Questions tagged [medicine]

Medicine is the doctrine of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries in humans and animals. Health and medicine questions are off-topic unless dealing with the biology underlying health and medicine. Please carefully explore the tour, help centre, and meta before posting health and medicine questions.

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45
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3answers
23k views

How does a Coronavirus “test kit” work?

A number of countries are using test kits for detecting new cases of nCoV (2019-Coronavirus) and apparently China is running low. What exactly is in a nCoV "Test Kit" — How does it work? (Surely ...
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4answers
5k views

Why have a placebo control group when testing a new drug if existing drugs can be used?

It is general practice to compare a new treatment against a sham treatment (placebo), and then use those results to compare efficacy of the new treatment (call it B) to an existing treatment (call it ...
18
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1answer
4k views

Do we actually get more sick (flu/cold) during winter?

The word flu derives from the Italian phrase "influenza de freddo" meaning "influence of the cold". Indeed it is that time of the year when my colleagues seem to have the flu/cold more often than not....
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4answers
3k views

Where’s the flaw in my proposed TB Treatment?

Ten years ago, I emailed a prominent lung specialist with my suggestion for a treatment for Tuberculosis. His lack of response led me to believe that the idea had no merit whatsoever – but I had no ...
17
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1answer
87k views

how to close a severed artery/vein?

This is a medicine-related question that I've been wondering about. I've been watching medical lectures on YouTube regarding the human body and was wondering about how surgeons treat a severed artery ...
15
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1answer
322 views

Why do doctors still advise HIV+ couples to wear a condom during sex?

HIV infected people already have HIV, but why do doctors still advise condom use for HIV+ couples?
15
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1answer
912 views

Inability of vultures to digest diclofenac

The population of Indian vultures has been rapidly declining since 2003. This is attributed to the diclofenac present in the carcasses which the vultures eat. Vultures seem to digest all sorts of food ...
15
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1answer
221 views

Doing a medical study on yourself?

What research guidelines is a person legally mandated to follow if they want to do medical experimentation on themselves? There is a large amount of variation in the types of medical experiments so I ...
14
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2answers
33k views

What does irregular heartbeat mean in simple language?

I bought a blood pressure monitor (A&D UA-851) which has the option to measure irregular heartbeat. I do understand what 'irregular' means, but why do irregular heartbeats happen and what are it'...
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2answers
7k views

How are Maggots Sterilized (Disinfected)?

For maggot therapy, how are maggots disinfected? I'd imagine there's a limited scope of measurements that can be taken to sterilize the maggots - i.e. we don't want to sterilize them and kill them too....
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2answers
4k views

How does the immune system fight scabies mites?

After a distressing episode involving my elderly mother and a nursing home, I've been reading up on scabies. It seems that in healthy people, the immune system limits the mite population to around 10 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What was the biological mechanism that allowed Tarrare to eat so much?

Are there any conjectured mechanisms that cause Tarrare's extremely oversized stomach and abdominal cavity? Along with his superhuman appetite of course. Whether from a medical perspective or a ...
9
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4answers
4k views

What are the consequences of inbreeding?

Inbreeding increases the risk of getting two identical recessive genes, alleles, that cause a disease which wouldn't have been activated with mixed genes. That's how I understand it anyway. But I ...
9
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1answer
933 views

How harmful is aluminium?

I have been taught in school that aluminium is harmful for brain. Thus sour meals should not be cooked in aluminium pots and it is unhealthy to add lemon juice to tea while there is teabag in the cup, ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the biological reason for a burst appendix being potentially lethal?

Given that the appendix does not seem to be used by the human body, what is the biological reason that it is potentially lethal when this organ bursts? Also, what would cause the 'burst'?
8
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1answer
199 views

Why do people in the scientific community use terminology such as renal, hepatic, cardiac instead of kidney, liver and heart? [closed]

Are there differences between renal, hepatic, cardiac and kidney, liver and heart? Is the "jargon" used more commonly because of tradition, or is there some definitive biological basis to it?
8
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2answers
427 views

Does avoiding medication that alleviates symptoms shorten the length of a cold?

People use over the counter (OTC) medications to relieve symptoms of the common cold. However, these symptoms are part of the immune response, right? They are driven by the body responding to the ...
8
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1answer
86 views

Are there medical treatments that were so effective they were never subjected to a randomized control trial?

I'm thinking of things like antibiotics for meningitis or tuberculosis, or thiamine for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. In those cases the magnitude of the treatment effect might have been so great that ...
8
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1answer
317 views

Do “scars” in humans replace all the skin layers or only some layers?

When someone has a cut or surgical incision that results in a "scar", is the scar tissue replacing all 3 layers of the skin (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis)? Or only the first one or two of them?
7
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2answers
59k views

Is pork poisonous?

Besides religious prohibition, there are several non-religious arguments against eating pork. A few of which are: Pigs and swine are so poisonous that you can hardly kill them with strychnine or ...
7
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3answers
207 views

Why ml scale blood retrieval is required to run a blood test?

Substances found in blood are present at microscopic scale and tend to be invisible to the unaided eye. Why is a whole vial of blood (at ml scale) is required to assess the presence and concentration ...
7
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2answers
647 views

Why does botulinum toxin seem to be more dangerous to humans than to other mammals?

Various mammals seem to get away with eating parts of carcasses that we would prefer to not even touch, and that we assume will make us sick. Because of that, I assume botulinum toxin is more ...
7
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3answers
103 views

Global database for patients with rare and important injuries or disease?

I was recently reading Christof Koch's The Quest for Consciousness, and several times he mentioned how important some patients with sad and terrible brain injuries were for the understanding of the ...
7
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1answer
527 views

Why can't we find a broad spectrum antiviral drug to viruses like antibiotics to bacteria?

Antibiotics have a very broad spectrum because they attack the metabolism pathways many bacteria share. For example, penicillin inhibits peptidoglycan synthesis, which is vital for formation of cell ...
7
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1answer
129 views

Why is there no herd immunity against common cold coronaviruses?

In discussions of herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 the underlying assumption usually appears to be that the virus basically stops spreading once a sufficient percentage of the population has overcome ...
7
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2answers
570 views

Viruses: Adaptation to a new host through repeated host jumps

A friend told me, during a 3 minute discussion, that viruses that are endemic in host $A$ and make repeated jumps to host $B$ but can't be transmitted between individuals of species $B$, may slowly ...
6
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2answers
4k views

Functions of the CFTR gene?

I am a senior in high school and I am studying cystic fibrosis. I don't quite get the function of the CFTR gene as this is my first time dealing with this type of heavy scientific info. I had ...
6
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2answers
218 views

How do we know that mild forms of rabies are nonexistent?

Wikipedia's rabies article says: "Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after first symptoms. Survival is almost unknown once symptoms have presented, even with the administration of proper and intensive ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Do animals get sick with hemorrhoids?

Do animals get sick with hemorrhoids ? And why Humans are most affected of it ? Is it because the gravity center of Humans is sittuated in the anal ?
6
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1answer
246 views

Survival curve in early humans

The survival curve/function describes the probability of a given individual to survive to age $x$. In humans, today's survival function is very much influenced by medicine. This leads me to wonder ...
6
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1answer
236 views

Is it possible to synthesize chiral version of an organism (incompatible with our pathogens)?

In theory, it should be possible to synthesize chiral (mirror image) version of some organism: with all molecules replaced with their enantiomers, e.g. L-sugars in place of our D-sugars. Direct ...
6
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2answers
26k views

Why and where do red blood cells die?

Textbooks commonly state that red blood cells are removed by the liver and spleen. Do those organs destroy the red blood cells within capillaries that course through those organs or are they ...
6
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1answer
16k views

What is a lip? (upper lip and lower lip)

Everyone knows what a lip is but I'm asking from a technical and anatomical standpoint. Actually what we call "lip" is "vermilion" in medical terminology. But I want to ask if my understanding is ...
6
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1answer
302 views

Reason for variation in the site of onset of edema

What is the reason for the observed clinical difference in the earliest site of onset of edema in cases of different etiologies? For example, in Congestive Heart Failure, it appears initially as ...
6
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1answer
4k views

How does food intake affect medicine? Why pill instructions recommends taking them before (after) meal?

Even simple vitamins seem to have this in the instruction. Why is is so? Is there some simple model of how do pills interact with food? Does it depend on the food type? (What about drinks?) Should ...
6
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0answers
318 views

Do animals get “unhealthily” fat in the wild?

Looking at a picture of a seriously fat cat, apparently directly nurtured by humans, popping up in a language learning app, I started wondering: do animals "in the wild" (this might be ambiguous, but ...
6
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0answers
126 views

Why do some medicines induce sleep? [closed]

I have seen lot of people sleep or say that they are feeling sleepy after taking some medicines. Why? I mean, if a medicine acts on some cell of the body because that cell has got its receptors and ...
5
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2answers
166 views

Why do doctors use a new thread for each stitch?

Why do doctors use a new thread of the same kind for each stitch instead of using a single thread for the entire stitch?
5
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2answers
118 views

What is overdiagnosis?

What is overdiagnosis ? I have searched this Wiki result but didn't understood at all. Can you please explain the first two line of Wikipedia : Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of "disease" that ...
5
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3answers
4k views

How does vasoconstriction/vasodilation change blood pressure?

Background: I am coming at this question from an electrical engineering background, and I feel like I am missing certain assumptions that are going into the statement found in my physiology textbook, "...
5
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1answer
203 views

Formaldehyde turns plantar region of feet red?

I'm a freshman med student and I've noticed that on all the feet (and hands) of deceased people that I've worked with, the bottom of the feet always turns red and also the inside of the palm? Why is ...
5
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2answers
192 views

Could this Francobelgian comic book woman really have these 4 diseases at the same time?

I'm doing an archive binge of a paper comic "The Kiekeboes". One of the characters is an elderly woman currently at the doctor, and she says the has the following illnesses: Erythema Exsudativum ...
5
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1answer
183 views

How does drug-induced photosensitivity work?

Some drugs (tetracyclines, for instance) can cause photosensitivity reactions—that is, some patients become extremely sensitive to the sun, developing rashes or inflammation after spending time ...
5
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1answer
155 views

Are there diseases for which a placebo treatment is state of the art?

I was reading about the placebo effect, and I wondered if there exists or ever existed a disease with the following properties: There are no known treatments for the disease that perform better than ...
5
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2answers
115 views

Is there a standard reference for the importance of tumor heterogeneity?

In a recent post, Philip Gerlee highlighted the two biggest contributions of mathematical oncology to cancer research: (1) increasing focus on the progress of cancer as an evolutionary process, and (2)...
5
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1answer
16k views

What causes swelling after impact?

Why does the head swell after getting hit by something hard? What is the liquid that forms after impact?
4
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3answers
330 views

Can/Have cancer cells be/been used in stem cell culture lines?

Since Cancer cells have unlimited growth potential, can they be induced towards totipotency and pluripotency? If so, can cancer cells be used in stem cell culture because of similar properties of ...
4
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2answers
251 views

Does homeopathic or herbal treatment of cancer have any scientific recognition?

Even though we have a very high tech society, cancer is still a serious issue. We humans still are not entirely capable of fighting cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy are still considered the best ...
4
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1answer
515 views

Why is methanol poisonous?

What should we do when someone is diagnosed with the methanol poisoning What harm does methanol cause on our body, such as the harm to some proteins? What first-aid measures should we take?
4
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1answer
57 views

Where are newly discovered medicines tested

When a medicine is prepared by a biologist,then where does he first test on? And how does he know that this is the exact combination for a disease to get cured? Does he test that medicine on a human ...

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