March 24, 2008 |
An intruder is inside your body. Maybe it's a parasite from dirty drinking water. A virus from a coworker's sneeze. Or a bacterium that sneaked in when you cut your finger. Luckily for you, the immune system determines just which one of its many weapons will best repel the intruder, and what's more, it "remembers" how to do the job even better, and faster, next time. This phenomenon of immune memory has been recognized since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, yet no one could figure out how it worked.
October 6, 2007
OK. It didn't work. But don't stop now. In fact, let's work twice as hard. Those are the take-away lessons from the Sept. 21 announcement that a prototype AIDS vaccine being tested by Merck had failed in the second of three phases of testing needed for market approval. Merck did the right thing: It stopped the trials as soon as its scientists saw people weren't benefitting. But it's a major blow to hopes that Merck had a hot lead, and to hopes for a workable AIDS vaccine in the foreseeable future.
February 13, 2007
CELL PHONES are a convenience in today's society. They can summon help for a stranded motorist and connect people in airports and trains. A child can reach a parent on his commute home. But cell phones depend on electromagnetic radiation. How safe are they? Are consumers being informed? Various European countries have conducted studies of longtime users of cell phones and found an increased incidence of brain or acoustic tumors. Other studies cite disturbances in the body's energy systems.
March 15, 2006 |
MY JAN. 11 column, "Touched by an Angel," chronicled my recent stay at Lankenau Hospital and extolled the diagnostic brilliance of Dr. Judy Robinson, my personal physician. My cardiac condition came as a shock, yet it should have been a very preventable malady, caused mostly by my foolish belief in my invincibility. Like most men, I've long suffered hardheadedness. Getting regular medical overhauls, outside of those badge-of-honor injuries from sports, seems, well, unmanly. Despite all the focus on men's health in the slick monthlies like Esquire, Men's Health, GQ and Men's Vogue, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer take many of us to early graves.
April 21, 2005 |
Tennessee Tech basketball coach Mike Sutton was still in critical condition yesterday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where he is being treated for a rare illness that attacks the immune system. Sutton, 49, fell ill while attending a tournament for potential NBA players in Portsmouth, Va., earlier this month and was admitted to a Virginia hospital. He was transferred to Nashville last Friday, and doctors are treating him for Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease that attacks the immune system and causes paralysis.
April 14, 2005
Notre Dame? Who cares? Cover our teams The Inquirer's Sports' "Season of Change" series (April 10-16) is a real disappointment. Why is so much space being devoted to the football teams of South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana? Wouldn't the people of this area be much more interested in the schools where we send our kids, and pay for with our tickets, tuition and taxes? I know that Notre Dame is a hallowed subject at The Inquirer, even though most columnists usually end up at the end of the season asking the question, why?
February 10, 2005 |
One week after coming down with what appeared to be a common form of the influenza virus, a sixth-grade student at Bala Cynwyd Middle School has died. Adam Jordan Spandorfer, 11, a normally healthy high-spirited boy with red hair and freckles, died Tuesday at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where his family said doctors labored bravely to save the boy but could not. The boy's rapid demise from a common illness saddened and stunned his Main Line neighbors, many of whose children have the flu. "It's not supposed to happen this way," said Karen Zucker, a local district justice and mother of a Bala Cynwyd seventh grader.
January 12, 2005 |
IT'S A RECIPE for disaster. The holidays brought family members of all ages together. Bitter-cold January and February will keep everyone indoors for a couple of months. And on top of all that, there is a shortage of the flu vaccine this year. These are perfect opportunities for viruses to spread. For most people, viral illnesses last only a few days. But along with making millions of people feel miserable every year, colds and flu can cause serious problems and can even be deadly.
December 13, 2004 |
The holidays are hard on your amygdala, a primitive little part of your brain that gets activated whenever you experience a feeling. Emotions - both good and bad - give the amygdala such a workout this time of year that your frontal lobe, a more recently evolved part of the brain that acts as a rational brake on your primal impulses, has to work extra hard to keep you on an even keel, says Ruben Gur, a University of Pennsylvania neuropsychology professor....
September 15, 2004 |
When I was diagnosed with terminal liver disease in 1979 at age 31, it seemed an impossible dream that I would live to experience life as a father to five grown children and four grandchildren as well as being husband to an incredible wife. Recently, my family and I humbly celebrated the 15th anniversary of my having another man's liver transplanted into my body. Each anniversary is an opportunity to appreciate the last 365 days of life that I'm so lucky to have enjoyed. During routine gall bladder surgery in 1979 I was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.