• Not so Weird Just Kiddish Science…

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    If you were a kid what would you like to know?

    How about this?  A few third graders tested their hypotheses as to which bandages stay on the longest…Read on…

    Are you listening J&J Band-Aid or Curad or Nexcare?

    These are your graduating scientists and biomedical engineers of the 2030’s and beyond!

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  • Weird but Cool Highspeed Impact “Brain Bucket”

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    Now motorcycle enthusiasts have a better chance for survival…

    Therapeutics hypothermia just took a huge leap from the hospital bed onto the streets. Checkout the new ThermaHelm(R) brain bucket that neatly coddles your brain like a new born babe. The manufacturer’s video says it all –>

    Therapeutic Hypothermia for the Neuro EMS Team

    Cryo Brain Bucket

    Now EMS teams can expect more live motorcyclists due to this new cooling therapy.

    Excellent intel, ThermaHelm!

    Now can you make one for bicyclists?

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  • Weird Medical Robotics

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    Did you ever imagine as a kid, losing the ability to walk and getting a pair of robotic pants that your clumsily staggered around the house in?

    Or…did you ever pretend you lost your eyesight and got a pair of ooky biomechanical “popping” eyes to peer at your friends?

    Well, here they are 12 recent advances in robotics that even most kids did not imagine…

    Bionic Man

    Advances In Medical Robotics

    So goes the $6M Bionic Man…read on…

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  • A Weird Way to Imbibe

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    Hypothesis:  If ones’ stomach lining can absorb alcohol leading to the symptoms of intoxication, then the dermal layers of ones’ feet should do the same — ol’ Danish myth.

    Method: Place feet in washtub of alcohol for 3 hours.

    Tools:

    • Washtub
    Tune for Foot Tapping

    Tune for Foot Tapping

    • Feet (preferably two)
    • 80 Proof vodka…lots!
    • Watch..second hand not necessary
    • Patience
    • Towel

    Results: …read more at…“Washtub Play” or “Scientists dip feet, debunk Danish alcohol myth”

    Happy Holidays from your WeirdMedical team at MedIntelliBase!

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  • Weird…Twinkies the New Diet Food!

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    This is tough to believe given the AHA/ACC guidelines and thousands of healthcare services ranking the leading nutritionally balanced weight loss programs…

    Nutrition professor's "convenience store diet" helped him shed 27 pound

    Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds

    But Professor Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University is proof positive. There’s a dichotomy here – you can loose weight and be healthy but not eat healthy.

    The net-net is if you eat too many calories – no matter how healthy their sources – and do not exercise enough to burn the excess – you get chubby!

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  • Weird Gluing Technique for Baby’s Brain

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    Who of us in the medical industry would have the guts to give a neurosurgeon permission to have our infant’s brain glued?

    According to the authors – “It was just a few months before the parents noticed Joley’s head was growing rapidly and was unusually larger than [her twin’s] Jared’s . Her mother could see the tiny veins in Joley’s head bulging out from her scalp.”

    …But crazy glue worked!

    Successful brain glue technique

    Image of glue in Ella-Grace Honeymans brain

    Got to love N-butyl-cyanoacrylate…read more at HealthMad.com…

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  • Weird Biomolecular Science of Exercise

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    We know that exercise is good for us and why, right?

    Wrong. None of us do. No one knows the granular biochemistry. But here’s a S.W.A.G. (click to first term)

    Exercise is Good for Your CV System

    Translucent Woman Running Illustration by Bryan Cristie

    A new study suggests it offers both acute and long term benefits:

    “These findings suggest that exercise has both “acute and cumulative” effects on your body’s ability to use and burn fat,” says Gregory Lewis, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and an author of the study. After only 10 minutes of exercise, even the least fit showed evidence that their bodies were burning fat; the more fit, the more metabolic evidence of fat burning.”

    Read on McDuff!

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  • Weird New Advances in Ancient Device Material

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    Number ten in the Top 10 new tech advances of 2010 goes to an ancient material…

    Got Silk?

    Implanted under the skin, an array of light-emitting diodes could signal the concentration in the blood of biomarkers such as insulin. Over time, the array will dissolve away, eliminating the need for surgery to remove the implant. Flexible silicon electronics (inset) are held in place with a silk film. Incorporating antibodies or enzymes into the film will allow devices to detect biomarkers. Credit: Bryan Christie Design. Source: MIT's Technology Review

    According to MIT’s Technology Review, such “dissolvable devices make better medical implants.”

    And what is that mysterious yet familiar bioabsorbable material for advanced implantable electronics­?

    Silk!  It can be engineered to transmit images via light waves along its fibers, deliver drugs, measure vital signs or test blood, and can be resorbed over hours or as long as two years depending upon how long it is needed. And all from the belly of a worm? Amazing. For more amazing apps…read on.

    Got silk?

    Implantable Electronics­
    Dissolvable devices make better medical implants.Implantable Electronics­

    Dissolvable devices make better medical implants.

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  • Nothing Weird about it…Just Beautiful!

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    You-Tube video of Jonathan’s Cochlear Implant Activation 8 mo., Rt Ear cont\\’d – April 14, 2008

     April 14, 2008  — Jonathan's CI activation at age 8 months

    Beautiful Baby Boy

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  • Weird Floral Therapy for Leukemia?

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    “Experts have discovered that an extract from the white flower commonly known as Baby’s Breath can boost the efficiency of anti-cancer drugs by a staggering million times,” stated on the British MailOnline website by its Healthcare Section editors.

    Apparently this staggeringly significant discovery was made by scientists working for the charity, Leukaemia Busters, based in Southampton, Hampshire. The scientists extracted the molecular substance called saponins from the Gypsophila Paniculata plant. Saponins appears to break down the membrane of cancer cells leaving them vulnerable to antibody-based drugs, known as immunotoxins. Immunotoxins can then more easily attack and kill the cancerous cells.

    Leukaemia Busters name and its logo were both devised by Simon Flavell the son of the researchers, Dr David Flavell and his wife Dr Bee Flavell. Drs. Flavell run the charity that was set up in memory Simon who died from the disease aged 10. Simon was a great fan of Ghost Busters.

    To learn more about this dedicated research team and their findings read on…

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  • Weird…New Approaches Accelerating Drug Development?

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    Research methods in medical innovation continue to innovate…

    Dozens of prescription drugs coming off patent in the next few years are encouraging researchers throughout the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to think “outside the traditional box.”

    According to Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development Director Kenneth I Kaitin, “This is spurring companies across the industry to experiment with a growing range of new tools and approaches to weed out unpromising drug candidates earlier, speed development, and reduce development costs.”

    Tufts CSDD has found that researchers are trying many new methodologies for developing news drugs that are expected to be faster and more efficient such those noted below.

    Even though the Tufts CSDD article is a come-on for an upcoming series of conferences, it cites a critical issue. 15 years is too long from compound discovery through development and commercialization to sustain continued profitable innovation in an economy that is in a slow grinding recovery.

    Consider shaving off months or even a year or more with these techniques:

    • Drug development simulator software
    • Blurring the lines between phases, especially Phases I & II
    • Conducting FIM studies earlier similar in timing for those medical device development trials
    • Partnering with other companies with knowledge in the same indication
    • Conducting exploratory IND studies
    • read on…

    We’re in the 21st century, the age of mobile connectivity and cloud computing, we can do better than a 15 year development cycle.

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  • Weird…New Venous Intervention for MS?

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    If you are struggling for therapeutic relief from multiple sclerosis, you’ve got a lot of competition…

    An new investigational procedure using an old “Gold Standard” technology is causing MS patients to apply in droves for a single site clinical trial. Over 1,000 patients applied for 3o positions at a lone study site in Buffalo, New York in its early trial. And the technology?…Is it a drug or an active agent?…no…it’s “POBA” –> Plain Old Balloon Angioplasty!

    The theory of balloon angioplasty’s anticipated success in this new indication for use? This  provocative new theory proposes that abnormal blood drainage from the brain may cause or play a role in multiple sclerosis. According to early studies by an Italian vascular specialist, Dr. Paolo Zamboni, who was running out of treatment options for his wife, poor deoxygenated blood drainage caused by twisted, narrowed or blocked cerebrospinal veins may cause “leakage of immune cells into the brain that starts a cascade of inflammatory problems.” In this venous application, balloon angioplasty opens these vessels to increase the volume and rate of drainage…and patients can not wait to receive treatment.

    “A lot of people are starting to go to fly-by-night places,” according to Dr. Carlo Tornatore at Washington’s Georgetown University Hospital. “It’s a marathon, not a 100-yard sprint. We have to be very careful.” (Source: Seattle PI, Seattle, WA)

    The indication is chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency or CCSVI. Further studies of 65 patients by Dr. Zamboni reveal this therapy may be most effective in treating the relapsing-remitting form of MS. But there appears to be a significant relapse rate nearly 50%, similar to that for POBA for coronary arteries in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

    Stay tuned…this opens a whole new opportunity for peripheral vascular device manufactures as well as their new MS patients!

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  • Centuries of Weird Medical Science

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    Did you ever wonder what the first x-ray image looked like or how we are mathematically engineered?

    Look no further than “Science and Technology in Medicine: An Illustrated Account Based on Ninety-Nine Landmark Publications from Five Centuries.” Author, Andras Gedeon, has researched major advanced technologies of today back to their roots. Nearly 100 technologies are captured in his book on medical therapies and diagnostic equipment dating back to the early 1500’s.

    “A most fascinating read,” says Armchair Interviews who gives it five stars, “The visual effect evokes one’s curiosity at a fundamental level, making it an excellent source for inspiring further learning.”

    Science and Technology in Medicine by Andras Gedeon

    Humane Blood

    This books is fascinating in that it respectfully shows very graphic illustrations, images and in later years, pictures, of more primitive applications of science to the art of early experimental medicine. It is available in:

    English & German

    Any of us who have a fascination with medicine as it converges with science will cherish this book.  For Armchair Interviews’ review…read on…

    The visual effect evokes one’s curiosity at a fundamental level, making it an excellent source for inspiring further learning. The visual effect evokes one’s curiosity at a fundamental level, making it an excellent source for inspiring further learning.

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  • Not Weird but Notable…”Top” Cancer Articles

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    March 18, 2010 /  Unsolicted Messages

    Need to know where your colleagues’ greatest interest in clinical cancer research is today?…or the most currently active cancer trials?

    Never be out of the loop again…For those latest advances consult the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research.

    The journal feeds a constant stream of the “Top 10” articles over latest 30 days directly to you, updated continuously at JECCR.

    As of today, the #1, #2 & #3 most read articles are:

    JECCR Logo

    JECCR Logo

    #1 – Research:  “Correlation effect of EGFR and CXCR4 and CCR7 chemokine receptors in predicting breast cancer metastasis and prognosis,” by Yixin Liu, et.al., published February 24, 2010.

    #2 – Research: “In-vivo transfection of pcDNA3.1-IGFBP7 inhibits melanoma growth in mice through apoptosis induction and VEGF downexpression,” by Rong-Yi Chen et.al., published February 16, 2010.

    #3 – Research: “Coronin-1C is a novel biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma invasive progression identified by proteomics analysis and clinical validation,” by Long Wu et.al. published February 24, 2010.

    Capture the most current European and U.S. cancer research news on one website…after all, your time is precious, you do not have it to waste!

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  • Weird Biochemistry in Embibbing

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    Do feel like your metabolism is slowing down?

    Are you worried about getting fat?

    Dismay no longer ladies…sorry guys…but now moderate drinking has been proven not only to help keep your heart healthy but keep your weight level over the years…and what a great way to cope with the Great Recession!

    “Researchers at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston asked more than 19,000, normal-weight U.S. women aged 39 or older how many alcoholic beverages they typically drank in a day, and then tracked the women for around 13 years,” according to editors at Canada.com. They found that those women who abstained from drinking wine, beer or alcohol were most likely to gain weight, and those who drank two drinks per day were most likely to maintain their weight from 13 years prior.

    (Photo courtesy of Chris Barria, Reuters)

    But the best drink to keep the pounds / kilos off?…of course, was red wine.

    Now gals can Go Red in just another way – You go girls!

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  • Not so Weird for Parents…

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    Ah…soon to be springtime! That marvelous time of year when those lovely little darlings throw their hats and coats into piles in the playground at school…

    …and bring home head lice, followed by traumatic visits to drug stores and at least one weekend shot to heck fumigating their heads, toys, clothes and entire bedrooms!

    (Source WebMD)

    And worse yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the first line of defense is a neurotoxin that is losing its effectiveness. Despite being an FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredient, pediculicides containing neurotoxic pesticides are creating a strain of lice that is resistant.

    So if  neurochemistry does not work, how about “biomechanical topical science?” Good old home remedies such as  mayonnaise, olive oil, and petroleum jelly seem to work initially. But lice cannot be asphyxiated easily so they bounce back to life within the next shampooing.

    Clinical research to the rescue! –> In a study published online February 23, 2010 in Pediatric Dermatology, three (3) recent clinical trials studying 700 subjects showed that Benzyl alcohol lotion 5% (BAL 5%), a non-neurotoxic topical treatment successfully kills head lice by suffocating them. According to MedScape Today, “BAL 5% is safe and effective in children as young as 6 months and is the first non-neurotoxic compound to win approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Downsides? BAL 5% is:

    • Only available by prescription – so you first need to see your pediatrician
    • Non-ovicidal (does not kill nits) – requiring a second treatment 7 days later (plan on tying-up 2 weekends in a row!)
    • Expensive – requiring multiple bottles for longer hair times two applications

    So if your insurance covers it, fret no longer, moms and dads!

    BAL 5% is on its way to a drugstore near you to “head lice off at the pass!

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  • Weird Casting…Art Meets Medicine

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    March 4, 2010 /  More Fun than Weird, Regulate This!

    Orthopods! Here’s a new twist for external fracture fixation…

    not just a cast but…a Casttoo!

    Both a waterproof and X-ray permeable alternative to plain autographable casts, Casttoos are on the rise. (Thankfully) artwork on casts is not (yet) regulated by the FDA…and neither are Casttoos. But they are lots of fun for orthopaedic patients of any age. And the best part is that docs or patients get to create them themselves!

    How about a shark infested jungle:

    6

    …or an x-ray of your fracture:

    Shapeimage_8

    Just a couple of  ideas from the infinite number of Casttoo creators designs from the bookofjoe.

    Docs can even download a hospital starter kit from Casttoo’s website.

    …as Casttoo creators say “Happy Healing” to young and old alike!

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  • Weird Biochemical Links: Silicon -> Beer -> Bones?

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    Who would have thought that avoiding osteoporosis would be such yummy fun?

    We now have new evidence that beer is more of a health food than originally thought. It’s been discovered that silicon found in commercially produced beer promotes strong bone development.

    Researchers from the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California, Davis have proven there is a relationship between commercial beer production methods and producing a final end product rich in silicon essential for greater bone mineral density.

    According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Charles Bamforth, “The factors in brewing that influence silicon levels in beer have not been extensively studied. We have examined a wide range of beer styles for their silicon content and have also studied the impact of raw materials and the brewing process on the quantities of silicon that enter wort and beer.”

    “Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon,” Dr. Bamforth concluded.   [See February 2010 issue – Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry.]

    So beer once again is king...and ounce-for-ounce it’s easier on our budgets than wine!

    http://www.sirtified.com/images/product/winestein3.gifpicture courtesy Sirtified’s Blog

    No more wine for our cardiovascular systems…let’s drink a few beers to our skeletal health!

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  • More Weird Fish News…now the Fountain of Youth?

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    February 1, 2010 /  Amazing Foods, Biological Wonders

    Here we go again with fish…can you believe that the fountain of youth is now believed to be found in the sea?…

    Researchers recently completed a study that confirms previous findings –> Omega-3 fatty acids promote long, healthy telomeres!

    For those who are scratching their heads, telomeres are part of our DNA. They are the “nonsense ends” at the end of our chromosomes that allow accurate, reliable DNA replication (“copying”) during cell division.But repetitive cell division causes these ends to be chewed-up. If they get too short, inaccurate DNA replication occurs. And then…you guessed it…you are more likely to get cancer or other diseases caused by “cellular aging.” More reliable accuracy dictates longevity. So the longer your telomeres are, the better.

    “What we’re demonstrating is a potentially new link between omega-3 fatty acids and the aging process,” according to Ramin Farzaneh-Far, a clinical cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. UCSF and other hospitals studied 608 patients and found that those with high omega-3 fatty diets had significantly less telomere shortening over a 5-year period. While they did not distinguish if sources other than specific fishes are best to get your omega-3, they did note that it requires about two (2),  1000 milligram servings a day to have an effect.

    Article Source: The Wall Street Journal, Image Source: ABC News, Chicago

    Bad news is you will smell a bit fishy…but good news is you will live long to annoy others with it!

    “Live long and prosper!” – Spock, StarTrek

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  • A Weird Way to Make Malignant Tumors Self-Destruct

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    Programming our bodies to heal themselves…

    Researchers at the Harvard University have discovered a method to make cancerous tumors self destruct. By implanting a plastic disc with tumor-specific antigens that mimic infection into a mouse, the immune system is reprogrammed to attack the tumor.

    “Our immune systems work by recognizing and attacking foreign invaders, allowing most cancer cells — which originate inside the body — to escape detection,” according to Harvard’s David J. Mooney, Gordon McKay Professor of Bioengineering in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as described in the current issue of the journal Nature Materials. “This technique, which redirects the immune system from inside the body, appears to be easier and more effective than other approaches to cancer vaccination.”

    This weird, in vivo technique may prove very effective in human cancer survival.

    Causing Cancer to Self-Destruct (Source: Phsyorg.com)

    Causing Cancer to Self-Destruct (Source: Phsyorg.com)

    Someday it may be said…“cancer patient, heal thyself!”

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  • Weird…Immortality and Cancer Inextricably Linked

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    November 11, 2009 /  Awesome Medical Feats, Biological Wonders

    Nobel winners uncover a connection…

    The 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine went to three scientists who discovered an  enzyme called telomerase that allows cells to divide indefinitely. In general, cells have a limit on the number of times they can divide and over time this causes degradation of organic structures, or aging. In an article published by WIRED Aaron Rowe reveals that the scientists realized that they could persuade cells into producing telomeras.

    However, there is a catch.

    Currently cells in adults divide roughly 80 times before they die off, which limits susceptibility to cancer. When cells produce telomerase they continue dividing, which eventually leads to a higher probability of developing cancer.

    Chromosomes

    Chromosomes

    Mark Muller, a cancer and telomerase researcher at the University of Central Florida, stated that “Ninety percent of all cancer cells are telomerase rich.” Further, he posits that telomerase inhibitors could fight cancer itself and allow the cancer cells to essentially die off.

    While currently the telomerase enzyme causes a Catch 22 of immortality and cancer, ethical and other pragmatic issues aside, it may be that in the future drugs may be able to combat cancerous cells without attacking all telomerase-rich cells, allowing mankind to achieve immortality in a safe manner.

    Ready to rise above mere mortality?

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  • Weirdly Cool…The next evolution of the stent

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    …Fully Absorbable!

    For years scientists and doctors have been developing stents that can be absorbed into the body after they have done their job. Abbott’s new Absorb stent, an Everolimus-coated stent made from polylactic acid (PLA), is finally showing progress towards this futuristic goal.

    The way the stent works is that water in the artery wall converts the polylactic acid into lactic acid, which is then completely absorbed back into the body.

    In an article by Amy Feldman of Fast Company (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/122/artery-heal-thyself.html) it was stated that Abbott is hoping for FDA approval by in the United States by 2012 with the potential to market in Europe even earlier. At first it may seem weird to have a device break down into your body, but it represents a new evolution of devices to keep open the artery during healing.

    Absorb Stent (Source: Fast Company, Artery, Heal Thyself)

    Absorb Stent (Source: Fast Company, "Artery, Heal Thyself")

    It’s about time – let’s use it when we need it…and get rid of it when we don’t!

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  • Scratching Settles Nerve Cells?…Weird!

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    April 13, 2009 /  Biological Wonders

    Scratching actually settles down “itchy” nerve cells? How does that work?

    Researchers at the University of Montana answered that question reporting their findings on the cellular mechanics of scratching an itch. While itching and scratching has been commonplace for as long as recorded history, how and why it occurs have yet to be explained, until now. Researchers  found specialized cells in the spinal cord that sense both pain and itching. These cells interpret scratching an itch as a relief, in other words they settle down the active (itching) cells. The behavior is weird because scratching is an activity that generally causes pain or increases the activity in a cell; however when scratching the itch or the area around it these spinal cells interpret the activity as a calming effect and stop the firing of electrical impulses (the feeling of the “itch”).  The cells, which are spread throughout the spinal cord, are also strongly affected by the brain as additional research has shown itching to be contagious, leading to a neurological explanation in addition to the recent cellular findings.

    Source: James Steinberg, The New York Times

    Although no treatment has been recommended, besides scratching yourself, this is the first step in the process that may one day yield benefits to many who suffer both weird and chronic itching. Read more…“Scratching Relieves Itch by Quieting Nerve Cell” ; The New York Times, B. Carey.

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