Paging Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons
Dragon’s blood may be the key to creating new superbug-killing antibiotics, says a BBC News article. Technically, it’s Komodo dragon blood that contains a compound that appears to have antimicrobial activity, and George Mason University researchers created an artificial version that worked on mice in trials. The researchers found that the synthetic compound worked well on infected wounds in mice against two bacterial strains, including the superbug known as MRSA, according to the BBC. The research, which was published in Nature.com, would have been more interesting if it somehow involved the types of dragons seen flying around on the show "Game of Thrones," but this is pretty good news nonetheless.
Rules Are Meant to be Broken
Sometimes, breaking the hospital’s rules is worth it, especially in the case of a dying patient. That was the philosophy at one hospital in Denmark, which recently accepted a terminally ill 75-year-old man who suffered an aortic aneurysm, The Guardian reports. Bedridden and with little time to live, all Carsten Flemming Hansen really wanted was a cigarette and a glass of wine. Of course, doing so within Aarhus University hospital was against the rules, but nurses there decided to bend them and let Hansen have a smoke and some cold white wine on the balcony outside his room while the sun set. Family members agreed with the approach, over performing surgery, to give the man a comfortable and dignified death, according to The Guardian. “It was a very cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Of course, there were relatives also affected by the fact he was going to die, and they were sad,” nurse Rikke Kvist tells the publication.
Facts from the Global Health Consortium That Make Us Pause
The Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Washington, D.C. covered a lot of ground last weekend, bringing together 1,700 specialists to talk shop. NPR offers an overview through seven noteworthy takeaways. Some of these findings are unexpected, such as the fact that injury and violence account for more than 5 million deaths every year; and that coronary heart disease is soaring (to the tune of 120 percent for women and 137 percent for men) in developing countries. Another troubling finding: The world average rate of spousal violence is 35.6 percent, and it’s more than 50 percent for women in certain countries, such as Mozambique. Read the full list of standout figures here.
This year’s Health, Medicine & the Body Issue of The New Yorker featured an animated cover titled “Operating Theatre” that featured four female members of a surgical team looking down over a patient. But, it’s the reception the cover received from the surgical community that was most impressive. In response to what has been thought of as a white, male-dominated field, surgeons across the world have posted photos with their team emulating the magazine cover along with the hashtag #ILookLikeASurgeon, according to The New Yorker. The artist who did the cover, Malika Favre said she designed the image with the patient perspective in mind, telling The New Yorker, “I tried to capture that feeling of people watching you lose consciousness.”