Measles, colons, and 3D printing…

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Measles deaths surge worldwide thanks to poverty and anti-vaccine propaganda: “Measles is almost completely preventable, and it really could be eliminated from the Earth just as smallpox was decades ago. All that is needed is money and the political will to make it happen.”


Needless procedures: when is a colonoscopy necessary? A doctor will usually recommend a colonoscopy if patients are at increased risk of bowel cancer due to family history (particularly first-degree relatives who develop bowel cancer before the age of 55), if their “poo test” is positive for blood, or if they have concerning symptoms such as bleeding. An Australian study tried to determine which symptoms could best predict bowel cancer. The authors collected data on around 8,000 patients with a range of symptoms – including rectal bleeding and constipation – undergoing colonoscopy. They followed them to see who was diagnosed with a cancer (or a large polyp) during the colonoscopy. They found that, apart from age, rectal bleeding was the strongest predictor of bowel cancer. Other common symptoms such as abdominal pain or constipation alone were not associated with bowel cancer, suggesting colonoscopy in these cases was unnecessary. These findings have been replicated in other studies.

Great Moments in Health and Science

3D Printed Prosthetics | Where We Are Today:  Affordable and able to be customised easily, 3D printed prosthetics offer accessible means of independence and self-expression to amputees, particularly children who otherwise quickly outgrow expensive prosthetics.