Tag Archives: Harvard Medical School

today’s birthday: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809)


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809)

The father of the US Supreme Court justice of the same name, Holmes was an American physician, poet, and humorist. After beginning his medical career as a general practitioner, he shifted to the academic field and became dean of the Harvard medical school. However, he is perhaps best known for the poem that won him national acclaim—”Old Ironsides,” a protest against the scrapping of the USS Constitution, which helped save the ship. What common medical term was coined by Holmes? More… Discuss

health: Study Says Motion Sickness Is in the Genes


Study Says Motion Sickness Is in the Genes

If you feel an unpleasant queasiness while traveling in a car or boat, it could be genetic, according to a recent study by personal genomics company 23andMe. Using genetic data from more than 80,000 of its customers, 23andMe was able to link motion sickness to 35 genetic factors—many of which are involved in the nervous system, balance, and eye and ear development. However, having these gene variants does not guarantee that one will experience motion sickness. Research also showed that those who suffer from motion sickness are more likely to develop vertigo and migraines. More… Discuss

Supercooling Could Extend Organs’ Viability


Supercooling Could Extend Organs’ Viability

A new technique for “supercooling” organs could preserve donor organs for days, allowing doctors more time to match them to suitable transplant candidates. Currently, doctors have a day or less to get a liver into a recipient, but in tests on rats, the new process kept livers viable for three days, a vast improvement. Rat livers are considerably smaller than human ones—0.35 oz (10 g) compared to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg)—and it remains to be seen whether scientists can scale up the technology and whether it will be able to preserve other organs as well. More… Discuss

Tanning Appears Addictive (CRIMINALIZING EVERYTHING LATELY? lIKE TANNING= ADDICTIVE?)


Tanning Appears Addictive

That “healthy glow” many love has proved to be less than healthy—the link between excessive ultraviolet (UV) exposure and skin cancer is well established—so why do they continue to tan? One possibility is that they are addicts. Researchers found that chronic exposure to UV radiation triggers the release of endorphins, so-called feel-good hormones, in mice. The regular exposure leads to physical dependence so strong that the animals exhibit withdrawal symptoms like shaking, tremors, and teeth chattering when those endorphins are blocked. Mice and humans have a similar biological response to UV exposure, meaning that tanning may be similarly addictive in people. More… Discuss

WARNING:  BEWARE OF SUNSHINE: IS ADDICTIVE!!!  🙂

THE FLEHMEN RESPONSE


The Flehmen Response

In human courtship, a grimace is not generally something one wants to see from a potential love interest. Not so with animals. Cats, horses, llamas, and giraffes are just some of the animals that exhibit the flehmen response, a grimace-like curling of the upper lip and extension of the neck that facilitates the detection of scents—and pheromones—through the vomeronasal organ located in the roof of the mouth. Where does the name “flehmen” come from? More… Discuss