Warning: Thirdhand Smoke
Week of September 6

SmokeA few years ago we learned cigarettes create not just first and secondhand smoke but thirdhand smoke. This is a family of toxic chemicals left by a cigarette long after it’s been snuffed out. Now we have more reasons to avoid it.

Research shows chemicals from thirdhand smoke, or THS, bind to our DNA causing damage and mutations that could lead to cancer over time. Cigarette smoke has over four thousand pollutants and they linger on carpets, furniture, walls… even the dust in the air. As some THS pollutants accumulate over time, they become more toxic... More »

I Spy for Heart Disease
Week of August 30

Heart in chestHey Dave, remember the movie, Fantastic Voyage that came out in 1966? Yeah, it was pretty cool. A sub and crew were miniaturized and injected into a guy’s blood vessel so they could clear a clot and save his life. While we can’t shrink people, we can shrink technology and its capabilities are making sci-fi a reality.

Today’s miniature medical devices are lifesavers. You’re right. There’s the implantable telescope to improve vision; a vitamin-sized pacemaker; and now a miniature catheter to give surgeons a real-time look from inside the heart and blood vessels. This could potentially allow them to clear clots without major surgery. The device is smaller than the head of a pin with an ultrasound probe and a single chip processor. It can receive and transmit 3-D images on thirteen tiny cables down a flexible tube to a computer... More »

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