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Sharp vision: New glasses help the legally blind see

Tue., Feb. 28, 2017, midnight

In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, eSight CEO and President Brian Mech holds up a pair electronic glasses at Union Square San Francisco. The glasses enable the legally blind to see. (Eric Risberg / AP)
The headsets from eSight transmit images from a forward-facing camera to small internal screens – one for each eye – in a way that beams the video into the wearer’s peripheral vision. That turns out to be all that some people with limited vision, even legal blindness, need to see things they never could before. That’s because many visual impairments degrade central vision while leaving peripheral vision largely intact.

This is why doctors hate to stop CPR even when they know it’s time

Tue., Feb. 28, 2017, midnight

According to the American Heart Association, more than 550,000 people go into cardiac arrest each year, and fewer than 20 percent survive. The likelihood of surviving is nearly twice as high among people who “code” in the hospital, probably because most of them receive CPR. However, a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that only 22 percent of people suffering a cardiac arrest live long enough to be discharged from the hospital, and nearly 30 percent of those survivors have serious neurological disabilities, probably because of a lack of oxygen during the arrest.

Achoo! The distance germs can travel is nothing to sneeze at

Mon., Feb. 27, 2017, 7 p.m.

Germs from a sneeze can travel 20 feet or more. (Dreamstime / TNS)
Sneezes are everywhere these days, during this, the height of cold and flu season. The chorus of achoos in offices, on buses and in homes often sends bystanders scrambling to get out of the line of germ-spreading fire. But how far is far enough away to avoid getting hit by a snot-and-fluid projectile? A lot farther than you might – or would like to – think. We’re talking 20 feet or more.

Infant who survived in 1920s sideshow incubator dies at 96

Fri., Feb. 24, 2017, 3:33 p.m.

Lucille Horn stands on the boardwalk outside her home in Long Beach, N.Y., on July 22, 2015, Horn who weighed less than two pounds at birth, and wasn’t expected to survive, lived nearly a century after her parents put their faith in a sideshow doctor at Coney Island who put babies on display in incubators to fund his research to keep them alive. She died in New York at age 96 on Feb. 11, 2017. (Frank Eltman / AP)
Lucille Conlin Horn weighed barely 2 pounds when she was born, a perilous size for any infant, especially in 1920. Doctors told her parents to hold off on a funeral for her twin sister who had died at birth, expecting she too would soon be gone.

Quality patient care should be provided by all doctors

Tue., Feb. 21, 2017, midnight

Dear Doctor: I’ve read about a recent study that found that elderly patients with female doctors fared better than those who were treated by men. I wonder – what do Dr. Ko and Dr. Glazier think about these results? Dear Reader: You’re referring to the results of a study performed by Harvard researchers, published in December 2016 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. To say that it caused a bit of a stir is an understatement. Our colleague Dr. Ashley gave his take on these findings yesterday. Our reactions follow later.

New mosquito trap smart enough to keep just the bad bugs

Mon., Feb. 20, 2017, 7 p.m.

In this photo provided by Microsoft, Microsoft researcher Ethan Jackson sets up a trap for mosquitoes in Harris County, Texas, in 2016. A new high-tech version trap is promising to catch the bloodsuckers while letting friendlier insects escape, and even record the exact weather conditions when different species emerge to bite. (AP)
A smart trap for mosquitoes? A new high-tech version is promising to catch the bloodsuckers while letting friendlier insects escape – and even record the exact weather conditions when different species emerge to bite. Whether it really could improve public health is still to be determined.

House Call: The benefits of a primary care physician

Mon., Feb. 13, 2017, 5:15 p.m.

If you are young and healthy it can be it can be hard to see what advantages there are to having a primary care physician. Having a primary care doc provides what we call continuity of care. We have a record of your vital signs and health needs from year to year and if there is a change it can be a flag that something unusual is going on in your body even though you feel fine.

Common weed could help fight deadly superbug, study finds

Mon., Feb. 13, 2017, midnight

Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University, in her lab with berries from the Brazilian peppertree. (Emory University / Emory University)
Researchers from Emory University and the University of Iowa found that extracts from the Brazilian peppertree, which traditional healers in the Amazon have used for hundreds of years to treat skin and soft-tissue infections, have the power to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in mice. The study was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

Abuse of Adderall becoming common among young people

Thu., Feb. 9, 2017, 3:49 a.m.

Dear Doctor: I know that Adderall is prescribed to children with ADHD. But lately I’ve been reading stories about college kids who use Adderall to help them study. What is Adderall and who should take it? Dear Reader: You’ve hit on a topic that’s timely, complex and quite often controversial. When prescribed and used properly, Adderall can be beneficial. But as with any prescription drug, off-label use can create a host of problems.

Mumps prevention starts with vaccinations

Mon., Feb. 6, 2017, 4:57 p.m.

Most people who catch the mumps will recover completely 10 days to a few weeks after they fall ill. This may make you wonder what the big deal is about getting vaccinated for mumps.

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