Toulouse-Lautrec: Inbreeding, Alcohol and Syphilis – a Bad Mix

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec ranks with Cezanne, van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin as one of the best painters of the late 19th century. Throughout his career, which spanned fewer than 20 years, Toulouse-Lautrec created 737 surviving canvases, 275 watercolors, 363 prints and posters, and thousands of drawings. Ten years ago one of his paintings of a young … [Read more...]

No simple cure for obesity

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

More than 70 percent of North American adults are overweight, which increases risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and premature death. A recent review of 45 trials of 11 weight loss programs (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, HMR [Health Management Resources], Medifast, OPTIFAST, Atkins, The Biggest Loser Club, eDiets, … [Read more...]

How exercise helps to treat cancer in mice

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

An exceptionally well-done study on mice shows how exercise can be an important part of the treatment for cancer (The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 2015). Mice implanted with breast cancer cells who were given chemotherapy and exercise had much smaller and fewer tumors than those given the same chemotherapy but no exercise. Mice … [Read more...]

Dmitri Mendeleev, Father of the Periodic Table

Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Dmitri Mendeleev developed the Periodic Table that organized all of the chemical elements known at that time and many that were not yet known. He placed them in their correct order by their number of atoms (not their weight) and predicted elements that would be discovered in the future. It is amazing that he was able to predict the existence of … [Read more...]

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...]