research

The Best Biomedical Research Journals for Staying Informed

In medicine, things are always rapidly changing, and the influx of research often leaves most of us toppling over data, articles, and new ideas to comb through. It’s important for the future healthcare professional and medical scientist to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, changes, and revolutions in biomedical science. For example, the boom of cancer immunotherapies over the past two years has overwhelmed the scientific literature and has been a hot topic of discussion in popular media outlets such as the New York Times. While these articles are often easier to read, highlighting anecdotal stories among interviews with important physicians and scientists involved in the research, they often fail to include primary research and the details of mechanism behind the science. Consequently, reading these articles featured in the media are intellectually interesting, yet lack the “meat” of the primary research. Instead of blasting a search on PubMed to find the latest news in research, I’ve compiled a list of the most relevant, highly esteemed, and trustworthy journals that are necessary in the arsenal of the future doctor and medical researcher. Most of them have highlights sections, editorials, and reviews as well to keep you informed on relevant topics without becoming tangled up in the depths of the original research article itself (though sometimes that is worth it and necessary). This is not a comprehensive list and is influenced...

Reading Before Bed Helps Better Sleep

It’s official: reading before bed has been proven to promote better sleep. Unlike many modern ways of consuming info such as phones and TV, it doesn’t stimulate the brain into staying awake. Discover the benefits of taking a book to bed, and how this can fit in with a good sleep routine below. 6 Minutes to Slumber Infographic by Mattress Online. The Health Scout recounts why sleep matters for pre-med students and medical professionals: A mentor once told me, “Whenever you say ‘yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.” Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to sleep means my life appears pretty boring from the outside. For example, when I was a 4th year med student on my surgery sub-internship, I woke up at 4:00am every day and usually didn’t get home until 7pm or later. When I got home, I ate dinner while I talked to my husband, showered, and then got in bed around 8:00pm. This was also in July, so I was actually in bed before the sun set every night. This sounds like a really pathetic existence, but I swear I was happy. Giving up some time with my husband after work in favor of getting enough sleep was worth it because I wasn’t exhausted on my days off. I actually had energy to spend time with him. And getting enough sleep helped me perform at my...

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

The whole reason that e-cigarettes were invented was to provide a less harmful alternative to smoking – one which – unlike traditional NRT’s (Patches, gum etc) – actually feels like smoking, and gives you a genuinely satisfying nicotine hit. Something that is still actually pleasurable, but without the known problems associated with smoking. So naturally, ever since their conception there has been a great deal of debate over just how safe they really are. With well over a decade since the first generation of the humble e-cig hit the market we’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of bad research into vaping, vapor and the devices used to create it. In the following sections we’d like to try and sift the fact from fiction and provide you with a brief overview of the evidence that will answer is vaping safer than smoking. 1. The Basic Premise Since the 1950’s it has been increasingly well documented that it is the combustion of tobacco and the resultant smoke and tar inhaled, that cause the diseases associated with smoking. These include, lung cancer, COPD, cardiovascular disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and so on. One of the founding fathers of tobacco cessation, Professor Michael Russell, wrote: “People smoke for nicotine, but they die from the tar” There are over 5000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke (source), over 70 of which are known carcinogens. Some...

How Modern Athletes Utilize Psychological Training For Performance

The great Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.” He might have gotten his math mixed up, but he made a valid point, and it applies to not only America’s favorite pastime, but to all sports. Classic one-liners aside, competing in sports is about mental toughness as much as it is physical prowess. Eastern European nations recognized early on the importance of the mental aspect of sports, and incorporated sports psychology into the training regimens of their Olympic athletes. Now, virtually all-professional teams and modern athletes utilize psychological training in every major sport around the world by either employing sports psychologists or partnering with them. Most psychologists believe that having a great skill set does not necessarily ensure success in sports. Elite level athletes need to be mentally strong. Psychologist Richard Koestner claims that at an elite level (e.g., professional leagues, world championships, and the Olympics), mental skills are “responsible for between 50% and 90% of the variance in performance during important events or competitions.” In other words, when two elite athletes face off, the winner will most likely be the one with the better mental acumen.  Mental training has become a crucial part of sports, notably individual sports like figure skating, diving, and golf, which are “at the high end of the mental skills continuum.” The goal of mental training, therefore, is to prevent the mind...

What Does Hepatitis C Treatment Look Like In The Future?

You’ve probably heard about Hepatitis C treatment options. There are regularly commercials advertising medications that inform treat the issue. Perhaps you have an acquaintance that has been afflicted by the virus. Or maybe you’re concerned that you’ve somehow contracted the virus. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misunderstanding about Hepatitis C, how it varies from other strains of Hepatitis, and how it can be treated. These misunderstandings often lead to fear, frustration, and confusion. If that’s you, have no fear. The issue really isn’t that complicated. Once you know the facts, you’ll be equipped to discuss and even be treated for it if necessary. Consider this your primer on Hepatitis C. We’re going to break down the what, why, and how of the virus so that you can make appropriate and informed decisions. What is Hepatitis C? As the disease progresses and becomes chronic, it starts to wreak havoc on the liver. Over time, it may lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer, blood infections and hemoglobin diseases, autoimmune weakness, and all manner of horrible complications in the gastrointestinal tract. The spread of infection of Hepatitis C is mostly through blood-to-blood contact. Unlike other strains of Hepatitis, there are few cases of it being propagated through unsafe sex. In most case, the HCV is spread through intravenous drug use, poor sterilized medical equipment, from mother to child during pregnancy, or open...

Learn How to Workout Like Tom Brady

Are you starting to think that your fitness goals are out of reach? You’ve read so many articles and tried all the tips, but you can’t achieve your goals. It’s rough, especially if you are competitive … so much effort with so little success. But maybe there is a more simple way to achieving peak fitness and performance: Tom Brady, the football quarterback for the New England Patriots, wants to share his 5 step winning fitness routine with you. These five simple steps are guaranteed to improve your fitness and performance. Nothing complicated, no additional expense – just focus and commitment. Nothing else! That’s all you need to achieve your goals. Learn how to workout like Tom Brady. Hiw success comes down to to five simple steps, and they’re all about lifestyle. It’s about dedication to your goal every day. No days off. But once you buy into Tom’s fitness routine you won’t want days off because this is really a way of life rather than a routine. This is how Tom Brady does it: 1. Muscle pliability training 2. Go vegan! Plant protein is best 3. Rehydrate … drink water, water and more water 4. Get 9 hours sleep every night 5. Play sport and work out daily If you also want to improve your fitness, turn it into a game! Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston...

Your Microbial Self: What Does Your Gut Tell You?

When most people think of bacteria within your body, what comes to their mind are these nasty unfriendly creatures that cause certain diseases and make them sick. However, that is true only to a certain extent and does not apply to all species of bacteria. Research has actually determined that there are trillions of beneficial bacteria inside our body that help us in performing life-sustaining functions at all times. These good bacteria indeed make up our internal ecosystem that we call the ‘microbiome’. The microbiome inhabits everything from our skin and genitals, to our mouths and eyes, and a vast majority of them reside in our intestines and are known as our ‘gut microbiota’. The total number of genes represented by our microbiome likely exceeds the number of our human genes by at least two orders of magnitude! Appropriately so, we are but an amalgamation of our human selves and our ‘microbial selves’. These diverse organisms in our microbiome govern nearly every function in the human body. Traditionally, it was thought that the gut microbiota effects are limited to the host’s digestive tract but more recent research has proven that the effects of the microbiome on our health are far-reaching, hence making it vital for our survival. You can think of the microbiome as an intricate web that connects to virtually all processes in our body. The current scientific...