We all have our natural 24 hour rhythms of which there are three basic kinds. Some of us like to get up before the newspaper lands on the porch, others think it’s dreadful to be up and about before brunch. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.
While the environment (i.e. when the sun rises or sets) plays a huge role on our circadian clocks, scientists have discovered that there is a genetic component to which cycle you tend to fall in.
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center isolated a single nucleotide which seems to effect your sleeping and waking pattern. A-A genotype (36%) is for early risers, A-G (48%) for the “middle” risers and G-G (16%) for late risers.
This new data is helpful in fighting diseases which seem to respond to our circadian cycles. It can also help us plan our lives around the hours we are most effective. But there is one added bonus data tidbit – it can predict the hour of our death.
The research published by first author Andrew Lim in the journal Annals of Neurology, confirms a genetic variant that helps determine the time of day a person is most likely to die — a gene that predicts time of death. People with the A-A and A-G died before 11am and the late risers, G-G genotypes, died just before 6pm.
While there might be a gene that predicts the time of day you’ll die, fortunately the research is still inconclusive as to the actual date.
The Cleveland Clinic has officially announced their Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2013 — including breakthrough devices and therapies which Clinic experts expect will have a major impact on improving patient care within the next year.
The top 10 innovations were selected from some 150 nominations of emerging technologies, gathered from more than 110 Clinic experts.
A high probability of commercial success was part of the criteria for making the 2013 innovations list.
Bariatric Surgery for Control of Diabetes topped the list for Cleveland Clinic physicians in the battle against Type 2 diabetes.
“Many diabetes experts now believe that weight-loss surgery should be offered much earlier as a reasonable treatment option for patients with poorly controlled diabetes —and not as a last resort.” says Dr. Philip Schauer, a surgeon and director of the Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute.
Other notable innovations making it into the list include a new FDA-approved hand-held optical scan device that employs sophisticated algorithms capable of objectively analyzing skin lesions that have characteristics of melanoma.
The imaging technology lets dermatologists make an assessment of skin lesions in less than a minute — without cutting the skin. In clinical trials which included 1,300 patients the device missed fewer than 2% of the early cancers scanned.
“Our list gives you the flavor of where health care is going,” says Chris Coburn, executive director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations. “It is the Clinic’s corporate arm, responsible for creating companies using the health system’s research in medical technology.”
You can see the entire list of Top 10 Medical Innovations at the Cleveland Clinic website.
There’s a stereotype that doctors are technophobes who shun technology in fear of threatening the privacy of their patients.
But a Pfizer-funded study recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research revealed that nearly one-fourth of U.S. physicians engage in social media to “scan or explore” medical information on a daily basis — with some citing the use of social media many times daily.
That number jumped up to 61% when measured on a weekly basis. While many physicians are still approaching social media with caution — the study found that physicians who “contribute” to social media, rather than merely scan information pushed past 14-percent daily and 46-percent per week.
Writing in the Journal, study authors said: “Based on the results of this study, the use of social media applications may be seen as an efficient and effective method for physicians to keep up-to-date and to share newly acquired medical knowledge with other physicians within the medical community and to improve the quality of patient care.”
The study also revealed that 57.5-percent of physicians perceived social media to be beneficial, engaging, and a good way to get current, high-quality information. It’s important to note that study authors defined social media as “Internet-based applications that allow for the creation and exchange of user-generated content,” which included blogs and services such as social networking, professional online communities, wikis, and microblogging in the mix.
“The amount of information that a practicing clinician must learn, understand, and apply in practice is growing at unprecedented levels and has long surpassed our cognitive capacities.” the study authors concluded.
“Social media and social learning models in general provide an important opportunity to manage this information overload, but only if the media are being used effectively.”