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Latest Posts

Curing The Common Cold From The Inside Out?

Picture from the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular BiologyAntibodies can fight viruses from within infected cells, reported researchers who now believe that treatments could be applied to viral diseases like the common cold, “winter vomiting,” and gastroenteritis.

Previously, scientists thought that antibodies could only reduce infection by attacking viruses outside cells and by blocking their entry into cells. Once inside the cell, the body’s only defense was to destroy the cell. But protection mediated by antibodies doesn’t end at the cell membrane. It continues inside the cell to provide a last line of defense against infection.

Researchers at the U.K.’s Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology showed that cells possess a cytosolic IgG receptor, tripartite motif-containing 21 (TRIM21), which binds to antibodies with a higher affinity than any other IgG receptor in the human body. Antibodies remain attached when viruses enter healthy cells. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

When Adults Get Chickenpox

We think of chickenpox as a childhood disease, but there are adult cases and they tend to lead to more serious complications.

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella virus and it is extremely contagious. Most people are exposed in childhood (or they receive the chicken pox vaccine), and so adults rarely contract it. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women because the fetus can become infected. The latency period from infection exposure to disease is 10 to 21 days. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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