of these educational thought provoking radio talks were conceived.
Today, 12 April 2015 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the announcement that Jonas Salk’s vaccine could prevent poliomyelitis. We asked Charlotte Jacobs, author of Jonas Salk: A Life, a few questions about this event.
When making decisions about health interventions in whole populations, many people believe that the best evidence comes from analysis of the results of randomized control trials (RCTs). This belief is reinforced by the notion of a hierarchy of evidence in which the RCT is close to the pinnacle of evidence. It has that position because the RCT is a powerful tool for eliminating bias.
Today is the 60th anniversary of the polio vaccine being declared safe to use. The poliovirus was a major health concern for much of the twentieth century, but in the last sixty years huge gains have been made that have almost resulted in its complete eradication. The condition polio is caused by a human enterovirus called the poliovirus.
Recently, Research4Life and its partners, including Oxford University Press, have embarked on a campaign, “Unsung Heroes: Stories from the Library,” to raise awareness about the heroic and life-saving work being done by librarians in the developing world. In this new video, we follow a day in the life of Nasra Gathoni, Head Librarian at the Aga Khan University hospital in Kenya.
Three-year old Asha died last night, her tiny body wracked with diarrhea. Two-month old Abu is vomiting. His mother is dead and his grandmother is finding it difficult to prepare safe artificial food for him. Asha and Abu are just two reasons why Food Safety is the theme of World Health Day 2015. Asha and Abu became ill because her porridge, and his milk, were contaminated with lethal bacteria.