Not Enough Dirt?

Anyone familiar with the “hygiene hypothesis“?  This theory proposes that by living in an ever-more-sterile environment, we have forced our immune systems to “look for something else to do,” like causing asthma and an array of allergies, or attacking our islet cells, for example.
The theory goes that children who grow up exposed to multiple bacteria have stronger immune systems — whereas the rising incidence of conditions like Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple…

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The Double-Chronic Whammy (and the Essential Funny Bone)

Speaking of survivorship… read this:
Shortly after my diagnosis, a friend in my book club said enthusiastically, “You HAVE to talk with my mom. She’s got diabetes AND breast cancer!”  Aaaaaccccckkk!  I’m just getting my head around one chronic disease, so why in the world would I want to rendezvous with someone who’ll remind me that there may be more to come?!
That’s so unfair, I thought.  In the scheme of life, I figured everyone’s…

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Survivorship Reconsidered

My new column this month at dLife is not exactly a book review, but something more akin to a “book encounter.”
I recently received an advance copy of medical writer Jill Sklar’s The Five Gifts of Illness.  Sklar was diagnosed herself with Crohn’s Disease in 2002.
What she’s done is explore the whole concept of “survivorship” from a new angle:
“Surviving chronic illness is a relatively new concept in the history of civilization,” Sklar writes.…

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iPump Nano ?

Could this be the answer to our device design dreams?
Two companies in Switzerland are busy developing a tiny precision pump, that looks, well… iPod-like!

The Nanopump will be “a unique miniaturized insulin-delivery pump… which relies on microfluidic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) technology, a breakthrough concept that allows a tiny pump to be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion.”  According to Debiotech’s web site, this will be the first-ever application of…

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