biomedicalephemera

Anonymous asked:

whats wrong with your cat?

biomedicalephemera answered:

I explain most of it at the link

Long story short, he’s got an abscessed tooth because of pre-existing terrible teeth (he was a street cat for a few years) that’s been getting reinfected and is eating farther into his nasal cavity, and needs to be removed before he becomes septic or gets in so much pain that he can’t eat.

He’s otherwise healthy (if a bit fat), so we really don’t want to lose him or force him to go through unnecessary pain for no reason.

Zarks is one of the few things we have left of my fiance’s mom, and in addition to our upcoming wedding, we also have my personal medical expenses (going onto a new insurance) coming up, so we’ve been put in a position where, if we have to cover everything ourselves, we’d be forced to put this surgery off to the point where it could very very easily devolve into a life-or-death situation.

OKAY. YEAH. Kitty sad and having infected tooth. Kitty has infected tooth because of previous life on the streets leading to cracked canine that, for the past 4 years, we’ve managed to keep uninfected. But now things are getting serious and we need some help. :( I’m the last person to ask anyone for help - I am so stupidly prideful that I give up incredibly important things just so that I don’t have to ask for help. But even doing that, we don’t have enough for this surgery and his follow-up care.

Read more at the actual site

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Zarkster loves you! Help him out <3 

Most of you guys know Arallyn, the lovely lady that runs biomedicalephemera

Well, she’s my friend, and she needs your help. If you can, donate to help her out with veterinary expenses for her cat Zarky! If not, that’s okay! You can always reblog this and signal boost. Everything helps!

She also has a really cool giveaway going on…check it out! She’s awesome.

pestilense

txchnologist:

Smart Solution To Stop Needle Reuse Wins Design Impact Award

Healthcare providers reusing unsterilized syringes and needles cause more than 1.3 million infections around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization. Ignorance of the dangers and a lack of supplies means that the average syringe is reused four times in the developing world, says advocacy and education charity Safepoint

The problem, which spreads bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis and AIDS HIV (h/t and good catch to sexeducationforprudes), led healthcare designer David Swann and his team at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom to come up with a simple and cheap visual aid. 

They created a syringe coated with a color-changing dye that turns red when exposed to carbon dioxide. The so-called A Behavior-Changing (ABC) syringe is stored in a nitrogen-filled pack and starts changing color only when the pack is punctured or the syringe is removed. Read more below and see the video.

Read More

biomedicalephemera
biomedicalephemera:

Important People of Medicine: Virginia Apgar
If you’ve ever had, or been around a baby that was born in a hospital, Dr. Apgar’s name probably sounds familiar. An anesthesiologist and teratologist (one who studies abnormalities of physical development), Virginia Apgar is most well-known for the "Apgar score" - a rating given to infants at 1 and 5 minutes after birth, which is often a determining factor in whether or not the baby needs to remain in the hospital after birth.
Dr. Apgar was the first female doctor to receive professorship at Columbia University medical school, and her work in teratology during the rubella pandemic of 1964-65 led to her outspoken advocacy for universal vaccination against that disease. Though it’s often mild and annoying above all else in healthy people, when pregnant women contract rubella (also known as German measles), the rate of deformity and disability of their children skyrockets. It can even cause miscarriage.
Virginia Apgar also promoted universal Rh-testing among pregnant women. This test shows whether a woman has a different Rh blood type than her fetus, because if she does, she can develop antibodies that can cross the placenta and destroy fetal blood cells. This can cause fetal hydrops and high levels of neonatal mortality, but can be prevented by administering anti-RhD IgG injections to the mother during pregnancy, so that she does not develop a sensitivity (and subsequent antibodies) to her baby’s blood type.
Though Dr. Apgar never married or had children of her own, she saved the lives of countless babies and streamlined many medical considerations of neonatal care, resulting in more effective medical treatment. She studied and promoted the prevention of premature births and causes of fetal deformity. She worked for March of Dimes and taught thousands of students. Her influence in the obstetrics and neonatology fields cannot be overstated.

biomedicalephemera:

Important People of Medicine: Virginia Apgar

If you’ve ever had, or been around a baby that was born in a hospital, Dr. Apgar’s name probably sounds familiar. An anesthesiologist and teratologist (one who studies abnormalities of physical development), Virginia Apgar is most well-known for the "Apgar score" - a rating given to infants at 1 and 5 minutes after birth, which is often a determining factor in whether or not the baby needs to remain in the hospital after birth.

Dr. Apgar was the first female doctor to receive professorship at Columbia University medical school, and her work in teratology during the rubella pandemic of 1964-65 led to her outspoken advocacy for universal vaccination against that disease. Though it’s often mild and annoying above all else in healthy people, when pregnant women contract rubella (also known as German measles), the rate of deformity and disability of their children skyrockets. It can even cause miscarriage.

Virginia Apgar also promoted universal Rh-testing among pregnant women. This test shows whether a woman has a different Rh blood type than her fetus, because if she does, she can develop antibodies that can cross the placenta and destroy fetal blood cells. This can cause fetal hydrops and high levels of neonatal mortality, but can be prevented by administering anti-RhD IgG injections to the mother during pregnancy, so that she does not develop a sensitivity (and subsequent antibodies) to her baby’s blood type.

Though Dr. Apgar never married or had children of her own, she saved the lives of countless babies and streamlined many medical considerations of neonatal care, resulting in more effective medical treatment. She studied and promoted the prevention of premature births and causes of fetal deformity. She worked for March of Dimes and taught thousands of students. Her influence in the obstetrics and neonatology fields cannot be overstated.

themicrobiologist

amolecularmatter:

Deadly Beauty

Ever since our conception, humans have fallen victim to infectious disease - microscopic, airbourne pathogens and parasites that infiltrate our bodies and turn them against us. Shown above, and described below, are 10 of the deadliest pathogens humankind has encountered throughout history. Some, like poliovirus, show how far we’ve come - while others, such as HIV, remind us how far we have still to go in the  battle against nature’s smallest assassins.

The Bubonic Plague: Also called the Black Death due to the formation of necrotic tissue on living victims, the bubonic plague - most commonly caused by a small bacterium, Yersinia pestis - is estimated to have killed around 75 million people, including half the total population of Europe. Although controlled, the bubonic plague is still endemic today.

Poliomyelitis: One of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century, the causitive agent of polio, poliovirus, has caused 10,000 deaths since 1916, and permanent paralysis to thousands. Its presence in the population is substantially reduced in the modern day due to an effective polio vaccine and vaccination programme.

Smallpox: Marked in history as the pathogen of choice for the first-ever documented case of biological warfare, in which smallpox-infected blankets were thrown into enemy camps, smallpox and its two viral agents - variola major (pictured above) and variola minor - decimated the Native American population in the United States from 12 million to 235,000. It is also credited with destroying the Aztec civilisation when brought to South America by the conquistadors. WHO declared the official eradication of smallpox in 1979, although samples are still stored in laboratories for research.

Cholera: Caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, cholera is perhaps best known for being one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses known - a healthy person may become hypotensive within an hour of symptoms onset, and will die within 2-3 if no treatment is provided. Cholera has killed approximately 12,000 people since 1991.

Spanish Influenza: An especially virulent strain of Influenza A virus, subtype H1N1, killed 50 to 100 million people in the years 1918 and 1919 alone. Many of its victims were healthy young adults, in stark contrast to the flu of today, which usually preys on the old and infirm. The extraordinary death toll is believed to have resulted from the extreme virulence of the virus and the severity of symptoms, believed to have been caused by cytokine storms.

Tuberculosis: Caused by various strains of mycobacteria, most commonly Mycobacterium tuberculosis, tuberculosis is a usually lethal and sadly common infectious disease that affects up to 80% of the population in some African and Asian countries.

Influenza: Commonly known as the flu, influenza is caused by a massive family of RNA-based viruses of the family orthomyxoviridae. It causes about 36,000 deaths per year.

Malaria: Malaria is a vector-bourne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, typically Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. It causes approximately 2.7 million deaths per year, a large percentage of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa. No vaccine has yet been created for malaria; drugs must be taken continuously to reduce the risk of infection.

AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. Death results from specific damage to the immune system, leaving people susceptible to opportunistic infection in the late stages. Although treatments exist to decelerate the virus’ progression, there is no known cure, and 21 million have died of AIDS since 1981. HIV is usually passed by blood-to-blood transmission.

Ebola: Ebola is a potentially lethal hemorrhagic fever that has caused approximately 1,600 human deaths. It is a zoonotic disease caused by the ebola virus whose primary animal vector is thought to be the fruit bat. Mortality rates are generally very high, in the region of 80% – 90%, with the cause of death usually due to hypovolemic shock or organ failure.

__________________________________________________________________

Images: Top left: Yersinia pestis. Top right: poliovirus. Second line, left: Variola major. Second line, center: Vibrio cholerae. Second line, right: Influenza A, subtype H1N1. Third line, left: Mycobacterium tuberuclosis. Third line, right: Influeza A. Bottom left: Plasmodium falciparum in red blood cells. Bottom center: HIV. Bottom right: Ebola virus.

The first transparent 3D-printed skull has been successfully implanted.
Three months ago, surgeons in Holland implanted a transparent plastic skull in a woman whose skull has never stopped growing. Incredibly, the rare bone disease that was wrecking her vision and destroying her life has been been bested by a simple 3D printer. The team of surgeons, led by Dr. Bon Verweij at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, expect her new skull to last indefinitely, opening up new vistas for cranial transformation.
Read the entire article here.

The first transparent 3D-printed skull has been successfully implanted.

Three months ago, surgeons in Holland implanted a transparent plastic skull in a woman whose skull has never stopped growing. Incredibly, the rare bone disease that was wrecking her vision and destroying her life has been been bested by a simple 3D printer. The team of surgeons, led by Dr. Bon Verweij at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, expect her new skull to last indefinitely, opening up new vistas for cranial transformation.

Read the entire article here.

Keratoconus of varying severity

Keratoconus is a weakening of the corneal tissue, allowing it to bulge outwards. It generally begins in the teens or early adulthood, and in many cases requires corneal transplant. 

Many centers in the United States and Europe are exploring options for mild-to-moderate keratoconus that are less invasive than a corneal transplant, but for severe manifestations (such as the bottom image, where the corneal tissue is not only bulging, but bulging in an uneven pattern), donor or artificial corneas are still the most successful treatment.

Nine-banded armadillos used in leprosy testing
Unlike other small animals that are easy to breed and raise in laboratory settings, nine-banded armadillos have a body temperature that&#8217;s low enough to become infected with Mycobacterium leprae (the bacterium that causes leprosy/Hansen&#8217;s disease).
Armadillos always give birth to identical quintuplets - the young armadillos shown are probably from one littler, and about half the size of a small adult.
German immigrants to Texas used to call armadillos &#8220;Panzerschwein" - "armored pig". Panzerschwein is the best pig-related moniker short of "Long Pig". I just thought you should know this.

Nine-banded armadillos used in leprosy testing

Unlike other small animals that are easy to breed and raise in laboratory settings, nine-banded armadillos have a body temperature that’s low enough to become infected with Mycobacterium leprae (the bacterium that causes leprosy/Hansen’s disease).

Armadillos always give birth to identical quintuplets - the young armadillos shown are probably from one littler, and about half the size of a small adult.

German immigrants to Texas used to call armadillos “Panzerschwein" - "armored pig". Panzerschwein is the best pig-related moniker short of "Long Pig". I just thought you should know this.

biomedicalephemera

biomedicalephemera:

Layered plate from “Man: His Structure and Physiology” by Robert Knox

Robert Knox is the Edinburgh anatomist who, based upon the 16 bodies delivered to him by William Burke and William Hare, gave spirited dissections in surgical theaters and illustrated this anatomy book. So “involved” and gruesome was he in the dissections that when John James Audubon attended one of his lectures, he remarked:

"The sights were extremely disagreeable, many of them shocking beyond all I ever thought could be. I was glad to leave this charnel house and breathe again the salubrious atmosphere of the streets".

While Hare turned face and testified against Burke, who was eventually put to death (and publicly dissected, himself), Robert Knox was later acquitted of any involvement with the murders, and of any knowledge regarding the origin of the bodies. The public of Edinburgh disagreed with the court, and drove him out of town.

Though Knox has long been associated with the pair, and he should probably have taken more care in asking where the bodies came from, the light of history has shown that he did nothing illegal or untoward, especially in a day where cadavers were extremely difficult to legally come by. His enthusiasm for “continental” anatomy courses, where students also dissect bodies, was his downfall - so many bodies were needed that it was impossible to procure them all.

After the Burke and Hare fiasco, Scotland widened the availability of cadavers to anatomists with the Anatomy Act of 1832. Robert Knox had since left for London by that point, however, and spent the remainder of his days illustrating medical and zoological texts, performing pathological anatomy, and writing about his questionable theories on race, speciation, and anthropometry.

This copy of Robert Knox’s book resides at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in London, England.

The Horniman Museum can also be found on tumblr and Flickr.

Biosafety Levels 1-4

We’ve known that breathing in or touching infectious/infected material is probably bad since before germ theory, but it wasn’t until 1943 that our first formal guidelines and laboratories for technician separation from the infectious agent were set up. It was the 1960s before the first conference to standardize personal protection equipment (PPE) guidelines. 

These days we have 4 basic safety levels when working with biological agents: Biosafety Levels (BSL) 1-4

BSL 1 includes well-understood agents not known to regularly affect adult humans, and which present a minimal level of hazard to the technician. Canine hepatitis, non-pathogenic strains of E. coli, and other non-infectious bacteria. Aside from standard healthy-living procedures (washing with soap etc), laboratory equipment is decontaminated via autoclave between uses, protective gloves, and sometimes protective goggles are required.

BSL 2 includes many of the milder infectious diseases that we know about, such as Salmonella, measles, mumps, MRSA, C. difficile, and hepatitis A, B, and C. These are sometimes serious illnesses, but are not easily aerosolized in a laboratory setting. When aerosols may be formed, biological safety cabinets are used, extreme care is taken with sharps, access to the laboratory is limited during work, and all technicians are trained in pathogen handling procedures.

BSL 3 includes dangerous pathogens that can cause potentially lethal infection, such as Yersinia pestis (black plague), rabies, SARS, tuberculosis, tularemia, and yellow fever. Laboratory personnel have specific training in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents, and are supervised by competent scientists who are experienced in working with these agents. All procedures involving the manipulation of infectious materials are conducted within biological safety cabinets, specially designed hoods, or other physical containment devices, or by personnel wearing appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment. The laboratory usually has special engineering and design features, such as restricted access, double-door entrances, and sealed penetrations. BSL 3 laboratories are sometimes called warm zones.

BSL 4 includes the most lethal and exotic agents that there are no cures or vaccines for, such as Ebola, Lassa, Argentinian hemorrhagic virus, and smallpox (smallpox for its extreme virulence, despite its vaccine availability). When dealing with biological hazards at this level the use of a positive pressure personnel suit, with a segregated air supply, is mandatory. The entrance and exit of a level four biolab will contain multiple showers, a vacuum room, an ultraviolet light room, and other safety precautions designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. Multiple airlocks are employed and are electronically secured to prevent both doors opening at the same time. All air and water service going to and coming from a biosafety level 4 (or P4) lab will undergo similar decontamination procedures to eliminate the possibility of an accidental release. Agents with a close or identical antigenic relationship to biosafety level 4 agents are handled at this level until sufficient data is obtained either to confirm continued work at this level, or to work with them at a lower level.

Members of the laboratory staff have specific and thorough training in handling extremely hazardous infectious agents and they understand the primary and secondary containment functions of the standard and special practices, the containment equipment, and the laboratory design characteristics. They are supervised by qualified scientists who are trained and experienced in working with these agents. Access to the laboratory is strictly controlled by the laboratory director.

The facility is either in a separate building or in a controlled area within a building, which is completely isolated from all other areas of the building. A specific facility operations manual is prepared or adopted. Building protocols for preventing contamination often use negatively pressurized facilities, which, even if compromised, would severely inhibit an outbreak of aerosol pathogens.

BSL 4 labs are hot zones.

pestilense

biomedicalephemera:

DIPHTHERIA! KEEP OUT!

As with scarlet fever, diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) only becomes the dread disease that was quarantined and feared after it becomes infected with a toxin-producing bacteriophage (bacteria-infecting virus). You can be infected with an uninfected strain of C. diphtheriae and not develop any illness - the disease itself requires both the virus AND bacteria (well, one inside the other, of course).

When C. diphtheriae starts exuding toxins, it’s not surprising that the disease was so frightening. Those toxins enter the cells of the nasopharynx and inhibit protein synthesis, which eventually causes apoptosis (cell death), localized necrosis, and inflammation from the body’s response to the dead and dying cells.

The Strangling Death

The combination of those exotoxins, and the body’s response to the bacteria and affected epithelial cells, creates diphtheria’s strangling effects. Bluish skin, cough, difficult and painful swallowing, and rapid difficult breathing are all a result of the swelling and pseudomembrane formation in the throat.

Despite antitoxins, antibiotics, and incredibly sophisticated intensive care units, this disease still kills nearly 10% of all patients, and 20% of those under five or over forty. Diphtheria can kill either by strangulation or overloading the organs of the body with toxins; when adults die of the disease, toxin overload is more common than strangulation. Even when patients survive, heart damage from myocarditis and lingering pain from peripheral neuropathy can continue to cause problems for months or years.

Textbook of Pediatrics.
Julius Parker Sedgwick and Carl Ahrendt Scherer, 1922.