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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-03-2014
Most scientists live by the motto “the more knowledge the better.” We spend the majority of our careers, (and maybe even our lives), trying to understand the biological mechanisms involved in every facet of life and we will never be satisfied as long as there is more science to discover. However, in some circumstances, too much knowledge can be harmful.
In a study recently conducted by scientists at Yale University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that when clinicians read descriptions of patients whose symptoms were explained using information that focused on either genetics and neurobiology, their level of empathy for the patient actually decreases.
According to Matthew Lebowitz, lead author of the study
Overemphasis on biology to explain psychopathology can be dehumanizing by reducing people to mere biological mechanisms
Two of the most important qualities that patients look for in physicians are competency and compassion. While competency is often a function of knowledge and understanding of mechanisms of disease, doctors must be careful not to allow that knowledge dampen their compassion towards their patients.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 06-25-2014
A man with almost no hair on his body has grown a full head of it after a novel treatment by doctors at Yale University.
There is currently no cure or long-term treatment for alopecia universalis, the disease that left the 25-year-old patient bare of hair. This is the first reported case of a successful targeted treatment for the rare, highly visible disease.
The patient has also grown eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as facial, armpit, and other hair, which he lacked at the time he sought help.
“The results are exactly what we hoped for,” said Dr. Brett A. King, assistant professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine and senior author of a paper reporting the results online June 18 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. “This is a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition. While it’s one case, we anticipated the successful treatment of this man based on our current understanding of the disease and the drug. We believe the same results will be duplicated in other patients, and we plan to try.”
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2012
In my opinion, there are waaayyy too many cell phones in schools these days. Ringing, texting, gaming…all of these are annoyances that disturb class and distract students’ attention. However, students at Johns Hopkins have redeemed themselves and renewed my confidence that undergrads can actually utilize cell phones responsibly.
Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates have developed a noninvasive way to identify patients suffering from anemia hoping to save thousands of women and children from this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations. The device, HemoGlobe, is designed to convert the existing cell phones of health workers into a “prick-free” system for detecting and reporting anemia at the community level.