So, I’m sitting here, almost breathing normally. (Trust me, my normal breathing is when you feel you are struggling for breath.) Having escaped 14 months without a visit from Streptococcus pneumomiae, my “friend” came for an extended stay. Given the fact that I was born with a compromised respiratory system, such diseases are the norm.
I now I’m an old fart. But, that’s why Iam so dismayed. I remember seeing people in Iron Lungs. I remember kids who died of whooping cough. I remember how devastating measles and the mumps were I remember when the Salk vaccine was the only thing between us and Polio- and then came the sugar cube and the Sabin vaccine. There were new vaccinations for whooping cough (pertussis) and none yet for the mumps or the measles.
A computer game is about to become an important medical research tool. Because all of you who play its games (I never found the time to join in), have provided massive data that can be mined to determine some pretty important facts. The game site? Lumosity.com. You know, the game that trains your brain. (To do what, I might ask?)
It’s Kidney Week. OK. It’s kidney 5 days… Starting today and ending on the 10th. A ‘week’ to make all of us more aware of one of our biggest killers- certainly one of our most expensive diseases- that is, often, undetected. Why is that so? Because most subjects (they are not yet patients) exhibit no symptoms, until a crisis has developed.
I’ve written before about one project at Google– the one aimed at determining why folks become terrorists. The basic concept is to determine why people join gangs and how that is similar to folks joining terrorist cells. In so doing, we should be able to find ways to stop folks from becoming terrorists. This venture is led by one smart young chap- Jared Cohen- who got his start in the Condy Rice’s State Department and stayed on under Hillary Clinton’s tenure, before heading up this new gig.
When I was a baby, I not only was afflicted with severe allergies (asthmatic allergy), but celiac disease as well. (And, both my parents died of autoimmune diseases.) Which became a family joke (no one ever said I had a normal family) when it was clear that I loved cottage cheese, even though I was forced to eat it almost every morning, noon, and night. (My kids still swear I make cottage cheese with noodles, not noodles and cheese.)