Issue 12: McDonalds Baldness Cure, DIY Herpes Treatment, and more

McDonalds Baldness Cure 
Bald man celebrating McBaldness Research
Are you tired of being bald as fu*k? Well there's hope for you soon. Researchers at Yokohama National University recently discovered a chemical found in McDonalds french fries that helped stimulate hair growth in mice. The chemical in question is dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) which has a variety of well known uses including filler fluid for breast implants and an anti-foaming agent in fast food oil. The Japanese scientist Prof Fukuda expressed optimism that what they did for mice they could easily do for men suffering from baldness. The PDMS was used as a substrate to provide oxygenation and blood vessel growth to the bio-engineered hair follicles that the scientists transplanted onto the balding mice. The cure for human baldness is still in the works though so don't go strapping french fries to your shiny dome just yet.

Apple and AI Keeps the Diabetes Away
Random bro on the internet drinking piss
Back in the day doctors used to routinely drink urine to diagnose patients with diabetes. In 1674 English MD Thomas Willis wrote that the pee of a diabetic tasted "wonderfully sweet as if it were imbued with honey or sugar". His taste test led him to add the term "mellitus", which is Latin for honey, at the end of diabetes. Fast forward to 2018 and it turns out that scientists at SF Startup Cardiogram have discovered that the Apple Watch can detect diabetes with 85% accuracy by looking just at heart rate. How exactly does this work? Well...that's the interesting part. The scientists have absolutely no idea. They employed machine learning algorithms to sort through thousands of patients' heart rate data collected from UCSF and form patterns. In the process they stumbled upon a way to diagnose diabetes with heart rate data using AI without knowing how it works. Their 85% accuracy is on par with their findings from last year which showed prediction models for HTN, sleep apnea, and AFIB with accuracy rates between 80-90%. We're a long way from 1674.

DIY Herpes Treatment
Aaron Haywick injecting himself with exp Herpes cure
A 28 yr old CEO named with almost no medical experience recently injected himself with a potential cure for Herpes and streamed the event on FB live. The video has sparked a debate about bioethics and the trend of "bio-hacking" that has become popular among renegade scientists with a disdain for the slowness of the FDA. Aaron Traywick who is CEO of Ascendance Biomedical, has a degree in interdisciplinary studies (whatever that means) and likely has the herp states that, "These therapies that we're developing have the potential to allow individuals, without the requirement of a clinician or without the health care industry, to be able to self-design and self-administer treatments". Their Herpes cure has no recorded evidence that it works. The company is designing other interesting 'cures' including a vaccine for cocaine addiction and is attempting to create a movement of decentralized medicine using the blockchain. Check out their website HERE.

You Tall Drink of Hot Water

Slow down with that Starbucks coffee! A study from Peking University in Beijing, China recently showed that very hot tea consumption is tied to an increased risk of esophageal cancer, especially in groups who are already at increased risk, specifically cigarette smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers. The study followed about 450,000 individuals over an average of 9 years and found around a 5 times greater risk of esophageal cancer in hot tea drinkers + daily excessive alcohol and a 2 times greater risk for hot tea drinkers + smokers. A 2016 report from the cancer agency of the World Health Organization actually classified very hot beverages as a probable carcinogen for similar findings and defined a very hot beverage as more than 149 degrees Fahrenheit or 65 degrees Celsius for all you communists out there. Really someone should just fund a startup that uses color changing cups to indicate safe drinking temperature. Shark Tank here I come!    
Soon, My Watch Will Track All My Medical Conditions
Smartwatch that can detect Epilepsy 
The fitness wearable industry (think FitBit) have dreamt of entering the clinical world for some time now. Self-quantification is great for fitness freaks but ironically this population is the furthest from those who require the most health care attention. Tapping into clinical use cases allows wearables to immediately get into the medical market. A company named Empatica just received FDA approval of their wearable watch named Embrace. This watch uses sensors to track electrodermal activity and uses machine learning algorithms to detect seizures. To receive FDA approval, Embrace was put to the test in a clinical trial with 35 patients in which Empatica detected seizures 100% of the time and triggered alert to emergency services. Currently, the Embrace is approved for detection of generalized tonic-clonic seizures. The watch is set to be priced at $249 dollars. This is the first ever smart watch that has earned FDA approval for seizure detection. It has eared approval in Europe in 2017. This approval paves the path for many more wearable devices in the pipeline that will help patients identify conditions that require medical attention and also significantly aid in clinical research. Imaging a future where all events are recorded and confirmed rather than self reported.

United States of Care: Mark Cuban + Andy Richter + CEO's
Andy Richter with the homie Conan 
Just last week, $30 billion evaporated after Jeff Bezos, J.P. Morgan, and Warren Buffett announced they were teaming up to disrupt the healthcare industry. In just about a week, another group of big names (but nerdier) announced that they will be reshaping healthcare too. The Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) during the Obama administration, Andy Slavitt huddled up his own bipartisan crew that includes names like Mark Cuban, Andy Richter, Atul Gawande, Mark McClellan and some hospital CEO’s. So what can some policymakers, businessmen, actors, physicians, and writers do? Although they did not make the market shudder, they are just as serious as the tech and banking giants. Backed by people who actually run hospitals and organizations like the American College of Physicians, the United States of Care is poised to make some serious moves in bettering healthcare by basically doing the same thing everyone claims they will do: lower costs and expand access to care.