Health Shots: Stem Cells & Teeth, Rx from Hell, Dr. Internet

Photo by Armin Kübelbeck, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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A sampling of the latest medical findings. DIY stem cells in your teeth. Why some dentistry fillings are worse than cavities. Worried, can’t sleep? Sorry, the meds for that might kill you. Plus, the healing internet.

  • A new study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry shows that wisdom teeth contain a valuable tissue reservoir for the creation of stem cells. Which means everyone still in possession of their wisdom teeth might also possess his/her own personal stem-cell repository. If and when needed.
  • Researchs published in Pediatrics finds the plastic resins used in pediatric dentistry for fillings and sealants leach bisphenol A (BPA), which is detectable afterwards in kids’ saliva, raising further concerns about exposure to these endocrine-disrupting,estrogenic plastics.
  • Cause for more worry: Taking medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases mortality risks by 36 percent, according to a study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
  • An interesting report from Susannah Fox at KevinMD on the fact that people with chronic disease, including depression, are less likely to use the internet. Yet if they do, the benefits of social media are likely to improve their health, by blogging, by participating in online health discussions, and by accessing hospital reviews, doctor reviews, and podcasts.

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

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