Power napping can help you learn, remember and interpret more efficiently

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Power napping for an hour can help you to learn, remember and interpret more efficiently. When I was in high school, I found that I could study best immediately after awakening from at least a 45-minute nap. Only then could I read, study and memorize efficiently. I think this technique will work for almost everybody. Try to nap before having an … [Read more...]

Van Cliburn, Cold War Hero

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

In 1958, at the height of the “Cold War”, the Soviet Union gained an incredible coup by successfully launching Sputnik 1, the first orbiting satellite. At that time, almost all of the world’s premier pianists came from the Soviet Union, so they sponsored the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow to show off their … [Read more...]

Delay dementia with lifestyle

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

The risk of developing dementia doubles every five years after age 65, until by age 85 almost 50 percent of North Americans suffer some degree of dementia. Finnish researchers showed that they were able to slow the onset of dementia in people at high risk with a program that included:• a healthful lifestyle aimed at preventing heart attacks, • … [Read more...]

Franz Kafka and tuberculosis

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Franz Kafka was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, even though little of his work was published before his death at the young age of 40. He had tuberculosis in his esophagus, which prevented food from reaching his stomach, so he starved to death. He finished none of his full-length novels and burned most of what he wrote. He … [Read more...]

Testosterone warnings

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now require makers of prescription testosterone products to have a label stating that:• testosterone may cause heart attacks, strokes and death, and • it is approved only for men who have low testosterone levels due to disorders of the testicles, pituitary gland, or brain, that cause lack of … [Read more...]

Leonard Nimoy, COPD and smoking

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Leonard Nimoy gave up smoking two packs of cigarettes a day more than 30 years ago, but he still smothered to death this week from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). He won three Emmy awards for starring in “Star Trek” ((1966-1969) as Spock, a 23rd-century space voyager from the planet Vulcan. He was known for his pointed ears and … [Read more...]

Julian Schwinger and pancreatic cancer

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Julian Seymour Schwinger (February 12, 1918 – July 16, 1994) was one of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century. He shared a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics with another genius, Richard Feynman, for his re-normalization theory of quantum electrodynamics. Today, he is far less famous than Feynman, even though he had a wider range of … [Read more...]

John Enders, vaccine pioneer

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

John Enders, M.D., was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for developing virus-culturing techniques that opened the door to vaccines for polio, measles, mumps and many other life-threatening viral diseases. Many of his techniques are still used by viral laboratories today. He tutored several other Nobel Prize winners, and … [Read more...]

No health benefits from alcohol

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

A study from England following 53,000 men and women, age 50 and older, for 6 to 10 years, shows that alcohol has no demonstrable health benefits and does not prolong life (British Medical Journal, February 10, 2015). The authors grouped people by age and found no benefits whatever in all age groups except men 50 to 64 and women 65 and older and … [Read more...]

Cold weather may help you lose weight

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

A new study shows that exposing mice to cold temperatures increases their body’s production of calorie-burning “brown fat” (Molecular Cell, published online Jan. 8, 2015). You have two types of fat in your body: • white fat that your body stores when you eat too much or exercise too little, and • brown fat cells, little furnaces that burn white … [Read more...]

Andre the Giant and Acromegaly

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Andre the Giant was a professional wrestler who at 7′ 4″ and 520 pounds, won the World Wrestling Federation individual championship and World Tag Team Championship. He was also an actor in several Hollywood films. His huge size was caused by a pituitary gland brain tumor that produced huge amounts of human growth hormone. The tumor, combined with … [Read more...]

Cancer is not just a random disease

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

A recent study from respected researchers at Johns Hopkins claims that two-thirds of adult cancers are caused by random DNA mutations in your cells, and far fewer cancers are caused by genetics, lifestyle or exposure to cancer-causing agents (Science, January 2, 2015). If this is so, changing your lifestyle or limiting exposure to carcinogens would … [Read more...]

Itzhak Perlman and polio

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Itzhak Perlman is arguably the most brilliant and beloved violinist of the 20th century and so far in the 21st. He is also so knowledgeable and coordinated that he has conducted many major orchestras. This is incredible because both of his legs are paralyzed from an attack of polio contracted at age four. He can walk only with thick leg braces and … [Read more...]

Osteoarthritis of the knee linked to overweight

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Researchers reviewed 46 studies on risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee and found that being overweight was associated with 28.8% of cases, and having a previous knee injury was associated with 5.1% of the cases. Vigorous exercise is not associated with knee osteoarthritis in middle-aged women (Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, January … [Read more...]

Giacomo Casanova, the great lover

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Giacomo Casanova was a prolific Italian seducer of women who wrote a 12-volume, 3,800- page autobiography that is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of 18th century European social life. He claimed that he slept with at least 136 women and some men, including aristocrats, servants, prostitutes and courtesans. … [Read more...]