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December 23, 2011 at 11:02 AMComments: 4 Faves: 0

Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2011

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the A New Itch Blog Series

X-Mas is right around the corner, the snow is holding off until the absolute worse moment, and the lists of what random people deem the best are everywhere! The following list comes from Time magazine, which most associate as a reputable source of information, and most times I would tend to agree, but some of the entries on this list seem like a wee-bit of a stretch. I will post the link to the article at the bottom of the page if you want to skip the color commentary and go right to the borin...sorry, informative list, go right ahead.

10.) The Death Enzyme

Scientists pinpointed an enzyme, called cathespin S, that can accurately predict death risk. They found, that in a 12-year study of over 2,000 people, those with the highest levels of the enzyme were more likely to die than those with lower levels. The main maladies that were found to produce high levels of the enzyme were tumors and heart disease. Oddly enough, the scientists felt the need to add that there was also a whole lot of something called "overweight" that contributed to the deaths as well...

I personally would like to thank all those who contributed to the fantastic discovery that overweight people tend to be more susceptible to heart disease, obviously that is something that hasn't been pounded into our heads for the last decade.

9.) The Equivalent of Tree Rings

Scientists found a way to dig deeper into your DNA through a spit test. This digging allows them to determine your exact age. How this found its way onto a top ten medical breakthroughs list is so far beyond me. The only true application is post mortem, or if you feel as though someone is just blatantly lying to you about their age and you have a billion dollar lab at your disposal.

Bottom line (while it is a cool discovery), number nine is fantastic for crime dramas, really doesn't do much else.

8.) The Super Schnoz

German researchers ran a study that proved that dogs could detect lung cancer in patients afflicted with the disease. The number they threw out was 71 out of 100 cancer samples accurately identified. This is an astoundingly accurate sniffer, I just wonder what the co-pay is going to be....

This entry may not fit the bill as an actual medical breakthrough, but it definitely works as pretty frickin' awesome.

7.) Yet Another Weight Loss Pill

How another weight loss pill gets in over a dog sniffing out lung cancer is just...well, it's just so American. Hey guys, we found another way for you to put off making responsible health choices! Yayyyyyyyyyyy!

This entry goes down as a pure scheme to market a product that will probably never come to anything more than a couple people dying and it being sold for ridiculous amounts of money on the black market.

6.) Bacteria and Colon Cancer

Researchers found that colon cancer cells have an abnormal amount of Fusobacteria in them. They apparently are super surprised that there is an abundance of bacteria in the average humans colon. While this is a great discovery on how to easily identify the cancer, the amount of surprise affiliated with it is a little bit odd for professional scientists.

5.) Growing Parts

Scientists created the first functional body part in a lab. They choose the urethra, used a real complex form of procedures and made this thing happen. I would like to point out that it took until number five to really find that one discovery that makes you think there is some serious hope for the future, kudos Mr. Scientist who created a fake pee tube.

4.) Bye Bye to the Pyramid

Hailed as, apparently, more important that the manufacturing of body parts, the creation of the food plate to replace the food pyramid sits in the number four position. While I understand that the plate is much easier to understand than the pyramid, have you seen what they want you to fill your plate with? I mean, my steak usually takes up at least three quarters of the plate!

3.) Treatment and Prevention

Scientists found that the medication used to treat HIV actually helps to prevent the infection. Without a doubt, this is a large discovery. The real question is, what exactly do you call it? Treatment, prevention, all encompassing drug of no virus powers? Who knows....

2.) Malaria Vaccine

The first ever vaccine for Malaria has been found and has already been effective in protecting those in areas that Malaria is a major problem. Without a doubt, this entry is an amazing discovery that will help countless millions of people to actually have the opportunity to experience a full life, no snarky comments on this one.

1.) Cloning Stem Cells

Scientists have begun cloning stem cells without the use of an embryo! While this is an amazing discovery in the medical and scientific community, it also means we don't have to listen to fanatics condemn people to death based on an incredibly ignorant argument of "human" rights. The stem cells are just the beginning, some believe that this discovery may be just the first step to complete mammal cloning...that would actually not end up with a sick sheep.

That would it my friends! Hope you all have a fantastic X-Mas!


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  • I really do need something that will stop my itching.
    7 Dermatologist called it Urticaria. (meaning they didn't know)
    I itched for 10 yrs. then it just stopped for 4 yrs. Now it has come back.
    I don't want to start with the exspense and doctors again. Any web site I can go to would be a great help?

  • Urticaria is a relatively common allergic reaction to a plethora of different daily interactions. Seven separate opinions from qualified doctors usually points to an underlying issue that you should pay attention to. Even the timeline that you pointed out supports the diagnosis of an allergen based disorder.

  • I'm pretty stoked about the cloning stem cells!

  • No 6 was interesting to me. My brother died of colon cancer, we don't know how or why he got cancer in his colon. But maybe it had to do with an abnormal amount of Fusobacteria.

    I wish there was a test for this, his only indication that something was wrong was while he was running/jogging. He felt a tightness in his chest and was out of breath easily. Initially he thought it might be his heart - but no, doctors confirmed this was not the case. Three to six months later he found out he had colon cancer!

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