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Medical Discoveries And Bio-Inspired Innovations by T Goodman

Welcome to my page.  I write about new inventions, findings, and discoveries in medicine, and about biology - specifically inventions and designs that are bio-inspired.  Known as biomimicry today, the creation of mechanical forms based on nature's superb performers, has been practiced by man and many lesser species as far back as history can trace.

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A Fly With Unique 'Ears' Becomes Inspiration For New Hearing Aid

Biomimicry has again inspired a creative team of scientists. This time it's the Ormia ochracea, a tiny fly with exquisitely acute directional hearing ability, that has become the model for the next generation of hearing aids being modeled by engineers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

Groundbreaking Protein Structure Developed To Interfere With Formation Of Amyloid Plague

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis...  These are just five of the more than 40 identified amyloid diseases, serious diseases that currently have limited treatments and no cure.  But, after 10 years of research, bioengineers at the University of Washington (UW) have created a novel protein that can stop the amyloid protein in its tracks....

Out With The Handshake, In With The Fist Bump

An expression of courtesy, used particularly when meeting someone for the first time and when saying goodbye, may soon be a thing of the past: the handshake.  Why?  It's too germy. Already there are calls for handshakes to be banned in health care settings and they are substantiated by studies, the most recent one comparing the levels of bacteria communicated by a handshake, a high-five, and a fist bump.  Yes, you read that right....

Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs): What You Should Know About The Newest Doctor Visit

If the next time you call your doctor's office you are asked if you would be interested in a 'shared medical appointment,' or SMA, you don't need to freak out.  You may even want to consider attending an SMA once before you decide it's not for you.  I'll explain the rational for SMAs, what they offer, and how patients have responded to this relatively new medical practice....

The Eyes Are In Focus At The Alzheimer's Association International Conference

Early detection of Alzheimer's disease and strategies to help Alzheimer's patients lead more fulfilling lives are two areas of emphasis at this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen, going on now until July 17, 2014.  Three papers, so far, have addressed the eyes and Alzheimer's disease (AD); two that  focused on early detection of AD through an eye exam and one that reported on the importance of cataract surgery to help AD patients remain active and alert.  Following is a summary of these new developments....

Newest Cancer Treatment May Already Be In Your Medicine Chest

....These findings are completely novel, establishing a relationship never before drawn between allergies and cancer and even a possible means of fighting cancer!

A Stinky, Explosive Gas Shows Hope For Remediation Of Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Dementia And Other Major Diseases

You are lucky if you've never smelled hydrogen sulfide, a gas most strongly wafting from swamps and sewers. But you probably have smelled it, as hydrogen sulfide is present in flatulence and in rotten eggs. It results from the breakdown of organic matter without the benefit of oxygen. In anything but very tiny amounts, hydrogen sulfide is very toxic, flammable, and corrosive. But researchers at Great Britain's University of Exeter have found some promising applications for this gas when used in small doses and targeted to certain cells in our bodies.

Bad Relationships Put Your Heart At Risk In More Ways Than One

A bad relationship may end in a 'broken heart,' but research indicates stayng in a bad relationship is really bad news for your heart.  It can lead to cardiovascular disease or stroke.

Dark Chocolate Improves Blood Flow To Legs, Boosts Walking Ability

Many studies have shown that dark chocolate has healh benefits, but few have shown such immediate remedial benefits as the study published in the most recent Journal of the American Heart Association.  Could the study, although conducted with peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients, also suggest some benefit to athletes, particularly marathoners?

Dance Therapy Improves Pain And Gait In Elderly

People with a slow gait are more likely to be dependent on others for care, more prone to falls and the concomitant broken bones, and more dependent on pain relief medication.  Researchers at the University of St. Louis looked into the possibility that dance, a once very popular activity of the elderly (during the 1940's and 50's, for example), might help increase and stabilize gait as well as help reduce pain and stiffness in the hips and legs in older persons.


March 2011