If you like science, true history, and an engaging story, pick up the new book by journalist Rebecca Skloot, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and prepare for a great read. I knew nothing about the young black woman whose cells were taken back in 1951 by a scientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital and how those cells have revolutionized modern cell biology and research.
The HeLa (named after HEnrietta LAcks) cells were taken as she lay dying on the “colored” ward at Johns Hopkins Hospital of aggressive cervical cancer at age 30. Everyone who studies basic cell biology has heard of HeLa cells because they were the first human cell line to be successfully grown in culture and they are alive today. HeLa cells were sent to researchers all across the globe and have been used to develop the polio vaccine, viruses, cloning, gene mapping and in-vitro fertilization. Billions of the same immortal HeLa cells are used by researchers fighting cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and diabetes. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
You have it very hard — much harder than most people understand. Having sat for 16 years listening to the stories, seeing the tiredness in your eyes, hearing you try to describe the indescribable, I have come to understand that I, too, can’t understand what your lives are like. How do you answer the question, “How do you feel?” when you’ve forgotten what “normal” feels like? How do you deal with all of the people who think you are exaggerating your pain, your emotions, your fatigue? How do you decide when to believe them or when to trust your own body? How do you cope with living a life that won’t let you forget about your frailty, your limits, your mortality?
I can’t imagine.
But I do bring something to the table that you may not know. I do have information that you can’t really understand because of your unique perspective, your battered world. There is something that you need to understand that, while it won’t undo your pain, make your fatigue go away, or lift your emotions, it will help you. It’s information without which you bring yourself more pain than you need suffer. It’s a truth that is a key to getting the help you need much easier than you have in the past. It may not seem important, but trust me — it is. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*
When thinking of the health risks of smoking, almost everyone is aware that smoking causes lung cancer and respiratory diseases. The connection between inhaling smoke into the lungs and developing diseases of the lung is immediately plausible. But every year medical researchers discover more and more diseases that are worsened by smoking.
One example that recently caught my attention is multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a very serious neurological condition caused partly by damage to the myelin sheath covering cells and their connections in the central nervous system. The precise neurological symptoms the person experiences depends largely on which part of their central nervous system is affected. Read more »
This post, Smoking May Worsen Multiple Sclerosis, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..