May 10, 2010
Uncovering a new connection between body and mind, a Canadian study has shown that just looking at pictures of sick people can rev up the human immune system. The researchers, from the University of British Columbia, treated a group of volunteers to a 10-minute slide show of sniffling, congested, pox-riddled people or close-ups of infected sores. Then they measured an immune protein called interleukin-6 in their blood, a standard test that can approximate immune response. They published their results in last week's issue of the journal Psychological Science.
January 20, 2009 |
Smiles and electric glances volleyed back and forth between conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu as intricate chunks of the Barber Piano Concerto fell easily into place. That first rehearsal with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra Friday should have been tedious. And Liu should be jittery about his first Philadelphia concerto appearance, tonight at the Kimmel Center, since 1994. Instead, the situation is particularly sweet, considering that any concerto would have been out of the question a decade ago, when his hands were all but useless.
April 12, 2008 |
VANILLA ICE (real name Robert Van Winkle, and how great is that?) was out on his own recognizance early yesterday afternoon after spending the night in jail for allegedly shoving his wife. The one-hit wonder ("Ice Ice Baby") was arrested Thursday night at his home in Wellington, Fla., by police who responded to a domestic-dispute call. According to an arrest report, Laura Van Winkle told a sheriff deputy at the scene that her husband had only pushed her, although she had told a dispatcher she'd been "struck" and "kicked.
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.