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The Doctor's Channel

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Human World Records: The Greatest Achievements of the Human Body

Every year, thousands of people around the world submit their entry for a new world record. From the world’s longest fingernails to the most pints of beer drank in under 5 minutes, many of them show what the human body is capable of when it’s taken to extremes. For many of these people, it is a case of pushing the limits of the human body and mind. Mental barriers and physical hurdles are overcome. When signals are sent from the brain saying “stop”, they break through those, exercising incredible willpower and pushing beyond what they know is capable, breaking records time and again. There have been incredible feats of bravery and endurance. However, pushing mind and body to the limit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The challenge though, is to many, addictive and the sense of achievement once the goal is completed gives them unparalleled satisfaction. The “three needs” theory breaks motivation into three, arguing that motivation can be sliced into three: People push forward for achievement, for power and for belonging. This is certainly the case when the goal is more obscure or niche. They may be the only one striving for this goal and pursuing something against the advice of others. As humans, we strive to grow faster and stronger. To say, “what’s next?” and move forward. We enhance our capabilities every day and we all have...

Healthcare’s Future: What Happened Since The Election

The elections of 2016 brought about a significant change in the way American healthcare was run in the previous years. ObamaCare slowly took a toll as Donald Trump made his way into presidency: “’17 is going to be a disaster cost-wise for Obamacare. It’s going to explode in ’17.” (ABC News) According to Trump, the healthcare system of the United States needed a lot of work and that is exactly what the president was aiming at- a brighter future for healthcare. Over the years, the growth in presidency brought about a growth in the health plans of individual citizens, however, recently Trump raised an uproar in the repealing of ObamaCare. This post will discuss the major changes that have been brought about as Donald Trump took over presidency and whether or not the Republicans insight of ObamaCare brought success. Here we will discuss the aims, challenges and the proposals that was brought in by the elections. However, to understand how the healthcare system made drastic changes in the recent years, it’s important to first understand what exactly the ObamaCare was. What is ObamaCare? To put it in very simple terms, ObamaCare is a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act made in 2010 which simply aims to make health insurance a mandatory option for every individual. Enacted by the 111th United States Congress, President Barak Obama finally turned it into a...

32 Amazing Tips to Learn and Study Faster

Have you ever felt that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Or that you’re always struggling to get everything done in time? Medical Students—and anyone trying to learn something new—will probably understand what I’m talking about. Even if you’re fully invested in the process and have strong motivation, there’s just one thing keeping you from succeeding more: the lack of time. While it’s impossible to add extra hours to a day, there is still a way out. Want to know what it is? Learn and study faster. We’ve put together an infographic that will show you how to make the most of the time you have at your disposal. With 32 different ways of fast learning to choose from, at least some of them will surely be perfectly fitting for you. It won’t hurt to look through our infographic. And the couple of minutes you spend on it will pay off when you start using some of the techniques described below! Part of having a healthy study habit and maximizing your learning capacity is a healthy diet. Make sure to know about these eight superfoods for better studying! Everything steps up a notch on test days. You have to work harder and be ready to change things if they don’t work. As you progress you gain a better sense when to cut corners. Free more time for important things,...

A New FDA-Approved Therapy That Treats Leukemia and Lymphoma

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T, is a precision medicine approach to treating certain forms of leukemia and lymphoma. The patients own cells are filtered and separated, then mixed with a deactivated virus that causes the cells to grow an artificial receptor that will track down the CD19 antigen expressed by these cancers. The modified T-cells are then reintroduced to the patient’s blood stream to begin therapy. Click here to read the press announcement from the FDA Newsroom. The FDA’s August 2017 approval of the CAR-T therapy known as tisagenlecleucel for certain pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia was the first gene therapy approved in the United States. Less than two months later, the approval of axicabtagene ciloleucel expands the milestone further and reinforces the FDA’s willingness to support these novel therapies. Earlier this year, the FDA was in works to approve therapy which genetically alter’s a patient’s T-cells: The FDA may soon approve a new cancer therapy that genetically alters a patient’s own existing T-cells to fight leukemia. This new, investigational treatment is known as CTL019 and is a type of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. CTL019 utilizes a process in which T-cells are carefully harvested from each individual leukemia patient. These patient-specific T-cells are then genetically reprogrammed to express a chimeric CD19 antigen receptor and subsequently transfused back into the specific patient from whom they were originally collected. Once back inside the patient, these reprogrammed T-cells multiply,...

Scientists Develop New Antibody to Target HIV Strains

In 2016, HIV continued to confound patients, physicians, and researchers while resulting in one million deaths due to AIDS-related illness worldwide. Additionally, there were 36.7 million people living with HIV and 1.8 million new HIV infections reported. HIV mutational ability generally inactivates the immune system leading to lethal virulence. As a result of a collaboration between Sanofi and the United States National Institutes of Health, research scientists have developed a revolutionary tri-specific antibody designed to target three separate components of HIV, disrupting resistance mechanisms that render accepted therapeutic paradigms ineffective. Preliminary studies reveal that in twenty-four monkeys treated with the antibody and then infected with HIV, no test subjects progressed to developing symptoms or advanced disease. Beginning in 2018, the tri-specific antibody will be tested in humans. HIV life expectancy is improving. A new study published in The Lancet reports advances in antiretroviral drug treatment (ART) that improve life expectancy for patients living with HIV. ART is the standard treatment regime for HIV patients. While ART cannot cure HIV, a combination of medications help patients live longer and reduce the risk of HIV transmission. ART was first introduced in 1996. One year after ART was introduced, the FDA approved Combivir, a combination drug taken as a single daily tablet, which made taking daily medication HIV patients easier. Since then, ART initiation has improved by leaps and bounds, making medication management easier for patients. Reference: Xu L, Pegu...

This Surgical Hydrogel Can Seal Wounds Without Stitches

Methacryloyl-substituted tropoelastin, or MeTro, is an elastic hydrogel compound that can be applied to internal or external wounds during surgery or in emergency situations. Once treated with UV light, MeTro’s sealant properties are activated within seconds, effectively staunching blood flow and quickly closing wounds. The hydrogel can even be fine-tuned to different degrees of elasticity depending on the intensity of UV light exposure. In early phase research, MeTro was successfully tested on the arteries of rodents and lungs of pigs. Human clinical trials are expected to begin in 2018. The collaborating research teams from University of Sydney, Harvard University, and Northeastern University responsible for this compound are confident that MeTro will have a volume of uses beyond wound management. Click here to review the publication in Science Mag. How far have we come from surgery? Just two years ago, we were exploring surgery free cures for appendicitis. Recently, several studies in Europe have re-investigated this treatment option and determined that antibiotics can be used to treat appendicitis instead of appendix removal surgery, reports The New York Times. Of the 1,000 participants, 70% of those who took antibiotics needed no further surgery or treatment. Where antibiotics were not effective, subsequent surgeries were completed without any additional risks. Physicians who participated in the study proposed valuable questions regarding when to offer antibiotics and when is this treatment is most cost-effective. Given these unanswered questions and...

Watch Film’s Most Frightening Medics on Halloween

Halloween only comes once a year, but the scariest movies and tales of evil can stay with you long after the dusty decorations have been stowed. From the unthinkable evil acts of Dr. Hannibal Lector, the cannibal psychiatrist, to the misguided misdemeanors of Ernest Menville, the submissive plastic surgeon, the horror genre is littered with downright dangerous doctors. But, characters and crimes aside, why do we even watch horror movies in the first place? The side effects of such viewing in many people include a racing heart, perspiration, goosebumps and even nightmares, so why put ourselves through the mental anguish when we could be watching Scrubs? Dr Linnie Blake (not included in our list of evil doctors!), Head of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, answers this question. “Horror cinema offers its audience rather more than squealy thrills. In focusing on what frightens us and pushing our endurance to the limit – though in a highly controlled and essentially safe manner, it opens a creaking door on the workings of the human mind and the cultural norms of our societies. “Horror may make us feel – the racing heart, the laughter of relief, the howl of disgust. It also makes us think – about outsiders and deviants, the monster and those made monstrous by the societies in which they live. It enables...