The most dangerous time to be a woman in need of a life-saving abortion at a Catholic hospital is right after that hospital has been consolidated into a Catholic system, according the medical demographer Dr. Diana Foster. That's because doctors with more experience in the Catholic system are more likely to secretly offer therapeutic abortions under the table
, and get away with it. — Maggie
David Freedman has a piece at The Atlantic about healthy foods, unhealthy foods — and the "healthy" foods that are actually probably not that healthy, despite coming to you all natural and un-processed
. I want to like the piece more than I actually do. For instance, Freedman has some issues with misrepresenting the positions of the people he's arguing against. For instance, I think he and Michael Pollan would probably agree that downing lots of 300-calorie fruit smoothies isn't the best way to get in shape. But it's an interesting read, especially if you just focus on the key point: Healthy food doesn't have to be limited to what you buy at Whole Foods or the farmer's market. — Maggie
Some kinds of antidepressants might pose a risk to embryos and fetuses at certain stages in their development
. But depression in the mother also puts fetuses at risk, so whether or not a pregnant woman should take antidepressants is still a really complicated question. The answer depends a lot of individual experience of depressive symptoms, which drugs are taken, and when. As with most things relating to pregnancy and health, there's not a solid one-size-fits-all answer and individuals still have to weigh risks and make hard choices alone. — Maggie
Rich Lee, a "grinder" (someone who has surgical enhancements and/or modifications conducted upon their person), implanted a magnet in his ear that he can use as a speaker; he wears a coil on a necklace that he can use to transmit to it (he was inspired by this Instructable), and is now branching out into some serious experimentation:
Listening to music is nice and probably the most obvious answer, but I intend to do some very creative things with it. The implant itself is completely undetectable to the naked eye. The device & coil necklace are are easily concealed under my shirt so nobody can really see it. I can see myself using it with the gps on my smartphone to navigate city streets on foot. I plan to hook it up to a directional mic of some sort (possibly disguised as a shirt button or something) so I can hear conversations across a room. Having a mic hooked up to it and routed through my phone would be handy. You could use a simple voice stress analysis app to detect when people might be lying to you. Not to say that is a hard science, but I’m sure it could come in handy at the poker table or to pre-screen business clients. I have a contact mic that allows you to hear through walls. That might be my next implant actually.
He also wants to hook it up to an ultrasonic rangefinder and learn to echolocate. He's going blind, so being able to use his hearing for physical nav is going to be important to him. He also wants to hook it up to a Geiger counter.
DIY Headphone Implant
Just a reminder: Vitamins aren't inert. They actually do things in your body and we don't totally understand yet what all they do, how they do it, and how much extra vitamin supplementation is too much
. Meanwhile, the vitamin and supplement industry remains largely unregulated. Most doctors probably wouldn't tell you to stop taking vitamins, but the concerns voiced by Dr. Paul Offit in a story at CNN aren't ridiculous and should help convince you to make sure that you're talking with your doctor about the supplements and vitamins you take, and to be leery of megadosing on any vitamin. — Maggie
In general, women outlive men. This is not a new idea. But what you might not know is that the effect can't be explained by some simple hand-waving about risk-taking men, or war, or the allure of the Marlboro Man. In fact, the tendency for men to die at a higher frequency than women happens at every age group — even in utero. Fetal males die more often than fetal females. So what makes the men-folk so delicate?
NPR's Robert Krulwich investigates. — Maggie
Two doctors have written a really fascinating analysis of the history and economics of health insurance that will make our current U.S. system seem even more ridonculous than it already did
. — Maggie
Shintaro Hayashi, a Tokyo prosthetics maker, spent most of this life making medical prostheses for people who'd lost breasts, limbs, etc, but now does a booming trade in fake pinkie fingers for ex-yakuza gangsters who don't want to broadcast their criminal past (yakuza members who screw up have their pinkies lopped off in retaliation).
The doctor molds silicone prosthetic pinkies, made to seamlessly mask the amputation, making for a smoother transition to the outside world. Priced at nearly $3,000 each, the fingers are carefully painted, to match the exact skin color of the client. Former yakuza members, who make up 5 percent of Hayashi's business, often keep several sets of fingers for different seasons – the light skinned version for winter, and a tanned look for summer.
Hayashi sums up his clientele in three categories: Those who are dragged into his office by girlfriends worried about their reputations, ex-members who are eager to move up the corporate ladder but worried about the repercussions of their past being exposed, longtime yakuza who have no intention of getting out, but need to cover up for a child's wedding or grandchild's sporting event.
"Many people keep a fist, to prevent detection," he said. "But there comes a point where you can't hide your fingers any longer. Some people have one joint severed, others have worse," he said.
Prosthetic Fingers Help Reform Japan's Feared Yakuza Gangsters [Akiko Fujita/ABC]
Miss Cakehead writes, "The Depressed Cake Shop will be like nothing ever seen before as it will sell ONLY grey coloured cakes. Raising money for mental health charities, it will also provide a platform for discussion of the illness. The pop up is based in the UK but with other events starting to be planned around the globe."
The Depressed Cake Shop
Despite regulatory headaches
, a growing community of people with Crohn's, ulcerative colitis and other IBDs, as well as those with C. difficile
, are turning to fecal transplants, often resorting to DIY poop-enemas
An effective cure for a brutal bacterial infection
is gaining popularity, but there is a price to recognition: the FDA is clamping down on the procedure
while researching it as an "investigational new drug." Now that doctors have to do a mountain of paperwork, will it result in a black market for backstreet blendastools? — Rob
Elijah sez, "Recent news has been all about the commercial use of 3D printing - from food to weaponry. But recently, doctors at the University of Michigan used quick thinking and 3D printing technology to save the life of a 2-month-old child with a rare disease."
The scaffold was made of a bioresorbable material, polycaprolactone, so it would dissolve and be absorbed by the body after about three years. At this point, his airways should be fully developed and no longer need the stent.
The doctors used high-resolution X-ray scans of one of Kaiba's healthy windpipes to design a computer model for the life-saving brace.
Laser-equipped 3-D printers crafted the device in a few hours, and the university obtained emergency clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implant it on February 9, 2012 at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.
"It was amazing. As soon as the splint was put in, the lungs started going up and down for the first time and we knew he was going to be OK," said Green.
3-D Printing Saves Baby's Life [VIDEO]
(Thanks, Elijah Wolfson!)
The oldest person in the world died this year. But don't worry if you missed the event. The oldest person in the world will likely die next year, as well.
In fact, according to mathematician Marc van Leeuwen, an "oldest person in the world" will die roughly every .65 years. — Maggie
They just don't make ads like this anymore. "Guy with pince-nez" is great visual shorthand for "Authority figure."
Contest Entry.. Away with trusses!
Gmoke sez, "Susan Murcott and her team's factory making clay filters for Pure Home Water in Ghana. Over 100,000 served, so far."
They're shooting for 1,000,000.
Pure Home Water, Ghana: AfriClay Filters