Archives for July 29, 2004

What puts spots on the palms and soles?

“Rash” says the chart. “Great!”, think I, a reasonably straightforward case to end my shift.

I’m a hand-shaker of a doctor, and though I consider the case, generally I’ll shake everyones’ hand, ungloved. This is one of those times I probably should have looked before I shook.  Spots.  On the feet, too.

Yes, he’s got a healing, nearly painless lesion the size of a quarter on his member. Yes, it’s contagious this way, and yes, I washed my hands very thoroughly.

Oh, it’s secondary syphillis, for those who wondered.

cross posted to TheLingualNerve

RIP Dr. Crick – Francis Crick, DNA co-discoverer, dies – Jul 29, 2004

Watson and Crick are two names that are paired and inseparable in my mind (like Fred and Ginger, or Frank and Sammy, but more technical, and with a lot more gravitas).

The discovery of DNA won him 1/3 of a Nobel prize (I guess they’re really expensive). I’ve never heard of the third co-winner.

Discovering the structure, then the function of DNA has opened many doors in science and medicine, and for that we owe a debt of gratitude.

It’s one of the ironies of life that he died of colon cancer, where the DNA loses focus and takes off on its own program, eventually killing its host.