Browsing: Health/Medicine

A Brief History On May 25, 2001, American mountain climber, adventurer, author, and speaker, Erik Weihenmayer, became the first blind person to reach the top of Mt. Everest in Nepal.  A year later, he added to his collection of fantastic feats by becoming the 150th person to scale each of the “Seven Summits,” the tallest mountain on each of the continents. Digging Deeper Weihenmayer suffered from a degenerative eye disease as a child, resulting in his vision loss by his teen years.  A high school wrestler, he also began rock climbing, graduated from Boston College, and became a teacher while…

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A Brief History On May 22, 2021, what may be the saddest and most bizarre event to strike an athletic competition in progress occurred in Gansu, China.  An ultra-marathon held in the Yellow River Stone Forest was the final race for 21 of the 172 long distance runners competing in the 100 km race. Digging Deeper During the race, the weather had turned cold, rain and possibly graupel, a form of frozen rain, pelted the hapless runners as temperatures dipped from an “apparent” 34 degrees Fahrenheit to about 23 degrees Fahrenheit in wind gusts between 47 and 55 miles per…

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A Brief History On May 8, 2019, a British teenager became the first patient to receive bacteriophage therapy to treat an antibiotic resistant infection.  The use of bacteriophages, which are viruses that attack bacteria cells, to treat bacterial infections was an idea that went back many decades but was superseded by the widespread use of antibiotic drugs. Digging Deeper Those same antibiotics, while highly successful, have caused mutations in bacteria that make those pathogens resistant to the antibiotics and difficult to treat with normal methods.  The use of genetically altered bacteriophages results in fewer side effects and less chance of…

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A Brief History On April 23, 2018, Canada suffered its worst vehicular attack when a frustrated 25 year old man rammed a rented van into a group of pedestrians, killing 11 people, of which 9 were women.  The attack occurred in the North York City Centre area of Toronto and injured an additional 15 people. Digging Deeper The perpetrator was arrested despite his efforts to have the police kill him, and an investigation concluded that he was sexually frustrated by being socially rejected by women, what is colloquially referred to as being an “incel,” or involuntary celibate. The unrepentant misogynist…

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A Brief History On April 12, 1955, the Polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was declared safe and effective for use in the United States, ending the epidemic that killed or crippled mass numbers of children in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  An earlier Polio vaccine in 1950 was not approved in the US, and in 1961, an oral vaccine became available. Digging Deeper Many diseases have been tamed or eliminated by vaccines, and today we ask, which vaccine is the greatest?  Here are some contenders: The smallpox vaccine, saving millions of lives, goes back to as long ago…

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