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Submitted by Admin on Thu, 07/03/2014 - 14:10

Human beings have always been keenly aware of our physical appearance. When we get ready in the morning we see ourselves in the mirror. In modern times with digital media, we see ourselves in other angles then we normally did, including "selfies". In Ancient Roman times, many influential Romans would create either a bust or statue of themselves. When comissioning a bust, many of the sculptures would actually look quite different than their subjects.

Archealogists have pieced together various pieces of information, including images on coins which may have been minted when the ruler was alive. Just as a photographer's role is to capture a person's best angles, a sculptor's best interests were to make his subject look as attractive as possible. In many ways, these sculptors performed "plastic surgery" on their subjects as men and women's physiques were often enhanced and faces were made to look more ideal than accurate.

Image for an influential Roman was important. Romans needed to portray handsomeness and authoriativeness and physical flaws may have made viewers of the sculptor to have less admiration of these rulers.

While many centuries have passed and technology has evolved, one consistent aspect about ourselves is that our physical appearance was important to us then as it is now.

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Submitted by Admin on Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:35

On Dr. Anil Shah's bookshelf, you will see a black leather medical house call bag with the intials RH Shah. These intials are those of his now deceased father, Dr. Rajendra H. Shah, who was a physician. Dr. Anil Shah was influenced by his father not just in his pursuit of medicine, but in the way he practiced medicine.

Both Dr. Shah's did their fellowships at Ivy League destinations on the East Coast, with Dr. Anil Shah finishing a fellowship in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Cornell and his father at Yale University in Gasteronterology. Dr. Rajendra Shah practiced in a relatively small town and took time to know his patients and which was somewhat uncommon make the occasional house call with his doctor satchel. Dr. Anil Shah takes pride in knowing the lives of his patients, not just as a physician, and for some post operative patients he does make the occasional house call. Dr. Rajendra Shah often came home with a pie or jelly or some other sign of gratitude from a patient telling him thank you. Dr. Anil Shah similarily will often receive baked goods and terms of endearment from his patients.

Dr. Rajendra Shah's life was rich not in just his family but his love for his patients, many of which he knew for many years. His medical satchel may look a relic from medicine from years past, but it is a reminder that medicine is that combination of art, science, and is an intimately personal relationship between physicians and their patients.

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Submitted by Admin on Mon, 06/23/2014 - 11:35

Skin testing on animals in Chicago

Recently a study in Stem Cell Reports has described a process to make skin cells called keratinocytes. The ablity to make skin cells in a laboratory makes the need for animal testing less likely in the future. Some skin cell drugs and cosmetics test on animals prior to testing on humans. This has obvious potential benefits including saving animal lives and cost effective models to help determine safety and efficacy of skin therapies.

Tags: Skin Care

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Submitted by Admin on Fri, 06/20/2014 - 10:30

Telomeres Illinois

Telomere is the structure at the end of a chromosome used to protect it from deterioration. As we age, our chromosomes shorten leading some scientists to believe this corresponds with aging and ultimately our death.

So what does a shorter telomere imply?

So what does a shorter telomere mean health wise. In men, shorter telomere can lead to pulse pressure and pulse wave velocity in men, stiffer atherosclerotic arteries, idopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and bone marrow failure. In some diseases with premature aging, such as Werner syndrome, are associated with telomere dysfunction.

So can you lengthen telomeres?

Telomerase is an enzyme that protects the telomeres and can actually synthesize new telomere length. If you activate this enzyme in mice, amazingly, reversal of organ atrophy, brain atrophy, hair greying, and osteoporosis was seen.

So how can we improve our telomere length?

Patients who had a low-fat whole food plant based diet with moderate aerobic exericse and mediation and relaxation had not only less stress and improved LDL's but improved telomerase activity. Smoking is known to shorten telomere length as well.

So while it may seem obvious that a person who smokes, doesn't exercise and is under psychological stress will likely age worse than one who lives a healthy, stress free lifestyle, knowing science is starting to support this view should lead all of us to strive to make the time and effort to do our best to live the healthiest lives we can.

Tags: Telomeres

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