1. Dr. Martin Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, about 70 to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren’t human at all — they’re micro-organisms. 
Blaser is the author of Missing Microbes, and speculates that overuse of antibiotics causes food allergies, asthma, and intestinal disorders.
If antibiotics are wiping out these micro-organisms, then probiotics are putting some of them back in. 
Here’s what Dr. Blaser says about the use of probiotics: 

"There are many different probiotics. If you go to the grocery store, the health food store, the drugstore, there are shelves and shelves full of probiotics [with] different names, different compositions. I think I can say three things: The first is that they’re almost completely unregulated; second is that they seem to be generally safe; and third is that they’re mostly untested about the important reasons that people even want to take probiotics because they don’t feel well or they have particular symptoms …
Right now, it’s the Wild West. I’m actually a big believer in probiotics; I think that’s going to be part of the future of medicine, that we’re going to understand the science of the microbiome well enough so that we can look at a sample from a child and say this child is lacking such-and-such an organism and now we’re going to take it off the shelf and we’re going to give it back to that child … Just as today the kids are lining up for the vaccines, in the future, maybe the kids are going to be drinking certain organisms so that we can replace the ones that they’ve lost.”
View in High-Res

    Dr. Martin Blaser is an expert on the human microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live in and on the body. In fact, about 70 to 90 percent of all the cells in the human body aren’t human at all — they’re micro-organisms. 

    Blaser is the author of Missing Microbes, and speculates that overuse of antibiotics causes food allergies, asthma, and intestinal disorders.

    If antibiotics are wiping out these micro-organisms, then probiotics are putting some of them back in. 

    Here’s what Dr. Blaser says about the use of probiotics: 

    "There are many different probiotics. If you go to the grocery store, the health food store, the drugstore, there are shelves and shelves full of probiotics [with] different names, different compositions. I think I can say three things: The first is that they’re almost completely unregulated; second is that they seem to be generally safe; and third is that they’re mostly untested about the important reasons that people even want to take probiotics because they don’t feel well or they have particular symptoms …

    Right now, it’s the Wild West. I’m actually a big believer in probiotics; I think that’s going to be part of the future of medicine, that we’re going to understand the science of the microbiome well enough so that we can look at a sample from a child and say this child is lacking such-and-such an organism and now we’re going to take it off the shelf and we’re going to give it back to that child … Just as today the kids are lining up for the vaccines, in the future, maybe the kids are going to be drinking certain organisms so that we can replace the ones that they’ve lost.”

  2. medicine

    science

    research

    probiotics

    microbiome

    dr. martin blaser

    microbes

    allergies

    interview

    fresh air

  1. Literally two days later, she started feeling better and a couple weeks later, when they went to sample the bacteria that was there, they couldn’t find the C. difficile anymore. It was just gone. The only thing they had done was essentially restore her ecology, essentially like restoring a wetland.

    — Carl Zimmer wrote about a patient infected with the Clostridium difficile bacteria, which causes severe diarrhea and can frequently return, even when treated with antibiotics. The patient was treated with a transfusion of gut microbials from a healthy individual’s fecal material to restore the bacterial flora in her intestinal tract.

  2. fecal transplant

    carl zimmer

    medicine

    science

  1. Work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prizewinner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented.

    — 

    From NPR’s Two-Way Blog:

    That’s one of the rules in the Statues of the Nobel Foundation, and it’s suddenly pertinent because it’s just been announced that Rockefeller University scientist Ralph Steinman died on FridayToday, Steinman and two other scientists were awarded the Nobel in medicine for their discoveries about the human immune system.

  2. nobel prize

    medicine

  1. Guidelines have an enormous amount of very useful information and I think they can be extremely helpful. But they shouldn’t be applied in a blanket way without thinking about the individual patient.

    — Drs. Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband have teamed up to write Your Medical Mind, a guidebook for patients trying to sift through medical choices and make the best decisions for themselves and their family members.

  2. medicine

    your medical mind

    best practice

    guidelines

    ebm

  1. There’s a misunderstanding that if you just go to the E.R., that’s healthcare. It’s not. … And I don’t think the public or politicians really understand that. I think the last health reform attempt which is being bandied about — we don’t know what’s going to happen — is likely to fall short with regards to equity.

    — Dr. David Ansell on how the current payment system drives health care inequalities.

  2. david ansell

    health care

    health insurance

    health reform

    county

    medicine

  1. Today: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of Dr. David Ansell, who treated the uninsured in Chicago for 17 years.

    Today: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of Dr. David Ansell, who treated the uninsured in Chicago for 17 years.

  2. public health

    health care

    chicago

    medicine

  1. Source: CDC
Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital, where most of the patients are uninsured. View in High-Res

    Source: CDC

    Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital, where most of the patients are uninsured.

  2. health insurance

    medicine

    sociology

    health care

    united states

    cdc

  1. Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital. We speak with Dr. David Ansell, whose experiences treating patients at Chicago’s public Cook County Hospital make a strong case for national health care reform.


chicago — (by Melody Kramer)

    Tomorrow: the story of American medical care as seen from the perspective of an inner city Chicago hospital. We speak with Dr. David Ansell, whose experiences treating patients at Chicago’s public Cook County Hospital make a strong case for national health care reform.

    chicago — (by Melody Kramer)

  2. david ansell

    county

    chicago

    medicine

    public health

    health care

    sociology

    1970s

    history

  1. A song for all of the colorectal surgeons out there. (h/t @Tom_Godell) Enjoy?

  2. colorectal surgery

    proctology

    medicine

  1. The word ‘cancer’ is credited to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who noticed the crab-like (carcinos) spread of the disease throughout the human body.
crab (by origamiPete)

    The word ‘cancer’ is credited to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, who noticed the crab-like (carcinos) spread of the disease throughout the human body.

    crab (by origamiPete)

  2. crab

    cancer

    medicine

    hippocrates

    origami

  1. The principles of the oath, says Dr. Gregg Bloche, are under an “unprecedented threat.” In The Hippocratic Myth, Bloche details how doctors are under constant pressure to compromise or ration their care in order to please lawmakers, lawyers and insurance companies. View in High-Res

    The principles of the oath, says Dr. Gregg Bloche, are under an “unprecedented threat.” In The Hippocratic Myth, Bloche details how doctors are under constant pressure to compromise or ration their care in order to please lawmakers, lawyers and insurance companies.

  2. Healthcare

    Health Policy

    medicine

    physicians

    gregg bloche

    the hippocratic oath