Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lady Jane Scarlett - some call her a mad scientist, other just know she needs her coffee

This is how I like my science - thanks for sharing your beta papers on your site, Lady Jane. If anyone wants more Lady Jane Scarlet, visit her blog (but fellas, she's already one special guy's snowflake).

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a bad, horrible disease. The chance that you’ll get it increases as you age. Sorry to tell you this. In addition to personal pain and discomfort, this is also an economic burden on insurers and employers because really…who wants to work when they’re in pain? Hey, here’s some more good news. The current way of detecting OA is inserting a stick into your joint, moving it around and taking pictures of the area. You’ll likely have some young punk doctor playing around with your area of pain with a small rubber hammer, asking astute questions like “does this hurt”. If this invasive and demeaning method is appealing, then by all means continue to vote Republicans who like to decimate the NIH budget for breakfast and suppress technological advancements in their spare time. Anyhoo.

Diagnosis of disease by looking at eye tissue is rather appealing because it is non-invasive and most people see the eye doctor on a yearly basis, especially those older folks who have bad eyesight. There is precedent for diagnosis of diabetes, cataracts, and macular degeneration via analysis of ocular tissue using lasers. The last two applications are kinda no-brainers, but the first one is pretty rocking huh? The trick is to develop a method that uses a laser at low enough power so that the Einsteins at your local DOC don’t ruin your eyes with their newest 2 watt laser/toy.

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