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Doctor Mom Helps Discover Scabies *

Scabies has been a well known disease for centuries but its cause has been a mystery. The word itself comes from the Latin word for "scratching." A rash appears on the skin with small bumps that itch terribly. It is best known as a disease of children but almost anyone can get it. This year Dr. Giovanni Cosimo Bonomo notices that mothers help their children with the itching by using a fine needle to break the skin and squeeze out a small globule of fluid. These mothers then crush the globule with their fingernail as if they are killing a flea so the Doctor takes a closer look at the globule under a microscope. He is surprised to see a six-legged insect with two horns. It is a mite. He sees these little mites eating their way into the skin. Looking more carefully, he realizes that they are also depositing small eggs under the skin. He becomes one of the first doctors to discover the exact cause of a disease... right after Doctor Mom. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, dogs and coyotes get a similar skin disease called mange. Fortunately, the mange mite does not reproduce under human skin. It can cause some itching though. The scabies rash is an allergic reaction to the mites that bore under the skin. They spread under crowded conditions such as in daycare, school, old folks homes or your own home. It is one of the first things doctors look for in children after lice. For treatment, there are some over-the-counter soaps and lotions that contain a pesticide for scabies mites but these are considered a second-line choice. The first-line choices are all prescription drugs and lotions. I want to avoid giving medical advice, so I'm leaving it there. Check with your doctor for specific advice. [4] [5]

Isaac Newton's Scientific Revolution

It is the science of the forces of nature. Newton is pushing scientific thought in new directions and he is not the only one, but he is the one who will get most of the credit after he publishes his Principia this year. He is talking about large bodies in motion such as planets, the Sun, the Moon, and the tides, Earth's bulge and comets in orbit. Beginning with a few assumptions called the Laws of Motion, Newton builds a universe. He also covers fluidics and the speed of sound. He gets help from Edmund Halley, the fellow with the comet, who edits Principia, and makes corrections to the text. By changing everything, Issac Newton is going to make some smart people very angry. In these days, there is something essential to have when explaining the workings of the universe. You need an ego the size of the cosmos. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. Let's talk about some of the egos that Newton stepped on. Robert Hooke was very angry with Newton, probably because Hooke was working on the idea of gravitation and the motion of planets as well. When scientists talk to each other, they spark new ideas. That is why they have conferences and that is why the "Royal Society for the Improving of Natural Knowledge" was formed. Certainly Hooke benefited from that process of sharing ideas when he developed the Inverse Square Law. Newton thought that Hooke stole that idea, but Halley saw it in a kinder light. As president of the Royal Society, Newton was in a position to destroy some of Hooke's work. Did he? He probably did. Newton also developed a system of mathematics called calculus. A fellow named Leibniz did the same, so they fought over the credit for the rest of their lives. In the modern day, calculus is considered a creation in parallel by Newton and Leibniz, but Leibniz is given the majority of the credit because his notation scheme makes the use of calculus more intuitive. And then Newton declared that we would never develop a clock accurate enough for navigation at sea. Years later he was proven very, very wrong. Isaac Newton was brilliant, but he had his limits. (In case you were wondering... that was a calculus pun.) In the year 1687, the idea of intellectual property was a joke. [11] [12] [13]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1687, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Scabies - definition of scabies (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “Middle English, from Latin scabies, from scabere, to scratch”
  2. Staff writer (September 28, 1861). "Inventions And Discoveries In Physic". The British Medical Journal (British Medical Journal) 2 (39): 336-337. http://www.austinlibrary.com:2138/stable/25198093. 
  3. Scabies - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “The parasitic etiology of scabies was documented by the Italian physician Giovanni Cosimo Bonomo (1663–1696) in his 1687 letter, 'Observations concerning the fleshworms of the human body'.[47] Bonomo's description established scabies as one of the first human diseases with a well-understood cause.”
  4. Lindane - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “Its pesticidal action was discovered only in 1942, after which lindane production, by Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI), and use started up in the United Kingdom. It has been used to treat food crops and to forestry products, as a seed treatment, a soil treatment, and to treat livestock and pets. It has also been used as pharmaceutical treatment for lice and scabies, formulated as a shampoo or lotion.”
  5. Lice and Scabies Treatments, Shampoos, and More. WebMD.com (2015). Retrieved on 3 December 2015. “Lindane lotion is approved for use as scabies treatment, but should not be used as first-line therapy. If used improperly, it can attack and damage the brain and other parts of the nervous system.”
  6. Writing of Principia Mathematica - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 1 December 2015. “Isaac Newton composed Principia Mathematica during 1685 and 1686, and it was published in a first edition on 5 July 1687. Widely regarded as one of the most important works in both the science of physics and in applied mathematics during the Scientific revolution, the work underlies much of the technological and scientific advances from the Industrial Revolution (usually dated from 1750) which it helped to create.”
  7. Mechanics - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 December 2015. “Two central figures in the early modern age are Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton. Galileo's final statement of his mechanics, particularly of falling bodies, is his Two New Sciences (1638). Newton's 1687 Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica provided a detailed mathematical account of mechanics, using the newly developed mathematics of calculus and providing the basis of Newtonian mechanics.”
  8. History of calculus - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 December 2015. “Many of Newton’s critical insights occurred during the plague years of 1665-1666[19] which he later described as, 'the prime of my age for invention and minded mathematics and [natural] philosophy more than at any time since.' It was during his plague-induced isolation that the first written conception of Fluxionary Calculus was recorded in the unpublished De Analysi per Aequationes Numero Terminorum Infinitas. In this paper, Newton determined the area under a curve by first calculating a momentary rate of change and then extrapolating the total area.”
  9. Great Plague of London - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 December 2015. “The Great Plague, lasting from 1665 to 1666, was the last major epidemic of the bubonic plague to occur in England. It happened within the centuries-long time period of the Second Pandemic, an extended period of intermittent bubonic plague epidemics which began in Europe in 1347, the first year of the Black Death, an outbreak which included other forms such as pneumonic plague, and lasted until 1750.”
  10. Speed of sound - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 December 2015. “Sir Isaac Newton computed the speed of sound in air as 979 feet per second (298 m/s), which is too low by about 15%,[1] but had neglected the effect of fluctuating temperature; that was later rectified by Laplace.”
  11. Robert Hooke - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 December 2015. “Hooke was irascible, at least in later life, proud, and prone to take umbrage with intellectual competitors, though he was by all accounts also a staunch friend and ally and was loyal always to the circle of ardent Royalists with whom he had his early training at Wadham College, particularly Christopher Wren. His reputation suffered after his death and this is popularly attributed to a dispute with Isaac Newton over credit for his work on gravitation, the planets and to a lesser degree light.”
  12. Dava Sobel. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. Walker & Company. ISBN 9780802715296. “English clockmaker John Harrison, a mechanical genius who pioneered the science of portable precision timekeeping, devoted his life to this quest. He accomplished what Newton had feared was impossible: He invented a clock that would carry the true time from the home port, like an eternal flame, to any remote corner of the world.” 
  13. Jourdain, Philip E. B. (October 1914). "The Principles of Mechanics with Newton from 1679 To 1687". The Monist (Oxford University Press) 24 (4): 515-564. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27900505. Retrieved December 4, 2015. "Many times on the subject of Newton's optical publications, Hooke had claimed priority, and there was in consequence some friction between Hooke and Newton. That such disputes were agreeable neither to Hooke nor to Newton appears from letters which passed between them in 1676.". 

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