Vestigial Organs Not So Useless After All, Studies Find

Hang on to your appendix.

From National Geographic:

Maggie Koerth-Baker
for National Geographic News
July 30, 2009

Appendix, tonsils, various redundant veins—they’re all vestigial body parts once considered expendable, if not downright useless.

But as technology has advanced, researchers have found that, more often than not, some of these “junk parts” are actually hard at work.

Case in point: the spleen, which a new study shows may be critical in healing damaged hearts (interactive heart guide).

Sure, the spleen—kidney shaped and tucked into the upper left of your abdomen—helps spot infections and filters out red blood cells that are damaged or old. But overall the organ has been seen as nonessential. Cut it out, and people still live.

Read the rest:


Blue M&Ms ‘mend spinal injuries’

From The Telegraph:

Blue M&Ms 'mend spinal injuries'

On the downside, the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue and BBG needs to be injected soon after the trauma

The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area – an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury.

BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, the rodent tests showed.

Read the rest:

Science: Using Sound Waves For Outpatient Neurosurgery

From Slashdot:

Iowa doctor accused of sterilizing woman against her will

From The Iowa Independent:

Doctor’s Orders – Want Treatment? Just Sign This No-Complaint Contract . . .

Basically, some doctors are requiring patients to sign agreements stating that they (the patient) will not make on-line posts regarding the quality of service they receive from the doctor. This will probably get even worse when the government takes over the healthcare industry.

Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers