On BioScience and Life and Such

Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Project: Distilling efficiency out of useless meetings

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Sick and tired of inefficient unnecessary meetings, I am trying to figure out how to (di)s(e)cretely minimize time-waste. This post is the beginning of a project which hopefully will result in less frustration. The final goal is that when a meeting turns boring, I’ll be happy.

Project aim

A comprehensive collection of discrete activities in meetings where:

a) Things you already know are being presented

b) Things that are irrelevant are being presented or discussed

c) Some idiot terrorizes the meeting with idiot-questions, and the speaker feels compelled to respond.

Inclusion criteria

Activities that the other meeting attendees (and the speaker) will not notice.

Exclusion criteria

1) Bringing a laptop could be the ideal solution, but not an option (in smaller meetings a handheld is a possible electronic substitute):


2) Activities solely for entertainment purposes.

Activities to be tested (first draft):

1. Lists, ideas

Method: Bring a blank piece of paper and a pencil/pen.

a) Make list of thoughts and ideas (work/career related).

b) Make to do lists for work projects or shopping (daily groceries, vacation trips, refurbishing project).

Comment: Approach been tested for a while, but not systematically. Risk of exposure seems to be low.  Systematic testing will have to include quality control of random thoughts and lists. Also need to design experiment to test the feasibility of working on the same lists in consecutive meetings.

2. Discrete physical exercise

Method: limb/whole body movement either unaided or with the help of various objects.

a) Muscle flexing and stretching. Possible muscle groups include upper and lower arms, legs, abs and pecs. Facial muscles not recommended until visibility measurements (see below) are concluded upon.

Comment: Flexing while involved in other activities was as far as I can remember first proposed by the great Jean-Claude van Damme on the Tonight show some 15 years back. Need to validate physical benefit. Also, need to measure visibility of activity, -specific parameters: “over the table” and “under the table”.

b) Balance training. Sitting down – mostly arms and hands. Standing up – in theory any limb.

Comment: Sitting down – i) no object: place both hands palm down between upper part of thighs and chair. Extend arms until thighs are suspended and balance for as long as possible. Repeat and record suspension period. ii) With object: balance any object at hand – pencil, coffee cup, biscuits, cake, pastry – start with palm of hand (palm up, down, sideways – combinations) , then all fingers, then 4 fingers, then three and so on. Time your balancing skills and record them. Note: payoff unknown, exposure risk – high.

c) Visual training. Detail perception exercises ? To be updated.

d) Meditation. Eyes open, mantra, silent, To be updated.

Further reading and resources on the topic:

Bullshit Bingo, Solutions similar to mine, A top 20 list, ….

Project description to be continuously updated. External input most welcome.

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No I do not need a genetic scan to know my kids

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2008 at 10:40 am

post to news.thinkgene.com

I have three children. I know them very well. Every parent should. I know that they have strengths, – some things they do very well (they know it too). I know that they struggle with other things (they are aware of this too). I tell them to tell me if I can help them learn something new or manage something they find complicated. I encourage them when I see that they are enjoying something they are good at. I tell them that it does not matter if there are things they do not master, – everyone can’t be good at everything I tell them. They accept that. We all do.

I can see if they are sick or are feeling unwell. I tell them to tell me if they feel sick or uncomfortable for some reason. I tell them I will do my best to make them well again. I comfort them and tell them that this will pass, and you’ll be fit as a fiddle again soon. I tell them to eat right, I tell them to stay active. We do this together. I tell them this is because we do not want to be permanently ill in the future.

I know my family, not only my kids. I know which diseases my father and mother have had, and their fathers and mothers too. I tell my kids to do things that will minimize the risk for similar ailments in the future. I try and minimize risk myself too, because that benefits me as well as my children.

When they grow up and can make informed medical decisions, I will tell them that they are free to scan their genetic sequence if they choose to.

I do not however, need a genetic scan to see what is good for them and what is not. I know them.

If you do not know your kids, – please start getting to know them now. To do that you do not need genetic testing, you need attentiveness and presence.

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A tribute to Dr. Sergio Stagnaro, – consider yourself warned…

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2008 at 10:04 am

post to news.thinkgene.com

Such as problem is really difficult to resolve, when the interest of all individuals, i.e., drug companies and patients, is central. Every drug, if it’s such, must be burden by beside effects, sometimes dangerous. In addition, we must remember that the statement “post hoch ergo propter hoch” not always is right, according to Hume! In spite of the above mentioned remarks, in my opinion, if all physicians around the world would know precisely both Biophysical Semeiotic Constitutions and related inherited real risks, harmful results should be less numeorus.

If you are a regular blog/news reader, you are certain to come across writings from people with views removed, to a varying extent, from the mainstream. This applies not only to those who themselves blog or write news stories, but just as often, to the people that are commenting on these pieces.

Dr. Sergio Stagnaro is such a person. He seems not to have a blog on his own even though he is an obvious blogger-candidate. He is frequently commenting on other peoples web-writings voicing ideas and views (especially on diagnostics) that are well removed from the mainstream (rather on a mountain top somewhere, – not necessarily in the vicinity of any running liquid whatsoever). These are features that usually fits well in the blogging genre.

I’ve consequently, taken on the task of blogging some of his comments since he strikes me as an interesting person and I believe he means no harm. Admittedly, the risk of his ideas causing harm is hard for me to assess since I find myself unable to evaluate most of the medical points he is making (see the first and the last quotes in this post). But, I’ll take that risk – on to the quotes:

On climate change:

Surely, climate change is real, as states wisely Obama. On the contrary, I believe that NHS Programs are unfortunately stable all around the world, generating the present Mean Age of Medicine and – as a consequence – Psychological Terrorism. For instance read http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081006/full/news.2008.1154.html

On why there are so few women speaking at medical conferences” (in two parts):

Now I am an old and diseased man, as a consequence I am working exclusively with computers without attending and speaking at Italian Congresses, as usually in the past decades. I remember that I meet once numerous women, who spoke in so fascinating way, but your information gehnerally were OLD to me. In any case, they were really nice!


Dear Fi,
in my former comment there are two trivial errors.I wrote “your” information, instead of THEIR; “gehnerally” and not generally! In addition, I admitt that not ALL women were “really nice”.I should agree with cancelling both of messages.
Please, excuse me.

From NEJM on Diet and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes:

To the Editor: In their article on diet, lifestyle, and type 2 diabetes mellitus in women (Sept. 13 issue),1 Hu et al. point out that obesity is an important cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus. I wish to point out that since diabetes does not develop in all overweight women (or men, of course), there must be other factors that predispose patients to the condition, as I illustrated in earlier reports.2,3,4,5,6 Therefore diet is certainly important, but particularly for women and men for whom this overlooked risk factor is involved.

And I’ll include this to illustrate his frustration caused by the lack of response to his diagnostic methods (from bmj):


As I wrote recently (as usual without receiving any response, of course) in an open letter to Italian Health Minister Prof Sirchia …….

More on his diagnostic methods, from International Seminars in Surgical Oncology

Sergio Stagnaro (06 December 2007)  Biophysical Semeiotics Research Laboratory email


the authors write:”The typical clinical presentation of idiopathic granulomatous mastitis often mimics infection or malignancy”. Unfortunately, it’s clear that authors ignore Biophysical Semeiotics (1-5) (www.semeioticabiofisica.it). In addition, using breast cancer genetic risk assessment tools and going through the process of assessing breast cancer risk by this expensive way, can answer many women’s questions about what puts them at relatively higher or lower risk. Certainly such as evaluation is to expensive for both NHS and single patient, and not applicable on women (and men!, of course) on very large scale.

In fact, based on 51 year-long clinical experience, for all women (and men!), an original clinical assessement may be desirable that in a easy and reliable manner allows to recognize the possible presence of maternally-inherited CAEMH-dependent, Oncological Terrain and oncological Real Risk, conditio sine qua non of cancer (1, 2), without following with genetic testing, but ascertaining especially breast cancer oncological INHERITED “real risk” in well-defined breast quadrant(s), characterized by newborn-pathological, type I, subtype a) i.e., oncological, Endoarteriolar Blocking Devices (1-5). In addition, testing for mutations of breast cancer susceptibility genes or for their diminished expression adds to our ability to assess breast cancer risk at an individual level. Really, we cannot localise in a (or more) mamma quadrant the possible breast cancer risk in BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, as well as a lot of other gene mutations-positive women (and men!). Biophysical Semeiotics (http://www.semeioticabiofisica.it, Breast Cancer in Practical Application; Oncological Terrain) allows doctor to recognize firstly oncological terrain in a quantitative way, and then, bu “not” in all cases, of course, breast cancer real risk: individuals with oncological terrain do not show generally real risk in all biological systems (3). Interestingly, the absence of both Oncological Terrain and breast oncological “Real Risk”, the later in a subject with Oncological Terrain, excludes beyond every doubt the possibility of occurrence of breast cancer (2, 3). As a consequence, we can perform nowadays an efficacious clinical, primary prevention of breast cancer (4), on very large scale, based on the Single Patient Based Medicine (5-10), as suggests also Planning for the EU public Health Portal at URL:

http://www.google.it/search?q=cache:U5A-DtWmRDsJ:europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph_information/documents/ev_20030710_co01_en.pdf+single+patient+based+medicine+and+stagnaro&hl=it&ie=UTF-8 Pg 36.

Finally, “real” sentinel limphonodes are trigger-points for autoimmune syndrome (3)

And finally you have his own compilation of comments that you can find here.

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