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The earliest references to medical care and surgical procedures are found in Babylonian texts like the laws of Hammurabi (1792-1750/43 BCE) describing the surgeon’s responsibilities and how much he should be paid. Pay was good, but penalties for mistakes harsh: “If a physician performs a major operation on a lord… and causes his death…. they shall cut off his hand”. Only wounds, fractures and abscesses were treated surgically. A Sumerian clay tablet (2150 BCE) describes wounds being washed in beer and hot water, poultices made from pine, prunes, wine dregs and lizard dung, and use of bandages (for a nose-bleed!). Other texts describe the symptoms and prognosis of epilepsy, bronchitis and scurvy. A list of 230 medicines using plant, animal and mineral ingredients was found in an Assyrian pharmacy and records of distillation of cedar oil proves that this was an earlier invention than we thought.
Aging Announcement antibiotic resistance antibody autism Autoimmune disease B lymphocytes Cancer Conference report cooperation Defenses Development Education Escherichia coli evolution Evolutionary biology evolutionary medicine gene Genetics genome genotype History HIV-1 human evolution Immunology infection Infection inflammation Meeeting Mental disorders microbe microbiota Mismatch mutation Pharmacology phenotype phylogeny Phylogeny pleiotropy selection Teaching resources T lymphocytes Trade-offs transcription virulence
James Maskell is the host of our podcast and flagship show, the Functional Forum, the world’s largest integrative medicine community. He is on a mission to create structures necessary to evolve humanity beyond chronic disease. He lectures internationally and has been featured on TEDx, TEDMED and HuffPostLive and also founder of KNEW Health, a payer solution for chronic disease reversal.
This week’s podcast features: Daniel Schmachtenburger, co-founder and director of research and development at Neurohacker Collective, in Complexity Medicine: The Basis for a Functional Standard of Care. Daniel is a deep thinker and researcher on how human regulatory systems function, how they break down and how they can be supported to function with greater resilience.
Discover the history of medicine through our rich and unique collections, which include over 20,000 monographs and 4,000 manuscripts, as well as photographs, illustrations, medical instruments, medals, and a variety of medical artifacts. We also offer a setting for classes, provide research consultations, host a speaker series and other special events, exhibit items from the collections, and issue a regular newsletter and special publications.
“Rescaling Colonial Life From the Indigenous to the Alien: The Late 20th Century Search for Human Biological Futures,“ follows the reach of colonial practices of natural history through genomics and into outer space. The article centers around biochemist and medical anthropologist Baruch Blumberg, who began his career collecting samples from colonial subjects in Surinam and ended it as head of the NASA program in Astrobiology. Joanna Radin’s history traces entwinements of colonial natural history, space exploration, and inductive methods in postwar biological science.
Medieval doctors also prescribed laxatives for purging. Enemas were given with a greased tube attached to a pigs bladder. Doctors also prescribed baths in scented water. They also used salves and ointments and not just for skin complaints. Doctors believed it was important when treating many illnesses to prevent heat or moisture escaping from the affected part of the body and they believed that ointments would do that.
^ Porter, Roy (1992). "Madness and its Institutions". In Wear, Andrew. Medicine in Society: Historical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 277–302. ISBN 978-0521336390.; Goldstein, Jan (2001) [1987]. Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0226301600.; Grob, Gerald N. (1994). Mad Among Us. Simon and Schuster. pp. 25–30. ISBN 978-1439105719.
Medicine made huge advances in the 20th century. The first non-direct blood transfusion was made in 1914. Insulin was first used to treat a patient in 1922. The EEG machine was first used in 1929. Meanwhile many new drugs were developed. In 1910 the discovered salvarsan, a drug used to treat syphilis was discovered. In 1935 prontosil was used to treat blood poisoning. Later it was discovered that the active ingredient of the dye was a chemical called sulphonamide, which was derived from coal tar. As a result in the late 1930s a range of drugs derived from sulphonamide were developed.
The History of Medicine Collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University is accepting applications for our travel grant program. https://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/history-of-medicine/grants Research grants of up to $1,500 will be offered to researchers whose work would benefit from access to the historical medical collections at the Rubenstein Rare Book & […]
3 Schwarz, Richard W. “John Harvey Kellogg, M.D.: Pioneering Health Reformer.” John Harvery Kellogg, M.D.: Pioneering Health Reformer – Richard W. Schwarz – Google Books. Google Books, 2006. Web. 26 Jan. 2014. .

This week, Dr. Wible joins us to talk about the epidemic of physician suicide. She's filmed a powerful TedMed talk on the epidemic of physician suicide where she read the words of physicians on the edge of taking their own lives. As we lose more brilliant minds and healers to suicide, Dr. Wible has started a project to bring this epidemic to light. Her film called "Do No Harm" will do exactly that and she tells us more about the film and how we can support the movement.
The term ‘technology’ is based on the ancient Greek techné (‘art’, ‘skill’, ‘craft’) (logos means ‘study’). Greek medical texts describe medicine as a techné, suggesting that it was a skill to know why and how to treat a condition. For us, ‘medicine’ is “the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease” (Oxford English Dictionary).
Chris Kresser:  Yeah, sure.  I’m sure a lot of my listeners know this about me, but for those people who are new to this especially, I think Paleo—and I’ve said this before—is a fantastic starting place, but it’s not a destination.  What I mean by that, is we know that Paleo foods are safe and well tolerated for most of us because we’ve eaten them for such a long period of time.  And by we, I mean human beings.  And they’re the least likely to cause problems, allergies, food intolerances, and issues like that, because human beings have been consuming them for thousands of generations.  But that doesn’t mean that we absolutely need to restrict our diet to those foods, because even though we’re largely the same genetically as we were 10,000 years ago, there have been significant changes.  In fact, as much as 10% of our genome shows evidence of recent selection.  And the pace of genetic change today is occurring at a rate 100 times faster than the average over 6 million years of hominid evolution.  So we’re similar to our Paleolithic ancestors, but we’re different in some important ways.  And those differences actually do affect our tolerance of certain agricultural foods, like full-fat and fermented dairy products, even legumes and grains, some of the newly introduced foods like alcohol and chocolate and coffee.  These are all foods that modern research actually suggests can be beneficial when they are well tolerated, but I call them gray-area foods because our tolerance of them really depends on the individual.  So for one person who is casein intolerant or intolerant to some of the proteins in dairy, eating any dairy is going to be problematic.  But for someone who has no problem with casein or lactose, the sugar in dairy, all of the research on full-fat dairy suggests that it’s beneficial and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and even obesity.  So those are just a few examples of how our diet has changed.  And I think as a healthcare practitioner, my focus is always on the science—what the science shows, and what I see in the clinic in my work with patients.  And I’m generally kind of allergic to extremely rigid, dogmatic approaches, especially when they’re not flexible enough to evolve and adapt with what the changing science tells us.  So that was one of the big focuses of my talk at the summit.
Abby shares her personal journey to functional medicine. Her journey included starting the functional forum meetup and connecting with the fellow practitioners in her area. To her surprise, most were on board and ready to engage. She started with humble beginnings in her office two years ago and from there with support from her community, it's grown into something spectacular. 

Trapped in ice near Stadacona (the site of present-day Quebec City) in 1536, Jacques Cartier’s ships weren’t going anywhere. The crews, holed up in a makeshift fort with little access to fresh food, came down with a disease so gruesome that “their mouth became stincking, their gummes so rotten, that all the flesh did fall off, even to the rootes of the teeth, which did also almost all fall out.” They had scurvy, now known to result from a deficiency of vitamin C. Cartier had no idea what to do.

The Evolution of Medicine provides step-by-step instruction for building a successful "community micropractice", one that engages both the patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership focused on the body as a whole rather than isolated symptoms. This invaluable handbook will awaken health professionals to exciting new career possibilities. At the same time, it will alleviate the fear of abandoning a conventional medical system that is bad for doctors, patients, and payers, as well as being ineffectual in the treatment of chronic ailments.

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