mijan: (Real McCoy)
So I was doing my usual morning routine -  drinking my coffee while I check my work e-mail, respond to important messages, check my schedule, and then do a quick check of headlines on CNN.  I typically check the main page, the US news, World news, Technology, and then the Health news.  90% of the "Health" news is mindless dribble, but every so often there's a fascinating new study gets posted.  Even though CNN's analysis of the study is usually pathetic, I'll at least hear that the study HAPPENED, and then I can go find the actual paper in a medical journal or publication.  And sometimes, one story links to another story on another news site about medical research.

Today, I found this:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/28/news/la-heb-alzheimers-from-your-mother-is-worse-20110228

I clicked on the article, and it said that the work was done by researchers here at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Yeah, that's where I work.  And I know some of the folks over in neurology... including one of my fellow Star Trek buddies.  And then I read this quote from the article:
"The researchers said they don’t know why Alzheimer’s appears to be more aggressive when inherited from one’s mother instead of one’s father. Perhaps it’s related to mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from one’s mother and which may be responsible for faulty glucose metabolism in brain tissue affected by Alzheimer’s, they wrote."

Russ, my Trekkie friend, works specifically on cellular metabolism as it relates to Alzheimer's and other degenerative neurological diseases.  That caught my attention.  So, I printed out a copy of the article and stopped by his office on my way back from doing a chemical inventory in another lab.  And lo and behold, it was his research! 

Russ is a sorta adjunct member of the USS Macchiato.  Busy man with a family, and thus he hasn't been to one of our get-togethers, but he's a true-blue, to-the-core Trekkie.  I named one of the characters from "Crossfire," the neurologist from Starfleet Medical "Admiral Swerdlow," after him, and now I call him the Admiral.  He seems to get a kick out of it.  I swear, the man is going to invent tri-ox compound, just so he can say that he did. 

He printed out a copy of the research paper so I can read it in full.  It's quite fascinating.

So... here's to a fellow Trekkie, doing great things!  I think Dr. McCoy would be proud.
mijan: (Bones - Starfleet Emblem)
[livejournal.com profile] emiliglia posted this on her LJ, and I watched... and I was AMAZED.  Seriously amazed.  If you can't handle the sight of a few burns (ie. if you're squeamish), you shouldn't watch it, but if you can handle the sight of the injuries, you NEED to see this. 

Video behind the cut - hidden to protect the squeamish. )

The science behind the procedure is so simple, so straightforward... it's amazing.  Using this technique to treat burns would reduce healing time, reduce costs, reduce complications from infection, and reduce pain and suffering.  It would get burn patients out of the hospital faster so they can get back to their lives.  It would reduce scarring from burns.  It would save resources, and make GOOD burn treatment available to more people. 

And on top of that... it's just really fucking COOL.

I've had a couple of second degree burns.  Much smaller than the guy in this video, for sure, but I can tell you that they hurt like a sonofabitch and took a few weeks to heal.  And the scars from both of them were visible for a few years following each incident.  I can still see where they were because I know where to look, but yeah... if that's how long a small second-degree burn took to heal, I can't imagine how bad a large one would be.  This new technique could help so many people.

ZOMGSCIENCE

Jan. 4th, 2011 08:53 am
mijan: (Stand back! Try science!)
No, really... ZOMGSCIENCE.

I LOL'ed.
mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
Yesterday, I read an article about four Star Trek medical technologies that are already becoming a reality. 

Today, I just read an article about mathematical models for cloaking devices that hide things in space/time. 

You know, I really think a lot of us science geeks got into our particular fields of study because of Star Trek.  And I think that's brilliant.

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