Category: Medicine

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Pacemakers Without Batteries — Coming Soon

My father-in-law had a cardiac pacemaker implanted when he was in his mid-80s. He had it replaced after about 5 years because the battery failed. This is a common occurrence and even though pacemakers have become smaller, the battery represents the single component in the form factor that restricts them from becoming really tiny while at the same time requires them to be replaced periodically.

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Gizmos & Gadgets: GaitTrack App on Smartphone Assesses User’s Health

Our smartphones are quickly turning into medical devices through applications that monitor our wellness.

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Cholesterol: A Medical Controversy – Background

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in the developed world, and for more than 50 years, standard medical advice has been that the best thing we can do to lower our risk of CVD is to reduce saturated fats in our diet. The theory is that saturated fats lead to higher concentrations of cholesterol in the blood, and cholesterol in the blood leads in turn to formation of blockages that cause heart attacks. There is strong, science-based opposition to this thesis, however. Both parts of the inference have been attacked: that saturated fat intake does not increase serum cholesterol, and that serum cholesterol does not cause heart attacks.

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Video Friday: The Beckley Foundation’s Program of Psychedelic Research

A talk describing Beckley’s collaborative pilot study with Johns Hopkins University on the treatment of addiction with psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and its results.

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GDF11: A hormonal candidate for rejuvenation

Aging is a program of self-destruction, executed under the control of hormonal signals in the blood. If we can re-balance those signals appropriately, we will be able to revert the body to a younger age. Maybe. In just one day, three papers appeared in major journals reporting on blood factors that can reverse aging.

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Turmeric > Curcumin

Curcumin is extracted from the turmeric root, a common Indian spice with a long tradition of healing applications. Turmeric is about 2-5% curcumin. It is a robust anti-inflammatory agent, and it signals cancer cells to eliminate themselves. Evidence from several modalities suggests that curcumin protects gainst Alzheimer’s Disease. Can it also help us live longer?

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Hibernaut: Rise of a Leviathan & Biomedical `Magic-Bullet´

“Every now & then, rarely really, a technology suddenly & unexpectedly appears from out of left-field & leaves us wonder-struck & enchanted, because it transform the very fabric of our reality. Ideally, such technologies are simple, yet all the while endowed with futuristic-like sophistication & englightment. Preferably, they are deeply human-connected, transcending time, place & occasion. They may even seem invisible & unintelligible, but like the air we breathe & the water we drink, they may be vital, perhaps even a life-force, a quintessence.”

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No, the body doesn’t just wear out as we get older

Friends often look at me quizzically when I tell them this. One says, “But I can feel myself wearing down.” And another: “Nothing works the way it used to. Isn’t that the definition of wearing out?” And again: “Do you mean it’s all in my head, it’s not really happening?” and then a moment later, “do you mean it doesn’t have to be this way?”