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NASA Research Has Positive Implications For Motion Sickness Treatment

So how would one go about figuring out the best medication for dizziness due to motion-sickness leading to nausea and even vomiting?

Well, step 1… Put a bunch of people in a machine and figure out the necessary motions that will cause dizziness.

Step 2… Do the same thing, but this time, put people on different medications and figure out what works the best.

Sound crazy?

Well it has been done by the friendly folks at NASA. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

Space Medicine, Above And Below Earth

e93jdjj.jpgThe Chilean mine rescue was a great example of international cooperation and effort, much like the International Space Station. Another similarity between the two was some of the physicians involved.

Dr. J.D. Polk and other flight surgeons at NASA had, years ago, made a contingency plan for how to make the limited Space Station food stores last for months if there was a problem with re-supply. So when the Chilean government asked if NASA had any advice for how to care for the miners trapped in a similar resource-limited setting, Dr. Polk and a team went down to help, and MedPage Today wrote up a great summary of their efforts. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

A Look At Breast Cancer Via NASA

James C. Tilton, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, for some years now has been working on new image enhancement software to help automatically analyze satellite data of the Earth. Hierarchical Segmentation Software (HSEG), as the tool is called, identifies relatively homogeneous areas of an image and highlights them.

Our eyes and brains are pretty good at image analysis, but large dense maps can be quite a challenge. Although originally designed for aerial cartography, the first commercial use of the software came in the form of a mammogram enhancement and analysis system.

The lakes of northern Wisconsin (top) are very much like dense breast tissue (side) to a NASA scientist it turns out, and porting over the code and optimizing it led to the MED-SEG™ system from Bartron Medical Imaging (New Haven, Connecticut). Having received FDA approval, plans are now being made to conduct clinical trials evaluating how MED-SEG can benefit radiologists in cancer diagnosis. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

A Biomedical Look At Spaceflight

Book review by Dan Buckland

(Dan Buckland is an editor at Medgadget and an MD/PhD student at Harvard Med/MIT whose thesis deals with diagnosing back injury in spaceflight using ultrasound.)

Mary Roach, author of previous entertaining books Bonk (a history of sex research) and Stiff (a history of cadaver research), has turned her considerable talents in translating decades of research into a readable review of human (and animal) spaceflight experimentation.

The title of her new book, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, is a bit of a misnomer — only the last chapter is devoted to the medical advances needed for a trip to Mars. However, it is a great layman’s history of the biomedical results of both the American and Russian space programs.

Through my own research and academic career I’ve been peripherally involved with many of the recent studies she mentions in the book, and I know many of the people she interviewed, so I give her credit for taking some fairly complicated concepts and distilling them to relevant anecdotes and asides. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

A “Touch” Of Outer Space For The Blind

NASA, in an attempt to have visually-impaired people get a glimpse of what’s “out there,” has created a reconstruction of a Hubble image of the Carina Nebula in a 3D touch map.

Different textures applied to the image help in identifying the various parts of the giant dust cloud. We even think that visually-okay folks can get a better sense of the cosmic anatomy when offered such a presentation.

Read more on this from NASA here.

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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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