Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryMedicine and Health

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Portrait of young African-American boy sanitizing hands in school classroom, covid safety measures, copy space

COVID Felled Both Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci as Heroes

As Wesley J. Smith recounts, more honest researchers were discredited for saying things that Fauci and Collins later admitted to be true
As we find out what really happened, the credibility of our public-health systems has been shattered and “Trust the science!” is becoming a joke. Read More ›
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Book

Woke Gobbledygook Now Passes for Erudition in Medical Journals

When science publications run policy bafflegab about healthcare reform instead of statements of hard facts about it— however dense they may be — science is the big loser

This article is reprinted from National Review with the permission of the author. Our most august medical journals are in danger of becoming more woke ideological-advocacy publications than disseminators of learned scientific studies. This is particularly true of the New England Journal of Medicine, which regularly publishes progressive gibberish pushing “equity” that is often nearly impossible to understand. Here’s the latest example. From “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize — Focusing on Health Care Equity”: We believe that health care–centric goals — equity in patient experience and clinical outcomes — should be the primary equity-related targets for clinicians, health care administrators, health plans, and payers. The health care sector is best positioned to improve the effectiveness and equity of the care it Read More ›

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A dominant male orang-utan in his native habitat. Rainforest of Borneo.

Orangutan heals wound using leaves — and triggers big media event

The orangutan is not the first or only animal to self-medicate. Birds and elephants do it too
It will be interesting to see whether other orangutans in the area begin to imitate their new neighbor in using chewed akar kuning leaves to treat wounds. Read More ›
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Human cell or Embryonic stem cell microscope background.

Stem Cells Might Cure HIV?

We must always be cautious about stories touting biotechnological cures

We must always be cautious about stories touting biotechnological cures. There is a lot of hype out there, but this seems genuine. An HIV/blood-cancer patient seems to have gone into permanent remission thanks to adult stem cells. From the Daily Mail story: A California man is on the cusp of being declared cured of HIV and blood cancer. Paul Edmonds, 68, who made international headlines last year when he shared his story, still has no traces of either condition five years after being given a transplant of cells that rid his body of both diseases. In a new article by the medical team who treated him, doctors said he was officially cured of cancer and two years away from being declared cured of HIV — when he will have gone Read More ›

kids phones class
Group of young children holding smartphones and hiding faces, gen Alpha

How to Protect Children in the Digital Age

We must empower parents to help their children navigate the digital landscape.
It has become apparent to many across our country that if we truly care about the futures of the next generation, we must act now to find a solution that will reduce the negative impacts of social media while keeping the positives intact.  Read More ›
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blue sky ocean

Are Near-Death Experiences Just Another Branch of Research Now?

We should hope so because there are a number of interesting allied research areas that would be better studied without preexisting prejudice against NDEs
In a discussion at Psychology Today, a philosopher notes that her dissertation supporting the reality of near-death experiences was received without hostility. Read More ›
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Human fetus with internal organs, 3d illustration

Confronting IVF: Human Embryos Are Persons With a Right to Life

We humans are persons even when we are non-sentient and dependent on others
IVF is the industrial manufacture of human beings. The right to life of the embryo is a bulwark against dehumanization for all. Read More ›
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A team of surgeons performing brain surgery to remove a tumor.

Neuroscientist: Human Brain More Complex Than the Models Show

The weird “homunculus” — the way the brain maps the body — was pioneer neurosurgeons’ best guess nearly a century ago
We shouldn’t be surprised if the brain is more complex than could be known earlier. Most modern research into human beings is turning out that way. Read More ›
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Vitro Fertilization. IVF with DNA strand. 3d illustration.

Are IVF Human Embryos “Children”? A Recent Court Decision

Neurologist Steven Novella claims that the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that they are “children” under the law “essentially referenced god”
The ruling not only did not reference God, it was meticulously based on precedent. So those who seek to remove protection from IVF embryos must lobby for that. Read More ›
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Emergency Department: Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics Push Gurney / Stretcher with Seriously Injured Patient towards the Operating Room.

Near Death: Why Corroborated NDEs Can’t Just Be Explained Away

In some cases, Gary Habermas recounts, patients who had NDEs while in a state of clinical death report dates and numbers that are later found to be accurate
Materialist explanations for near-death experiences are much less satisfactory than simply accepting that the mind can act independently of the brain Read More ›
A man going through the dark old tunnel. Tunnel with traffic lights and a silhouette of a man

Near-Death: What People Learn When They Are (Briefly) Dead

In this excerpt, Prof Gary Habermas reports that sometimes the returned experiencer says that someone else has died — but the official news only comes later
For reasons that are not yet clear, blind people can see during a near-death experience and details have been confirmed. Habermas relates some cases. Read More ›
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Women, man and hospital bed in motion blur of emergency surgery, healthcare wellness or risk condition operation. Doctors, nurses and medical workers with patient in busy er, theatre room or teamwork

Prof: There’s a Growing Number of Verified Near-Death Experiences

Gary Habermas notes more than 110 NDEs where experiencers’ detailed reports of what they saw when they were flatlined have been corroborated later
It’s exceedingly unlikely, Prof. Habermas argues, that all these cases result from misperception deception, coincidences, or mistakes. Read More ›
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The archaeologist is digging

Prehistoric Children with Down Syndrome Were Valued, Burials Show

The six found so far from one culture, identified by DNA evidence, did not live long but they were buried with grave goods
Today, when children with Down syndrome can grow up, they can display remarkable abilities, as the story of the Edmonton Oilers’ Joey Moss shows. Read More ›
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A young woman holding the hand of an old woman in a hospital bed, black and white

Palliative Care Doctor: What Dying Feels Like

Although a dying person tends to spend more and more time asleep or unconscious, there may be a surge of brain activity just before death
Fifty years ago slick commentators expected to explode myths about the soul or the hereafter but today, NDEs and terminal lucidity are serious research topics. Read More ›
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Anonymous call

Book Banning Today: Silently … Not Like in the Old Days

Traditional anti-book banning groups are simply not where the action is and maybe don’t want to be

Last week we looked at the way censorship in the age of the internet is typically invisible. It’s not the police raiding bookstores; it’s — for example — sudden downranking of posts so that information that might have reached millions of people reaches only dozens. Constantly suppressed, it can’t go viral. We can see the change more clearly if we look at the difference between how books (and other information) used to get banned and how they get banned today. Book banning before the internet When the word “book bans” is used today, it usually means something different from what it meant even a few decades ago. Ulysses, a groundbreaking work by Irish novelist James Joyce (1882–1941) was indeed banned Read More ›

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X ray female head with implanted micro chip - 3d Illustration

Will Neuralink’s Brain Implant Help Paralysis Victims?

Addressing disabilities like paralysis, limb loss, and blindness seems a more realistic goal than the hyped (and feared) human–machine hybrids
When Elon Musk announced his first implant recipient late last month, a broad public first learned that many people with disabilities use implants now. Read More ›
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A DNA testing kit. Generative AI

Why Is 23andMe — the Hot Gene Testing Startup — Now Worthless?

Birthed in Silicon Valley among high-tech go-getters, it should still be steaming along, right? But traditional bedrock business realities cursed it at its birth

Embattled genetic testing outfit 23andMe had a customer base of 14 million for its home DNA testing kits. Thus, many of us know at least someone who has discovered a partial Mongolian, West African, or even Neanderthal ancestry via the famous “spit kit.” The 2006 startup, birthed in Silicon Valley and riffing off the Human Genome Project (2000), had a dazzling “the future is now!” launch. The founder, Anne Wojcicki (pronounced as if “Wojisky”), was the daughter of “Godmother of Silicon Valley” Esther Wojcicki and sister of YouTube’s former CEO, Susan Wojcicki. For a time, she was married to Google co-founder Sergei Brin and had plenty of billionaire backers. Thus 23andMe raised $1.4 billion in funding. So why has the Read More ›

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human memory loss

Forget Stuff? Relax. Your Mind Is Likely Functioning As It Should

Recent research suggests that memories can sometimes be in a “dormant” stage due to interference
One group that worries a lot about memory loss is seniors fearing dementia. In most cases, their memory lapses likely originate in other causes. Read More ›
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peaceful nature

Psychiatrist Looks at Mindfulness From a Christian Perspective

UCLA research psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz notes that the word “heart” in the biblical sense means the seat of consciousness, the seat of our spirit
Dr. Schwartz thinks that mindfulness research and practice has played a role in shaking up the idea that the mind is simply what the brain does. Read More ›
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Senior lady with her aged mother with dementia, embracing and smiling in a summer park

New Studies Point to Ways We Might Reduce the Effects of Dementia

What’s becoming clear is that, while dementia itself may not be preventable, its severity may potentially be mitigated by timely health care interventions. Read More ›