Tag Archives | Medicine

Six-Hundred Year-Old Petrified Poop Contains Antibiotic Resistance Genes

PIC: Dr. Graham Beards (PD)

PIC: Dr. Graham Beards (PD)

Once you get over the shock of a perfectly preserved 14th century turd (Dude, what did you eat?), the story is actually pretty interesting: Scientists examining a six hundred year-old piece of human poop have discovered the presence of genes that provide antibiotic resistance.

Via Heritage Daily:

A team of French investigators has discovered viruses containing genes for antibiotic resistance in a fossilized fecal sample from 14th century Belgium, long before antibiotics were used in medicine.

The viruses in the fecal sample are phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, rather than infecting eukaryotic organisms such as animals, plants, and fungi. Most of the viral sequences the researchers found in the ancient coprolite (fossil fecal sample) were related to viruses currently known to infect bacteria commonly found in stools (and hence, in the human gastrointestinal tract), including both bacteria that live harmlessly, and even helpfully in the human gut, and human pathogens, says corresponding author Christelle Desnues of Aix Marseille Université.

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Man Had 42 Pearls Lodged In His Flesh In Alternative Medicine Gone Wrong

4790-P7Today’s waking nightmare via Your Jewish News:

A 61-year-old man named Zou of Beijing, China, had to undergo emergency surgery to remove 42 pearls that were embedded in his body for years as part of an unusual remedy for severe pain in the legs.

Doctors in Changsha, Hunan Province, removed the pearls from the man’s waist, hips and legs. Zou suffered from back and leg pain when a friend introduced him to a doctor in Yiyang, Hunan Province, who places pearls under the skin in order to heal pain.

One of Zou’s relatives who underwent the pearl therapy, got better. However, Zou started experiencing a sharp pain in his legs last year, which subsequently left him unable to walk. As a result of the unusual remedy, Zou had contracted bilateral femoral head necrosis, a condition which stops blood supply to the bone.

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Study Suggests Marijuana Could Prevent The Spread Of HIV

HIV-budding-ColorShould weed be part of AIDS prevention? Daily marijuana use by the HIV-positive could block them from infecting others, the Daily Beast reports:

The study itself was fairly simple. For 17 months, Dr. Molina and her team at Louisiana State University administered a high concentration of THC to 4-to-6-year-old male rhesus monkeys who were RIV-positive (a virus in chimps similar to HIV), twice daily. An examination of the tissue in their intestines before and after the chronic THC exposure revealed dramatic decreases in immune tissue damage in the stomach and a significant increase in the numbers of normal cells.

During HIV infection, one of the earliest effects is that the virus spreads rapidly throughout the body and kills a significant part of cells in the gut and intestine. This activity damages the gut in a way that allows the HIV to leak through the cell wall of the intestines and into the bloodstream.

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Why Ordinary Food Will be the Future of Medicine

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

T. Colin Campbell, one the featured scientists/doctors in the breakout documentary Planeat, writes at CounterPunch:

The Problem

Few issues have become so intensely debated and politically charged as the need to reform the health care system. This debate has resulted in the ObamaCare program (The Affordable Care Act), which aims to expand and improve health care, thereby reducing health care costs.

Presently, US health care costs constitute 18% of GDP, up from about 5% around 1970 (1). These costs are burdensome and many sectors of our society are paying the price. School programs are being scaled back because of the escalating costs of retiree health care benefit programs, as illustrated in Michigan where they are “laying off teachers, scrapping programs and mothballing extracurricular activities…[because of]…health care bills of retirees.“(2). About 60% of personal bankruptcies are now attributed to medical care costs (3) and these rising costs are eroding family incomes (4), among many other devastating outcomes.

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“Epidemic Of Sleep” Reported In Village In Kazakhstan

sleepingIs it mass hysteria? A mysterious epidemic that could grind society to a halt? Or perhaps a logical response to the complexities of modern life? Via Brazil Weird News:

An “Epidemic of Sleep” is how doctors are calling a strange disease that spread among the villagers of Kalachi, Akmola region, Kazakhstan.

Local TV channel KTK reported that, even now, nothing is known about the cause of the disorder. It was found that the affected people are not close nor had any fortuitous contact with each other.

The complaints relate symptoms such as weakness, fainting, even hallucinations. All victims begin to feel an irresistible desire to sleep. Village resident Hope Yakimova said: “People are falling sleeping suddenly, anywhere, standing or sitting.”

Radiation levels and samples of air, water, and soil were measured across town. The blood of the victims was also analyzed seeking traces of heavy metals and other toxic substances.

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Scientist Says Ayahuasca May Fight Cancer

ayahuascaVia SAGE Open Medicine, Brazilian scientist Eduardo E. Schenberg lays out psychedelic shamanic drug’s possible anti-tumor properties in great detail and calls for further investigation into its use as an alternative cancer treatment:

Used for centuries in the Amazon basin by healers and shamans for many different purposes, including the healing and curing of illnesses, ayahuasca is a plant decoction that may be useful in the treatment of some types of cancer. The decoction is most commonly made of two plants in two possible combinations: Banisteriopsis caapi with Psychotria viridis or B. caapi with Diplopterys cabrerana.

There are at least nine reports of cancer patients who consumed ayahuasca during their treatment. Four were reported in a peer-reviewed article, one in an institutional magazine, one in Internet sources, two in a scientific conference (later mentioned in a peer-reviewed article), and one in a book. The origins of these cancers were the prostate, colon, ovaries, breast, uterus, stomach, and brain.

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People Who Drink Their Own Urine Each Morning For Good Health

urineOPEN Magazine has the hottest alternative health secret to start off 2014:

77-year-old south Mumbai resident Sudarshan Dheer’s daily routine begins by waking at 4:30 am and drinking a glass of his own urine. When he is afflicted by an infection or any other ailment, he increases the usage to three times a day. While all this might sound unpalatable, Dheer is part of large community of people who believe that the consumption of one’s own urine gives a huge boost to immunity.

Dheer heard about auto urine therapy (AUT), as it is called, nearly four decades ago when he had a painful viral infection. Somebody told him to read a book called Water of Life, the bible of urine drinkers written by John Armstrong. Dheer began to drink urine and his ailment came under control.

Morarji Desai, the late Prime Minister of India, was a urine drinker who felt no coyness in talking about it.

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Brain Surgery Gives Woman “Hyper Empathy”

mindShould this procedure be made mandatory? Via the Huffington Post:

A woman developed “hyper empathy” after having a part of her brain called the amygdala removed in an effort to treat her severe epilepsy, according to a report of her case.

Doctors removed parts of her temporal lobe, including the amygdala. The surgery is a common treatment for people with severe forms of temporal lobe epilepsy.

After the surgery, the woman reported a “new, spectacular emotional arousal,” that has persisted for 13 years to this date. Her empathy seemed to transcend her body — the woman reported feeling physical effects along with her emotions, such as a “spin at the heart” when experiencing empathic sadness or anger. She reported these feelings when seeing people on TV, meeting people in person, or reading about characters in novels.

She also described an increased ability to decode others’ mental states, including their emotions.

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Chinese Doctors Temporarily Attach Man’s Hand To His Foot

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.38.15 AMKind of gruesome, but I guess you have to give the doctors a hand for thinking quick on their feet.

Via Newser:

Fast-thinking doctors in China are trying to save a man’s severed hand by temporarily reattaching it to his foot, the Daily Mail reports. Xiao Wei cut off his hand in a work accident early last month, leaving him “shocked and frozen on the spot,” he said, “until co-workers unplugged the machine and retrieved my hand and took me to the hospital.” Local doctors couldn’t help, so he went to a regional facility where experts gave him a second look. “I am still young, and I couldn’t imagine life without a right hand,” Wei said.

Doctors attached the hand to his ankle to keep it alive until they can perform a proper surgery.

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