Sic itur ad astra
University student of biology. Science enthusiast & avid tea drinker.

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Remember how I said MRIs are safe, well let me clarify.

They’re safe as long as you don’t bring metal into the room. This is an MRI machine getting to know a stapler. They don’t become friends. The MRI psychotically murders the stapler in fact.

Hospitals screen people very carefully before letting them in one of these, for example metalworkers aren’t allowed use one because they’ve too many microscopic metal shavings in their eyes (gah!) and after reading that I need to go lie down for a while.

I’m back now and only mildly nauseated. The rooms are built Magneto’s prison style. No metal.

You shouldn’t be scared of MRIs. They’re one of the best and safest imaging techniques we have. But magnets are cool.

(Video here and well worth a look)

This is awesome, Nanodash!

I can’t get one because I have surgical clips in my abdomen from when I got my gallbladder out. :\

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#medicine #science


Important People of Medicine: Virginia Apgar

If you’ve ever had, or been around a baby that was born in a hospital, Dr. Apgar’s name probably sounds familiar. An anesthesiologist and teratologist (one who studies abnormalities of physical development), Virginia Apgar is most well-known for the "Apgar score" - a rating given to infants at 1 and 5 minutes after birth, which is often a determining factor in whether or not the baby needs to remain in the hospital after birth.

Dr. Apgar was the first female doctor to receive professorship at Columbia University medical school, and her work in teratology during the rubella pandemic of 1964-65 led to her outspoken advocacy for universal vaccination against that disease. Though it’s often mild and annoying above all else in healthy people, when pregnant women contract rubella (also known as German measles), the rate of deformity and disability of their children skyrockets. It can even cause miscarriage.

Virginia Apgar also promoted universal Rh-testing among pregnant women. This test shows whether a woman has a different Rh blood type than her fetus, because if she does, she can develop antibodies that can cross the placenta and destroy fetal blood cells. This can cause fetal hydrops and high levels of neonatal mortality, but can be prevented by administering anti-RhD IgG injections to the mother during pregnancy, so that she does not develop a sensitivity (and subsequent antibodies) to her baby’s blood type.

Though Dr. Apgar never married or had children of her own, she saved the lives of countless babies and streamlined many medical considerations of neonatal care, resulting in more effective medical treatment. She studied and promoted the prevention of premature births and causes of fetal deformity. She worked for March of Dimes and taught thousands of students. Her influence in the obstetrics and neonatology fields cannot be overstated.

posted 2 weeks ago with 2,140 notes , via , source - reblog
#medicine #history #women


Doctor saves child’s life by practicing heart surgery on 3D-printed model

Heart surgery is an extremely difficult procedure. Even more so when the tiny anatomy of a small child is involved. When 14-month old Roland Lian Cung Bawi’s heart was failing him, his surgeon Erle Austin knew that he had to prepare meticulously for an intricate operation. Initially he consulted other surgeons, but this yielded conflicting advice. So Austin turned to 3D printing for help.

Using the facilities at the University of Louisville’s engineering school, Austin and his medical team produced a three dimensional model of little Ronald’s heart. Pediatric operations are difficult because the interior structures of a child’s organs are small and hard to see clearly. This model allowed the surgical team to come up with a precise plan to limit the amount of exploratory incisions, reduce operating time and prevent the need for follow-up operations.

Read moreFollow policymic

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#science #medicine


This is unnerving. Holy shit…

CDC warns that gonorrhea on verge of being untreatable

via All Science, All the Time/fb

The CDC has issued a report detailing its findings in attempting to trace the increasing difficulty in treating gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause severe discomfort, serious medical problems (such as sterility) for both genders and in very rare cases, death.

Gonorrhea is a bacterial disease that has been around for thousands of years, if not longer, plaguing human populations. In more recent times, it’s had to evolve to survive as humans learned to treat it using penicillin and other antibacterial agents. Over the past thirty years in particular, gonorrhea has evolved to the point that there are very few treatments left (ceftriaxone along with either azithromycin or doxycycline) and now, it looks like its poised to get the best of those as well, which will mean those who contract the disease in the very near future will find that doctors have no way to cure them.

To learn more about the evolutionary history of the disease, the CDC looked at data regarding 17 major cities in the United States between the years 1991 and 2006. They found that gonorrhea was more common in cities with low resistance, but ominously, they also found that rates of gonorrhea were rising faster in cities with high resistance. They note that currently, there are approximately 820,000 new cases of gonorrhea each year in this country. The real problem is that there are now so few antibiotics that are able to treat the disease, and while no strains of the bacteria that are resistant to them have been found so far in the United States, the same cannot be said for other countries.

The overriding conclusion of the researchers is that the world is now sitting on the precipice of losing the ability to fight a major bacterial infection. Worse perhaps, is that it may mark the first of many others to come. Gonorrhea infections typically only last for a few weeks or months, in most cases the immune system eventually wins over (after the disease has caused sometimes irreparable damage). The same cannot be said for some other bacterial infections that may also soon become untreatable. For that reason, scientists around the world continue to scramble to find alternatives.

In the meantime, the CDC is predicting that the spread of treatment-resistant gonorrhea is imminent, and because of that the country (and the rest of the world) will soon begin to experience widespread outbreaks.


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#science #medicine #gonorrhea

If my graduate school plans all work out, I’m not entirely sure I would want to practice medicine in the States. I’m not too savvy about the innards of the medical system here, mind you, but I can’t feel okay knowing that patients would be walking out with insane bills. I can’t feel okay knowing that we might not be able to give a patient a diagnostic test or procedure because their health insurance doesn’t cover it. I can’t feel okay being pressured into throwing pills at people as a “treatment” when something else could work just as well. Maybe that’s not the case in many places, and if so, I want to move there instead because the state of our healthcare system makes me sad and disappointed.

posted 4 weeks ago with 5 notes - reblog
#personal #medicine #doctor #healthcare


"Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides. In a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health, Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, compared intelligence quotients among children whose mothers had been exposed to these neurotoxins while pregnant to those who had not. Bellinger calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphates, the most common pesticides used in agriculture.”

This “silent pandemic” of toxins is believed to be “causing not just lower IQs, but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.”

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains | The Atlantic



Thom Atkinson - 18th-century Medical Artifacts (from the Wellcome Collection, London)

1. Phrenological Heads

2. Case of Glass Eyes

3. Amputation Saws

4. Assorted Syringes 

5. Sir Hiram Maxim’s Pipe of Peace

6. Medicine Chest


Kidney Stone Under Microscope

Scanning electron micrograph of a kidney stone (nephrolithiasis). Kidney stones form when salts, minerals and chemicals in the urine (for example calcium, oxalate and uric acid) crystallise and solidify. Small kidney stones are often passed naturally but larger stones can sometimes get lodged in the kidney or other parts of the urinary tract. Size of stone is 2 mm.

Image Credit: Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen/Wellcome Images

More images from the Wellcome Image Awards 2014:

from Hashem AL-ghaili

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#science #medicine #biology


Medieval surgeon’s manual

These pages are part of a medieval surgical manual written by the 14th-century surgeon Jan Yperman. It describes in detail how to treat various wounds and illnesses. So far so good. It also shows, however, what instruments needed to be used. For a compound fracture of the leg, for example, the jagged-edged scissors in the top image were recommended. And each incision came with its own curly knife on a stick, of course - as shown in the lower image. What’s more, this book-knowledge was by no means theoretical. The book’s dimensions, which is about the size of an iPhone, suggests it was carried around by a 15th-century surgeon on his way to his patients. Break a leg. Or rather, better not.

Pic: Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, MS 3094 (1475-1500). More about the manuscript here.

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#medicine #history


US Civil War surgeon’s kit

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#history #medicine
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#medicine #guns


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to investigate the anatomy and function of the body in both health and disease. MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields and radiowaves to form images of the body. The technique is widely used in hospitals for medical diagnosis, staging of disease and for follow-up without exposure to ionizing radiation.

MRI has a wide range of applications in medical diagnosis and there are estimated to be over 25,000 scanners in use worldwide. MRI has an impact on diagnosis and treatment in many specialties although the effect on improved health outcomes is uncertain. Since MRI does not use any ionizing radiation its use is recommended in preference to CT when either modality could yield the same information. 

MRI is in general a safe technique but the number of incidents causing patient harm have risen. Contraindications to MRI include most cochlear implants and cardiac pacemakers, shrapnel and metallic foreign bodies in the orbits, and some ferromagnetic surgical implants. The safety of MRI during the first trimester of pregnancy is uncertain, but it may be preferable to alternative options. The sustained increase in demand for MRI within the healthcare industry has led to concerns about cost effectiveness and overdiagnosis.

Photo by Derek Berwin/Getty Images

from NWF

posted 2 months ago with 135 notes , via , source - reblog
#science #medicine #mri


Happy Valentine’s Day! This image of a heart was sequenced by a Revolution* CT scanner, which can take a complete 3-D scan of a heart in one beat.

Since this is a real medical device, here’s the fine print: * 510(k) pending at FDA. Not available for sale in the United States. Not yet CE marked. Not available for sale in all regions. Trademark of the General Electric Company.

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#valentines #medicine #science


From Traité complet de l’anatomie de l’homme: comprenant la médicine opératoire, Jean Baptiste Marc Bourgery.
Sagittal section of the brain.

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#brain #medicine #science #anatomy


Week 21 (part 2): rough, real-time sketches in the OR

Surgical Illustration was amazing - I really lucked out with being able to shadow such an amazing surgeon.

I’m shadowing a plastic surgeon (Orthopaedics, hand specialist) and I’m really embracing this opportunity.  It takes a surprising amount of energy to stand for that long, so much respect for their type of work.  I’m using ballpoint pen to draw/sketch in the OR because it’s probably the media I’m the most accustomed to. All that doodling during lecture has trained me for this day lol.

posted 2 months ago with 594 notes , via , source - reblog
#art #medicine