Tag: medicine

What Recession? High Times for Michigan Medical-Pot Farmers

By Allison Bond | May 11, 2010 11:58 am

leafDetroit’s economy might be seriously suffering, but for one industry, business is booming: Medical marijuana. Since Michigan enacted a law legalizing medicinal marijuana last April, the crop has generated “tens of millions of dollars collectively,” according to a statement from Med Grow Cannabis College, located just outside of Detroit:

“”With a vast majority of the community in Metro Detroit supporting safe medical marijuana use, many people are looking into the industry as a viable career path,” said [president and founder of Med Grow] Nick Tennant.”

The school opened in September and has since had more than a thousand graduates. The demand for doctor-advised, medical use of marijuana seems to be growing like a weed, so to speak. And according to Med Grow, the canna-business is an open field with plenty of room for those left unemployed in the state’s infamously bad economy:

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So Long, Colostomy Bag: British Man Gets Remote-Controlled Sphincter

By Andrew Moseman | November 19, 2009 4:15 pm

Ged220Briton Ged Galvin survived that vicious car wreck that nearly took his life. Unfortunately, the accident crushed some of his organs and left him needing a colostomy bag to go to the bathroom.

That was until his doctors created his cyborg sphincter. Yes, you read that correctly. Doctors removed muscle from above Galvin’s knee, wrapped it around his damaged sphincter, and attached electrodes to the nerves. Now, when Galvin goes to the bathroom he simply presses a button on a remote control.

From The Telegraph:

Mr Galvin, who had previously endured the indignity of carrying a colostomy bag, added: “I thought that in these days of modern medicine surely there was something they could do. They’d mended everything else – why not this? Anything was better than a colostomy bag.

“The operation changed my life and gave me back my pride and confidence. Because of the remote control I can lead a normal life again.”

Outstanding. Though hopefully Galvin’s remote has a lock that prevents him from accidentally triggering it while it’s in his pocket.

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Image: Anna Lythgoe/SWNS.COM

Newsflash: Swallowing Swords Is Bad For Your Health

By Brett Israel | October 13, 2009 12:49 pm

Fresh on the heels of the 2009 Ig Nobel Awards come six mini-movies about the research of past winners, including this doozy, Sword Swallowing and its Side Effects, which took home the Ig Nobel Medicine Prize in 2007.

Check out this episode below:

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Video: Minimovies.org

MORE ABOUT: ig nobel, medicine

Man’s Skull Miraculously Grows Back Half a Century After Accident

By Boonsri Dickinson | October 7, 2009 1:44 pm

Gordon Moore, a 72-year-old British man, no longer needs the metal plate that was inserted into his head 50 years ago, when a car accident destroyed part of his skull. Why doesn’t he need it? Because the missing bone has grown back.

When the front of his skull was destroyed, doctors implanted a titanium plate in the hole. Three years later, Moore was involved in yet another crash. While this accident was less devastating, he still walked away with a dent in his metal plate after his head flew into the windshield.

Surgeons decided to remove the plate recently, after it broke through some skin and caused an infection. But when they cut Moore’s head open, doctors were amazed to find that his skull had re-grown with the same contour as the plate. While bone growth is normal in children, it’s extremely rare in adults. In fact, it is such an anomaly that no one has really kept count of the number of times this kind of re-growth has happened. The Telegraph reports:

“It’s certainly very rare, but it’s very rare to remove a metal plate after this period of time. I had never heard of one being taken out after more than 50 years,” [says Newcastle Hospital consultant neurologist Param Bhattahiri, who was in charge of Gordon’s treatment].

“We had no idea what we were going to find underneath, but I didn’t expect to find a new skull.”

Experts are now waiting to perform more scans of Gordon’s head to check the thickness and strength of the new bone.

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MORE ABOUT: medicine, surgery

“Tree Man” Upstaged By "Coral Boy"

By Boonsri Dickinson | September 23, 2009 5:10 pm

coralYou may recall the case of Dede Koswara who was dubbed the “tree man” after he developed an unsightly amount of bark-like warts on his skin due to an immune deficiency that did not allow his body to fight off the human papilloma virus. As it turns out, he’s not the only one with this bizarre condition.

Lin Tianzhuan, 38, is known in his town as  “coral boy” for good reason. From Shuimen in southern China, he suffered a similar skin problem to Koswara—he began to develop shell-like growths on his skin beginning at age 13.

The Telegraph reports:

“It started with a few hard bumps so I tried to apply antibiotics and creams but it didn’t get better,” he explained.

“Instead it just got worse. They grew and grew and soon they were all over my arms and legs, my back and even my head. Ii was as if I was turning to stone and it was terrifying,” he added.

“Gradually my shell became thicker and thicker and I could no longer bend my arms or my legs. It was very frightening,” Lin said.

“If I had to go out I wrapped myself up in blankets because people would scream when they saw me,” he added.

Fortunately, Tianzhuan has nearly recovered after receiving a year of  radiotherapy treatment at Fuzhou Dermatosis Prevention Hospital.

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Image: flickr/ cpjmazz

MORE ABOUT: coral, HPV, medicine

Too Busy to Go to the Doctor? Just Visit Her Online

By Boonsri Dickinson | September 23, 2009 10:57 am

That’s right—now you can get a diagnosis and a prescription by turning on your Web cam. Telemedicine has created virtual house calls for patients willing to give up face time with doctors. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen wanted to check out a “funky, little red mole” that worried her, so she went online and paid a doctor $40 for a ten minute session.

Watch a video of her visit here:

Embedded video from CNN Video

There are several states that are testing out the virtual program. Hawaii has launched America Well, in which residents can use a phone or computer to visit their choice of dermatologist, internist, or specialist anytime of the day. And for record-keeping sake, a transcript or stream of the video session is sent to the patient after the “visit.” Texas also offers a similar virtual consultation through My Healthy Access, but patients would have to visit a clinic set up at a Wal-Mart in order to use the service.

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Weekly News Roundup: Lost Your Job? Try Growing Pot!

By Melissa Lafsky | September 11, 2009 11:48 am

Yee-haw! It’s the blog roundup. • One market that has boomed in the recession: marijuana growing.

• Think you can hide in modern society? Good luck.

Digitizing patient medical records? YES PLEASE!

• Isabella Rossellini’s legendary bug porn, profiled in depth.

• Want to make more money? Try being nice to other people (seriously).

Happy 25th birthday, DNA fingerprinting! Now change.

• And finally, 18 awesome animated mad scientists (not that we’re supporting stereotypes that all scientists are crazy…just the animated ones).

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Blog Roundup
MORE ABOUT: insects, marijuana, medicine

MSNBC Revisits "The Blue Man" (Spoiler: His Skin Is Still Blue)

By Melissa Lafsky | September 10, 2009 12:20 pm

More than a year after his first appearance, The Today Show revisited Paul Karason, who suffered an extremely rare side effect when he took colloidal silver to treat a skin condition: His skin turned blue. Not a light shade of azure or a sky blue—we’re talking full-on Smurf. While the 58-year-old isn’t exactly the picture of health—he was recently treated for a blocked artery and prostate cancer—a recent physical indicated that his heart, lungs, kidney and liver were all healthy. Watch the full interview here:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

MORE ABOUT: cancer, drugs, medicine

Fuzzy, Cuddly Swine Flu: The Next Big Holiday Toy?

By Allison Bond | September 1, 2009 12:17 pm

Swine flu stuffed toyWhat’s fuzzy, pink, and just plain cuddly? The Influenza A H1N1 virus, of course… or at least, the stuffed toy crafted in the pathogen’s likeness. You can get your very own swine flu toy made by GIANTmicrobes online or, if you happen to be in the neighborhood, at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta.

The Telegraph reports:

The stuffed toy has been designed to represent a “cuddlier” version of an H1N1 microbe, complete with a pig-like nose and eyes… [doll company GIANTmicrobes] describes its toys as “great learning tools, as well as amusing gifts for anyone with a sense of humour.” Each purchase comes with an information leaflet with details of the relevant infection.

If a stuffed replica of just one pathogen isn’t enough for you, don’t despair: The company makes a variety of other dolls, from the snakelike Ebola virus to the bean-shaped, Black Death-causing Yersinia pestis bacteria.

There’s something strange about asking for smallpox or the swine flu as a gift…but that won’t stop this blogger, whose  birthday is (ahem) coming up next week.

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Image courtesy of GIANTmicrobes

MORE ABOUT: irony, medicine, swine flu, toys

Can a Bolt of Lightning Create New Transplant Organs?

By Boonsri Dickinson | August 26, 2009 11:50 am

lightning.jpgGrowing artificial organs has been easy—it’s figuring out a way to supply blood to them that’s the hard part. Scientists have been trying to make blood vessels the same way they created synthetic computer chips. But producing artificial channels this way can be costly and inefficient. Enter Texas A&M University researchers, who have figured out a way to use lightning bolts to create channels that look a lot like our circulatory system.

The Discovery Channel reports:

The artificial organs begin as clear blocks of biodegradable plastic about the size of an inch-thick stack of Post-It notes. An electron beam fills the block with electricity, then the scientists drive nails into either end of the plastic block.

While the pattern displayed in the plastic block is not even close to being an actual working blood vessel, it’s an impressive start. Someday, the researchers hope this plastic tunnel system can help grow implant cells that will mature into a fully-implantable organ.

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Image: flickr/ adijr

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: innovation, medicine, organs
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