Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To be or not to be

According to the JAMA:

Conclusions In this survey, a small proportion of terminally ill patients seriously considered euthanasia or PAS for themselves. Over a few months, half the patients changed their minds. Patients with depressive symptoms were more likely to change their minds about desiring euthanasia or PAS.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stereotypes

OphthoBook

Dr. Timothy Root is awesome! He's super informative, has a pleasant demeanor, and is just plain hilarious.

Also, he knows how to perfectly pitch his lectures to his audience. At least in my experience I've seldom found intelligent and knowledgeable people are also great teachers and communicators. But Dr. Root certainly is all of the above.

I highly recommend his website which features his book as well. It's excellent for the med student. Although probably too basic for an ophthalmology resident.

Best of all? Everything on his website appears to be free as in free beer (gratis).

And, no, I don't know him or get paid by him or have any other sort of affiliation with him. I just appreciate his work!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Water world

"If you collected all of Earth’s water into a sphere, how big would it be?"

Video game pathology

Specifically, using non-professional gamers we report diagnosis of malaria infected red-blood-cells with an accuracy that is within 1.25% of the diagnostic decisions made by a trained professional.
Watch out pathologists! You might be out of a job. Just kidding, of course. :-)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

History of medical discoveries

A cool little timeline of the history of medical discoveries.

Although I suppose it's understandable why they chose otherwise, I still wish they had included medicine prior to the modern era. Hence my above image.

200 years of surgery

The NEJM is celebrating their 200th anniversary as a journal. Here is an article from the well-known surgeon Atul Gawande.

Check out the rest of their special anniversary articles.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The fluorescent future of surgery

This has been making the rounds on the interwebs. Totally cool stuff! I don't really have much interest in surgery, but it does make me consider it a bit more than I might otherwise. Anyway, the talk is given by ENT surgeon Dr. Quyen Nguyen. Check it out below.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cosby

Atherosclerosis



In Panel A, endothelium-derived nitric oxide was found to relax arterial smooth muscle. A rabbit aortic strip was suspended in a muscle chamber, attached to a strain gauge, and exposed to increasing molar concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh). This led to release of nitric oxide by endothelial cells that acted on smooth-muscle cells to cause vasodilation (left). The strip was then denuded of endothelial cells by mechanical rubbing, and ACh was applied in equivalent molar doses. In the absence of endothelial cells, nitric oxide was not released, leading to vasoconstriction by smooth-muscle cells (right).

Panels B through D show the stages in the development of atherosclerosis. The initial steps include adhesion of blood leukocytes to a monolayer of activated endothelial cells, migration of bound leukocytes into the intima, and maturation of monocytes into macrophages and their uptake of lipid, yielding foam cells (Panel B). Lesions progress as smooth-muscle cells migrate from the media to the intima, the resident intimal and media-derived cells proliferate, and extracellular matrix macromolecules are synthesized. Lipid, cholesterol crystals, and microvessels accumulate in the central region of the plaque, forming a necrotic core (Panel C). Thrombosis complicates physical disruption of the atherosclerotic plaque. Fracture of the cap exposes blood coagulant components to tissue factors in the plaque, triggering occlusive thrombus formation that limits blood flow (Panel D). NA denotes noradrenaline.

(source)

Causes of childhood death



(source)

The perpetual challenge of infectious diseases



(source)

Sleep deprivation

Monday, February 20, 2012

Medicine and the Meaning of Healing


(Jean Bethke Elshtain)

Every odd integer larger than 1 is the sum of at most five primes

A new number theory from Terence Tao.

Bogus Mathematics Index

Keith Devlin writes about the misuse of math in science (e.g. DNA profiling). This is his follow-up.

A tale of two tweets

"What if Charles Dickens and his characters had written for Twitter?"

NKT cell

Was blind but now I see



"Retinal Implant Brings Eyesight To The Blind"

"Sight Seen: Gene Therapy Restores Vision in Both Eyes"

Cancer breath test

Wrt lung cancer.

Malcolm Reynolds

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

War is hell



War is ugly. Physically, psychologially, emotionally, socially, morally, etc.

If we must wage war, let us wage war in such a way as to break the enemy's will to ever fight again. Show no mercy. Utterly shame and decimate the enemy if necessary. As long as people have sinful hearts full of pride, lust, greed, etc., people will be moved by their pride, lust, greed, etc. to wage war. Thus to defeat them and best ensure no future war with them one may need to completely humble and shame their proud hearts. I believe this is more or less the argument scholars like Victor Davis Hanson and Donald Kagan have made in books like The Western Way of War, The Father of Us All, and On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace.

That is, think not Germany after WWI. But think Germany after WWII. After WWI, Germany was defeated but unbowed. The German government surrendered even though German troops were still physically occupying territory on the Western front and even though Germany had won on the Eastern front against Russia. So Germany sought to avenge their defeat at an opportune time. But after WWII, Germany was defeated and bowed to their knees. They knew they had lost. Soviet armies crushed Germany from the east and Anglo-American armies from the west. Germany lay in ruins.

This seems to be the best way to ensure a lasting peace. And, as a friend points out, this can potentially save more lives in the long run.

I suspect this is one reason why God commanded the Israelites to show the Canaanites no mercy if they insist on war. If it's going to be war, then let it be all-out or total war such that the enemy will absolutely know he is defeated, have his will to fight broken and shattered to pieces, and never seek to fight again.

I realize this sounds harsh. But we live in a fallen world. These are the sorts of harsh realities we're often forced to face. These are the difficult choices we're often forced make.

Sledgehammer



Eugene Sledge was a Marine in the Pacific Theater during WWII. If I recall, he was in his late teens when he enlisted. His nickname was "Sledgehammer."

He wrote a book titled With the Old Breed in part about the horrors of war which he saw with his own eyes.

Sledge also featured as a character in the HBO miniseries The Pacific produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

Indeed Sledge saw terrible brutalities in the war. He felt an ever present fear. He knew firsthand the filth and stench of dead bodies strewn everywhere. The hatred and loathing in one's innermost being for some of the enemy's atrocities.

For instance, Sledge describes a moment when he came across the mutilated bodies of three fellow Marines. One of the dead Marines had had his genitals cut off and shoved into his mouth by Japanese soldiers. It sickened him.

He witnessed many other grotesque events while fighting in the Pacific. He entered the war as a young teenager hoping to have the experience of a lifetime, which he did; but he also came back home mature beyond his years. In many respects, he came back a shattered man, a man with a heavy, pained heart, who had witnessed his friends die before him and much worse. It was as if someone had struck Sledge's heart with a sledgehammer, rending it into pieces.

Although he went on to obtain a PhD in biology, marry a beautiful bride, and raise happy children and grandchildren, these memories never left him. They were forever seared into his mind. Indelible, terrible nightmares.

Later in life, in fact if I recall it was toward the end of his life, and at the encouragement of his wife and other loved ones, he decided to write out about his experiences. Mainly for his friends and family as well as to unburden himself. So he did.

The Marines weren't allowed to keep a diary back then for fear if they were killed in action and their bodies searched, a diary might reveal military secrets to the enemy. However, they were each given a Bible. He had written some notes in his Bible during the war. So he used these notes and his memory to write With the Old Breed.

He didn't expect it to be published let alone to sell so many copies. But it did. Today it's considered a military classic. The book is recommended and sometimes required reading at our military academies and at other universities and institutes.

Sledge ends his book in this way:
Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one’s responsibilities and be willing to make sacrifices for one's country - as my comrades did. As the troops used to say, if the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for. With privilege goes responsibility.

The End of Infidelity

Hot off the presses! Check out The End of Infidelity.

By the way, Triablogue has a new eBooks section on their right hand sidebar.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Assad

"Assad emails leaked, tips for ABC interview revealed"

Just two quick comments:
  1. If you're intent on an iron-fisted dictatorship, you might want to use a more secure password than "12345."

  2. If ABC News handing "prep notes" to Bashar al-Assad (who is also part of the same Ba'ath Party that Saddam Hussein used to lead) isn't consorting with the enemy, then I don't know what is. Sadly I have a feeling this will be under reported by the mainstream media.

Meet the numbers



(Although I can chuckle at it, the only depiction I'm not too terribly amused about is irrational number.)

One more episode of Battlestar Galactica

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stick figure theology



More about Annie Vallotton and her work here.

Before Watchmen



News here.

Obviously Alan Moore is less than enthused about this project. Word is Dave Gibbons was asked to participate in the new prequel series but respectfully declined.

Lots of comic industry heavy-hitters to work on the prequel. I've always appreciated Jae Lee's art. I most look forward to J. Michael Straczynski's series of stories.

Blue marble



More images here.

A different, ginormous image here.

Phyllobates terribilis

Scientific method

Ebola virus


(source)

Fibonacci's pendulum


(source)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A jealous God

"[Y]ou shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Exodus 34:14).
Charles Spurgeon addresses Christians:
The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom I now speak, is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did he not choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did he not buy you with his own blood? He cannot endure that you should think you are your own, or that you belong to this world.

He loved you with such a love that he could not stop in heaven without you; he would sooner die than that you should perish; he stripped himself to nakedness that he might clothe you with beauty; he bowed his face to shame and spitting that he might lift you up to honour and glory, and he cannot endure that you should love the world, and the things of the world.

Be careful, Christians, you that are married to Christ; remember, you are married to a jealous husband.

How I see things vs. how my cat sees things

Friday, February 3, 2012

No exit



The following excerpt is from Bertrand Russell:
That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.
By the way, here are the top five regrets of the dying. Of course, if Russell's statement is true, then the regrets are ultimately meaningless. They, too, are headed for the black.

Now please check out this article.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To be or not to be

According to the JAMA:

Conclusions In this survey, a small proportion of terminally ill patients seriously considered euthanasia or PAS for themselves. Over a few months, half the patients changed their minds. Patients with depressive symptoms were more likely to change their minds about desiring euthanasia or PAS.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stereotypes

OphthoBook

Dr. Timothy Root is awesome! He's super informative, has a pleasant demeanor, and is just plain hilarious.

Also, he knows how to perfectly pitch his lectures to his audience. At least in my experience I've seldom found intelligent and knowledgeable people are also great teachers and communicators. But Dr. Root certainly is all of the above.

I highly recommend his website which features his book as well. It's excellent for the med student. Although probably too basic for an ophthalmology resident.

Best of all? Everything on his website appears to be free as in free beer (gratis).

And, no, I don't know him or get paid by him or have any other sort of affiliation with him. I just appreciate his work!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Water world

"If you collected all of Earth’s water into a sphere, how big would it be?"

Video game pathology

Specifically, using non-professional gamers we report diagnosis of malaria infected red-blood-cells with an accuracy that is within 1.25% of the diagnostic decisions made by a trained professional.
Watch out pathologists! You might be out of a job. Just kidding, of course. :-)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

History of medical discoveries

A cool little timeline of the history of medical discoveries.

Although I suppose it's understandable why they chose otherwise, I still wish they had included medicine prior to the modern era. Hence my above image.

200 years of surgery

The NEJM is celebrating their 200th anniversary as a journal. Here is an article from the well-known surgeon Atul Gawande.

Check out the rest of their special anniversary articles.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The fluorescent future of surgery

This has been making the rounds on the interwebs. Totally cool stuff! I don't really have much interest in surgery, but it does make me consider it a bit more than I might otherwise. Anyway, the talk is given by ENT surgeon Dr. Quyen Nguyen. Check it out below.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cosby

Atherosclerosis



In Panel A, endothelium-derived nitric oxide was found to relax arterial smooth muscle. A rabbit aortic strip was suspended in a muscle chamber, attached to a strain gauge, and exposed to increasing molar concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh). This led to release of nitric oxide by endothelial cells that acted on smooth-muscle cells to cause vasodilation (left). The strip was then denuded of endothelial cells by mechanical rubbing, and ACh was applied in equivalent molar doses. In the absence of endothelial cells, nitric oxide was not released, leading to vasoconstriction by smooth-muscle cells (right).

Panels B through D show the stages in the development of atherosclerosis. The initial steps include adhesion of blood leukocytes to a monolayer of activated endothelial cells, migration of bound leukocytes into the intima, and maturation of monocytes into macrophages and their uptake of lipid, yielding foam cells (Panel B). Lesions progress as smooth-muscle cells migrate from the media to the intima, the resident intimal and media-derived cells proliferate, and extracellular matrix macromolecules are synthesized. Lipid, cholesterol crystals, and microvessels accumulate in the central region of the plaque, forming a necrotic core (Panel C). Thrombosis complicates physical disruption of the atherosclerotic plaque. Fracture of the cap exposes blood coagulant components to tissue factors in the plaque, triggering occlusive thrombus formation that limits blood flow (Panel D). NA denotes noradrenaline.

(source)

Causes of childhood death



(source)

The perpetual challenge of infectious diseases



(source)

Sleep deprivation

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Doctor Hoo

From head to toe

The human body from head to toe:



(frame by frame)

Double trouble

MRI of two women, one 250 lbs and the other 120 lbs:



(source)

Sedentary vs. triathlete

MRI cross sections of leg muscles:


(source) (source)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

War is hell



War is ugly. Physically, psychologially, emotionally, socially, morally, etc.

If we must wage war, let us wage war in such a way as to break the enemy's will to ever fight again. Show no mercy. Utterly shame and decimate the enemy if necessary. As long as people have sinful hearts full of pride, lust, greed, etc., people will be moved by their pride, lust, greed, etc. to wage war. Thus to defeat them and best ensure no future war with them one may need to completely humble and shame their proud hearts. I believe this is more or less the argument scholars like Victor Davis Hanson and Donald Kagan have made in books like The Western Way of War, The Father of Us All, and On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace.

That is, think not Germany after WWI. But think Germany after WWII. After WWI, Germany was defeated but unbowed. The German government surrendered even though German troops were still physically occupying territory on the Western front and even though Germany had won on the Eastern front against Russia. So Germany sought to avenge their defeat at an opportune time. But after WWII, Germany was defeated and bowed to their knees. They knew they had lost. Soviet armies crushed Germany from the east and Anglo-American armies from the west. Germany lay in ruins.

This seems to be the best way to ensure a lasting peace. And, as a friend points out, this can potentially save more lives in the long run.

I suspect this is one reason why God commanded the Israelites to show the Canaanites no mercy if they insist on war. If it's going to be war, then let it be all-out or total war such that the enemy will absolutely know he is defeated, have his will to fight broken and shattered to pieces, and never seek to fight again.

I realize this sounds harsh. But we live in a fallen world. These are the sorts of harsh realities we're often forced to face. These are the difficult choices we're often forced make.

Sledgehammer



Eugene Sledge was a Marine in the Pacific Theater during WWII. If I recall, he was in his late teens when he enlisted. His nickname was "Sledgehammer."

He wrote a book titled With the Old Breed in part about the horrors of war which he saw with his own eyes.

Sledge also featured as a character in the HBO miniseries The Pacific produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

Indeed Sledge saw terrible brutalities in the war. He felt an ever present fear. He knew firsthand the filth and stench of dead bodies strewn everywhere. The hatred and loathing in one's innermost being for some of the enemy's atrocities.

For instance, Sledge describes a moment when he came across the mutilated bodies of three fellow Marines. One of the dead Marines had had his genitals cut off and shoved into his mouth by Japanese soldiers. It sickened him.

He witnessed many other grotesque events while fighting in the Pacific. He entered the war as a young teenager hoping to have the experience of a lifetime, which he did; but he also came back home mature beyond his years. In many respects, he came back a shattered man, a man with a heavy, pained heart, who had witnessed his friends die before him and much worse. It was as if someone had struck Sledge's heart with a sledgehammer, rending it into pieces.

Although he went on to obtain a PhD in biology, marry a beautiful bride, and raise happy children and grandchildren, these memories never left him. They were forever seared into his mind. Indelible, terrible nightmares.

Later in life, in fact if I recall it was toward the end of his life, and at the encouragement of his wife and other loved ones, he decided to write out about his experiences. Mainly for his friends and family as well as to unburden himself. So he did.

The Marines weren't allowed to keep a diary back then for fear if they were killed in action and their bodies searched, a diary might reveal military secrets to the enemy. However, they were each given a Bible. He had written some notes in his Bible during the war. So he used these notes and his memory to write With the Old Breed.

He didn't expect it to be published let alone to sell so many copies. But it did. Today it's considered a military classic. The book is recommended and sometimes required reading at our military academies and at other universities and institutes.

Sledge ends his book in this way:
Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one’s responsibilities and be willing to make sacrifices for one's country - as my comrades did. As the troops used to say, if the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for. With privilege goes responsibility.

The End of Infidelity

Hot off the presses! Check out The End of Infidelity.

By the way, Triablogue has a new eBooks section on their right hand sidebar.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Assad

"Assad emails leaked, tips for ABC interview revealed"

Just two quick comments:
  1. If you're intent on an iron-fisted dictatorship, you might want to use a more secure password than "12345."

  2. If ABC News handing "prep notes" to Bashar al-Assad (who is also part of the same Ba'ath Party that Saddam Hussein used to lead) isn't consorting with the enemy, then I don't know what is. Sadly I have a feeling this will be under reported by the mainstream media.

Meet the numbers



(Although I can chuckle at it, the only depiction I'm not too terribly amused about is irrational number.)

One more episode of Battlestar Galactica

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stick figure theology



More about Annie Vallotton and her work here.

Before Watchmen



News here.

Obviously Alan Moore is less than enthused about this project. Word is Dave Gibbons was asked to participate in the new prequel series but respectfully declined.

Lots of comic industry heavy-hitters to work on the prequel. I've always appreciated Jae Lee's art. I most look forward to J. Michael Straczynski's series of stories.

Blue marble



More images here.

A different, ginormous image here.

Phyllobates terribilis

Scientific method

Ebola virus


(source)

Fibonacci's pendulum


(source)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A jealous God

"[Y]ou shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Exodus 34:14).
Charles Spurgeon addresses Christians:
The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom I now speak, is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did he not choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did he not buy you with his own blood? He cannot endure that you should think you are your own, or that you belong to this world.

He loved you with such a love that he could not stop in heaven without you; he would sooner die than that you should perish; he stripped himself to nakedness that he might clothe you with beauty; he bowed his face to shame and spitting that he might lift you up to honour and glory, and he cannot endure that you should love the world, and the things of the world.

Be careful, Christians, you that are married to Christ; remember, you are married to a jealous husband.

How I see things vs. how my cat sees things

Friday, February 3, 2012

No exit



The following excerpt is from Bertrand Russell:
That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.
By the way, here are the top five regrets of the dying. Of course, if Russell's statement is true, then the regrets are ultimately meaningless. They, too, are headed for the black.

Now please check out this article.