Category Archives: Medicine

NSAIDs and Pregnancy

Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used by millions of patients. They act by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) which facilitates the formation of prostaglandins and thromboxane. The enzyme has two forms: COX-1 and COX-2. They mediate inflammation and pain by simulating prostaglandin synthesis. All the NSAIDs available in the US save one inhibit both…


Read the full entry

Donald Seldin – The Maestro of Medicine

Raymond Greenberg’s new biography of the late Donald Seldin has a great subtitle. It could also have been Never at Rest had not Richard Westfall preopted the title for his definitive biography of Isaac Newton. Constant purposeful activity combined with a blazing intellect was the dominant characteristic of Seldin’s long and incredibly productive life. A…


Read the full entry

COVID-19 Immunity

I’ve tried to resist the urge to write more about the COVID-19 epidemic. Afterall, there are only so many ways to say that we’ve done just about everything wrong that’s possible. Turning politicians and journalists loose on the disease was certain to make a hash out of a serious, but not world ending, problem. Even…


Read the full entry

How Many Doctors Are Needed to Run a Hospital?

When I was a resident physician the chief of cardiology often argued that there should only be two departments in a hospital – medicine and trauma. I’ve often thought about that view over the ensuing decades as the number of medical specialties proliferated like mushrooms after a downpour. How many specialties would be needed if…


Read the full entry

False Positive PCR Tests For COVID-19

I got tired of writing about the problem of false positive tests for the coronavirus, so I gave up. Now the New York Times has suddenly become aware of the problem. When a PCR test is run the virus is amplified in proportion to the number of cycles run. Typically 40 cycles are performed. Thus,…


Read the full entry

CRISPR and Human Characteristics

On September 9th PBS series NOVA presented a two hour program devoted to the genetic technique CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats). It’s a technique that allows for gene editing. You can read about by clicking the link above. The PBS program does a pretty good job of explaining how the technique works and…


Read the full entry

COVID-19 Six Months In

It’s just about half a year since we recognized that the coronavirus had taken residence in the US and just about everywhere else. We took a while to realize that the bug was going to stay longer than The Man Who Came to Dinner. Though epidemics have been a feature of human existence ever since…


Read the full entry

Einstein, Insanity, and Models

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This quotation attributed to Einstein, was said by him (if he really said it) in the context of quantum mechanics, where doing the same experiment repeatedly does give different results. But in the macro world the same experiment properly performed does give…


Read the full entry

No Lives Matter

Unless Netflix and Amazon Prime has drowned out any exterior information, you are aware that much of life has been canceled. My thesis is that this activity which used to be confined the the Post Office (it was canceled decades ago) has not gone far enough. From my jaundiced vantage point it seems clear that…


Read the full entry

The False-Positive Panic over COVID-19

The title above is that of an article by me published today in the Mises Wire. It deals with the problem of false positive tests for COVID-19 that will be found if a large population is tested which has a low prevalence of the virus. It also deals with the issue of frequent tests of…


Read the full entry

Categories