Category Archives: Medicine

Video gamers make better surgeons

I’ve seen quite a few studies of the impact of video games on players and their brains. This article has findings that are concrete and intriguing.

Researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.

via Surgeons may err less by playing video games

Cooling Inflammation: Contagious Health

Several interesting ideas are presented in this blog post. I have heard of each individually, but they are brought together and related here.

In this sense, hygiene is unhealthy, because an individual is isolated from new sources of bacteria that could replace those lost by limited diets, antibiotics, etc.  Otherwise, health is contagious, since gut bacteria from healthy individuals can spread among the population.  Washing hands and food is unnatural and unhealthy.

via Cooling Inflammation: Contagious Health.

Wrong about obesity

So what happened? By the late 1950s, the University of Minnesota nutritionist Ancel Keys was arguing that fat caused heart disease, with little to no real data to back it up. But the American Heart Association quickly threw its weight behind the idea, the health reporters of the era followed, and even Congress got on board. The evidence never came around to support the idea—as the Women’s Health Initiative also demonstrated (PDF)—but with the AHA behind it, the low-fat-is-good-health dogma has dominated nutritional advice to this day. And because a low-fat diet is, by definition, high in carbohydrates, the latter stopped being perceived as inherently fattening and became known instead as “heart-healthy” diet foods.

via Why existing efforts to combat childhood obesity are bound to fail. By Gary Taubes – Time to Trim – Slate Hive.

Why Is Average IQ Higher in Some Places?

Another indication of the importance of the debate on childhood vaccinations. A lot is at stake.

So far, the evidence suggests that infectious disease is a primary cause of the global variation in human intelligence. Since this is a developmental cause, rather than a genetic one, it’s good news for anyone who is interested in reducing global inequality associated with IQ. If the primary factors were genetic, as some have suggested, IQ would be very difficult to change.

via Why Is Average IQ Higher in Some Places?: Scientific American.

Medical science

The problem is that physicians don’t know what they’re doing. That is how David Eddy, MD, PhD, a healthcare economist and senior advisor for health policy and management for Kaiser Permanente, put the problem in a Business Week cover story about how much of healthcare delivery is not based on science. Plenty of proof backs up Eddy’s glib-sounding remark.

via Health Care Myth Busters: Is There a High Degree of Scientific Certainty in Modern Medicine?: Scientific American.