Museo building to merge medicine and modern design in the Museum District

The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to have slowed construction in Houston, as concrete trucks traverse the freeways and cranes add layers to the Jengalike structures that ultimately become midrise and high-rise buildings.

There’s one underway now on Fannin Street next to the Mann Eye Institute at the point where Midtown gives way to the Museum District. Dr. Mike Mann goes to work each day and keeps track of the building — his latest project — by looking out his window.

From a conference room in his medical office building, Mann talks about his dream for a three-building complex that will include a new medical office building — the 10-story Museo, which broke ground earlier this year and has an anticipated price tag of $77 million — and, someday, a five-star hotel and then a residential high-rise, all centered around a parklike setting.

The three-story main office for his ophthalmology practice was built in 1979 and was likely thought of as sleek and stylish back then. But architecture has been taken up a notch in recent years, with modern design gaining traction in residential, commercial and hospitality sectors.

Marko Dasigenis, who once worked with architect Philip Johnson in New York and also worked in what is now the PJMD architecture offices in Houston, is the lead designer for Mann’s trio of buildings.

Mann sees Museo — and potentially the whole complex — as creating a beautiful new gateway to what lies beyond: Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Asia Society, Holocaust Museum and other cultural sites within walking distance. Newish modern residential buildings, the 24-story Southmore and the 8-story Mond, both are nearby as well.

On the surface, Museo’s architecture is strictly modern, with panels of blue-green glass for the exterior and, for the interior, slabs of pure white marble that Mann, Dasigenis and architectural colorist Carl Black flew to Macedonia in Greece to personally select. On the environmental side, the building will be Class A LEED certified.

“I love to restore vision, it is a passion. But I have always had a thing for real estate … and I like art,” said Mann, who started his medical practice 43 years ago. “My life has been wonderful, that I can practice ophthalmology and build the practice and now have a place where other people can practice medicine.”

The Mann Eye Institute will occupy the 10th floor of Museo, and the remaining space will be leased to other medical practices. Mann envisions the first floor as having a variety of uses intended to draw in the public.

Dasigenis said that the beauty of designing and constructing a medical office building now is that they’re able to accommodate the new, high-tech future that lies ahead. The formula of a building with 25,000 square feet per floor and a boxy exterior are a thing of the past.

Although Museo is the first of Mann’s ideas to be built, Dasigenis actually first designed the potential residential high-rise and established its design vocabulary based on analytical cubism,

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Past pandemics, roots of modern medicine focus of historical novel by Jacobs School professor emeritus – UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff

Hard as it may be to believe, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when the idea of living through a global pandemic was inconceivable to most of us.

The COVID-19 crisis changed all that. As medical experts and scientists scramble to find treatments and develop a vaccine, it leads us to wonder: How did doctors deal with a community health crisis in earlier times, without the medical advancements and technologies available to researchers in the 21st century?

A retired professor from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB has written a book that addresses many of those questions.

In his history-based novel, “Bloodletting and Germs: A Doctor in Nineteenth Century Rural New York” (BookBaby), Thomas C. Rosenthal tells the story of Jabez Allen, a country doctor who worked in East Aurora during the 1800s.

The book describes the evolution of medical practices in the 19th century through the eyes of Allen, whose life and experiences Rosenthal painstakingly researched and recreated. It explains how Allen’s medical practice developed during a period of enormous social and scientific change that included the Civil War and the cholera epidemic of the mid-1800s.

Rosenthal knows something about the practice of rural medicine. A 1975 graduate of the Jacobs School, he chaired the Department of Family Medicine from 1994 until his retirement in 2013. During his tenure, Rosenthal was instrumental in establishing the Division of Rural Health, the medical school’s rural health campus in Cuba, N.Y., and its groundbreaking residency program in rural health.

Due to his efforts, UB was named a New York Rural Health Research Center in 1992, and in 1993 became one of only five universities in the country designated as a national rural health research center.

Rosenthal’s interest in rural health came from the eight years he worked as a family doctor in the small, Western New York farming community of Perry. He established the practice in 1978 after completing a family medicine residency at the former Deaconess Hospital in Buffalo. In 1986, he became medical director of Buffalo General Medical Center’s Department of Family Medicine. Rosenthal was named director of UB’s family medicine residency in 1987, and executive director of UB’s rural health programs in 1988.

Rosenthal first came across the story of Jabez Allen on a visit to the East Aurora Historical Society, where he discovered an intriguing artifact: a handwritten copy of a medical school diploma belonging to Allen, alongside the official document.

‘Why would a doctor need to make a copy of his diploma?’ he wondered. As it turns out, Allen was reluctant to send out his diploma to the Erie County Medical Board for fear of losing it. Instead, he sent them his copy.

“Allen practiced in East Aurora from 1834 to 1884, making him the perfect protagonist for a book on 19th-century family medicine,” Rosenthal says.

“The century is often referred to as a period of medical enlightenment,” he explains. “In retirement, I indulged myself in the question, ‘Why did it

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Mixing modern medicine with Ayush would create ‘khichdi’: IMA

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has strongly opposed the policy changes in medical education by the Centre, especially the plan to mix modern medicine with the traditional systems of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush), in the coming years, as envisaged by the Centre. “The medical fraternity of our country is highly perturbed by the recent policy changes regarding medical education practice, research and administration. The radical changes that are being institutionalised will have serious impact on the health of our people,” IMA stated. The reaction by the apex medical association of private practitioners has come after the formation of four committees by the NITI Aayog, which would work upon a policy to integrate all systems of medicine in the areas of medical education, clinical practice, public health, medical research and administration.

The IMA said that the theoretical basis of policy seems to emanate from the new National Education Policy which envisages mixing of all systems of medicine under the garb of medical pluralism. The IMA also mentioned that the National Medical Commission Act, which came into force from September 25, repealing the nearly 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, has reactivated the already existing avenues of quackery, mixopathy and crosspathy through medical education. The association specified three particular sections of the NMC act which they found problematic.

“Section 32 of NMC Act provides for legalised quackery by empowering non-medical persons in the name of community health providers to practice primary care independently. It is strange that they can be employed in secondary care and Tertiary care settings when two of them are employed together.

“Section 50 of NMC Act provides for mixopathy by mixing of curriculum of all the streams of medicine. Section 51 of NMC Act outsources bridge courses to the states, thereby promoting crosspathy. To add to the conundrum, the Allied Healthcare Bill lying on the table of Rajya Sabha empowers paramedical discipline to practice independently,” the IMA explained.

IMA President Rajan Sharma stated that an integrative system of medicine would create a ‘khichdi’ medical system and would produce hybrid doctors.

“The IMA stands for the purity of the systems of modern medicine as well as Ayush. It is not in the interest of traditional systems either to lose their identity or further development. As many as 96 per cent patients in IPD and 94 per cent patients in OPD are being served by modern medicine.

“Currently, a patient has the choice of choosing either modern medicine or alternative system as per his/her desire. Unfortunately, the ‘khichdi’ medical system that is being envisaged will provide only hybrid doctors, and the choice of the patient will effectively get nullified,” Sharma said.

The IMA also said that it would campaign to sensitise the people on the dangers of shifting to an integrated system of medicine.

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Neanderthal children grew and were weaned much like modern humans, new study says

Much like we do, Neanderthals introduced their babies to solid foods around 5 to 6 months of age, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal revealed.

Through both geochemical and histological analyses of three baby teeth that belonged to Neanderthal children, researchers have shed more light on the weaning and growth pace of Neanderthal babies. The children lived in a small area of northeastern Italy between 70,000 and 45,000 years ago.

The energy demands of Neanderthal children were similar to those of humans, the scientists argued. In fact, Neanderthal and human newborns were likely to be of similar weight and have similar gestational histories.

These findings debunk the theory that a longer breastfeeding process for Neanderthals, which would cause longer periods of postpartum infertility for mothers, could have been a contributing factor to their extinction, co-senior author Stefano Benazzi, a professor in physical anthropology at the University of Bologna in Italy, told CNN.

Inbreeding may have helped cause Neanderthals to go extinct, study says

“In this hypothesis, Homo sapiens, who had a shorter breastfeeding period, were able to have larger populations, effectively outnumbering Neanderthals,” Benazzi explained.

“This study demonstrates that the way Neanderthals and Homo sapiens raised their children are actually similar, so this hypothesis has to be rejected,” he said. “We need to find the explanation somewhere else.”

Teeth are like trees

The Neanderthal-era baby teeth were found in caves between the provinces of Vicenza and Verona in northeastern Italy. The teeth belonged to three separate children, who lost them naturally as part of the process of growing up, according to the scientists.

This is a 3D reconstruction of the three Neanderthal milk teeth analyzed in the study. Shown are (from left) the tooth found in the Fumane Cave; the one found in the Broion Cave; and the tooth found in the De Nadale Cave.

Much like a tree trunk has growth rings for each year of life, teeth present growth lines, forming on a daily basis until the enamel is fully developed, the researchers explained.

“It’s a fitting comparison,” said co-first author Federico Lugli, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bologna’s department of cultural heritage. “These lines can be studied with noninvasive techniques or through histology, cutting thin sections of the teeth.”

Co-senior study author Stefano Benazzi, a professor at the University of Bologna, is shown here studying Neanderthal remains.

Combined with chemical analysis looking at the strontium concentration in the teeth, information from these growth lines provided important information about the chronology of weaning in our evolutionary cousins.

To corroborate their data, scientists also compared information from the baby teeth of contemporary children with documented eating and weaning histories to their findings on the weaning of Neanderthal children.

What baby teeth tell us about Neanderthal moms

Even if teething happens later in a baby’s life, primary teeth form before birth, and the growth lines associated with the moment of birth have a specific, recognizable shape, Benazzi said.

Neanderthal genes may be to blame in some severe coronavirus cases

That also allowed scientists to broaden the scope of study from the children to their mothers.

“Since baby teeth mostly form in utero, what we see in the chemistry in these specimens is partly connected to the behaviors and dietary habits of their mothers,” Lugli explained.

Building on the body of evidence from previous studies, Lugli explained that the diet of Neanderthals examined was high in protein.

It’s possible that pre-chewed meat

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How Cook navigated route to historic gold in Australia combining medicine and modern pentathlon

While male pentathletes have competed at every Olympic Games since Stockholm 1912, Steph Cook became the first women’s Olympic modern pentathlon champion 88 years later, at the Sydney 2000 Games. The Great Britain star talks us through how she combined a hectic life as a doctor with going for gold – and how her fascinating sport, rooted in Olympic history, has evolved in the modern world.

Junior doctors in British hospitals are famously, perhaps notoriously, overworked. So the idea of pulling 15-hour shifts while also putting in the amount of training required to become an Olympian might seem physically impossible. Steph Cook, however, somehow managed it, and in a sport consisting of five disciplines – fencing, swimming, show jumping, shooting and running.

“It was crazy,” Cook said with a laugh, reflecting on her years before becoming the first women’s Olympic modern pentathlon champion. “I was studying medicine at Oxford, which is where I’d taken up modern pentathlon, and once I graduated I knew I needed to make a decision.

“Was I going to continue with sport or become a junior doctor? I decided I’d try to do both. I was doing up to 100 hours a week in the hospital while still training and competing. I remember coming off a night shift and flying straight to Poland for a World Cup. Somehow I kept going.”

Getty Images

Combining saving lives with creeping up the world rankings, Cook was clearly a multi-tasker of the highest calibre. No wonder the Olympic sport conceived to find the best all-round athletes appealed to her.

“Growing up, I’d done a bit of riding and was a good runner, and at university I thought I’d give pentathlon a go,” she said. “I really just wanted to get back on a horse again, but I also fancied the idea of trying some new sports. I had never shot or fenced before, and my swimming was ropey. I couldn’t even do tumble turns.

“Initially it was just fun. In 1994, when I started, the women’s sport wasn’t even at the Olympics. But I watched the men with interest at Atlanta 1996, and there was a campaign to get the women’s sport included.

“I got selected for the 1997 European Championships, but it clashed with my final medical exams and I couldn’t go. When the UK lottery funding came in, and the Olympics started to look more likely, I was offered a research position by a doctor in Oxford. It meant I could still study but also fit in more training. And then we got the National Training Centre in Bath. From November 1999, I trained full time.”

Steph Cook Getty Images

Having been in the sport for only six years, Steph was still under the radar in terms of becoming a potential medallist. But the unique nature of her sport gave her a chance. “Riding and running were my strengths, but they reckon it takes 10 years to get to international level in fencing,” she said. “I

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When modern medicine flounders, should traditional healers fill the void?

A practitioner of traditional healing dries medicinal plants and herbs in her courtyard. Photo by: Bioversity International / B. Sthapit / CC BY-NC-ND

KATHMANDU, Nepal — In 2004, Dr. Robin Basnet was the first medical doctor to be stationed at a remote health care center in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal where Mt. Everest stands tall.

A civil war was still raging across the country as Basnet arrived by foot in a community where the only source of communication was a single solar telephone line.

“When I first arrived, I was taken as an alien by the community. I tried to teach them the importance of modern medicine, but they didn’t believe in me,” said Basnet, who is now chief urosurgeon consultant for the Nepal government.

“While I was only seeing a few patients per day at the health center, the local faith healers would be busy all day. After trying for a few months in vain, I learned I would not be able to change society and their beliefs.”

COVID-19 and the limits of modern medicine

Fast-forward to 2020 and the world is grappling with a pandemic that has infected more than 42 million and killed over 1 million. As communities try their best to protect themselves from the virus and scientists scramble to develop a vaccine, poignant questions have been raised about how medically trained health care workers can better work with traditional healers, and how alternative knowledge and practices can be incorporated into the mainstream system.

Biases in health care affect workers everywhere

Modern medicine inherits a long history of racism, the effects of which can still be felt today. Why are global health norms still too white?

Can traditional healers and health care workers come together to help limit the spread of COVID-19? More broadly, how can they work together to deliver modern public health interventions that respect culture, beliefs, and traditions? How can communities’ trust in traditional healers be leveraged to tackle other pressing public health problems?

Basnet knew that if he was going to bring modern medicine to the community he would have to work with the faith healers themselves. He needed to gain their trust and respect and, in doing so, the community’s. He explained to the faith healers he was not there to steal their bread and butter nor was he there to quell their important work; rather, he wanted them to all work together with the same goal in mind: to improve people’s health.

“I somehow convinced them to carry on with their practice, but along with that, that they could help distribute oral rehydration solution, or ORS, to patients with diarrhea, deworm the children, help with immunization programs and inform pregnant women to visit the health center for antenatal check-ups,” he said. “Luckily I got support from them and slowly started getting patients to the health center.”

“While I was only seeing a few patients per day at the health center, the local faith healers would be busy all day.

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Indigenous mobile health unit combines traditional and modern medicine for treatment

A mobile health unit in Toronto is combining traditional Indigenous treatments and modern medicine to help care for the city’s homeless and most vulnerable people.

Anishnawbe Health Toronto developed its mobile health unit after witnessing a rise in homelessness and overdoses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The nurses, doctors and social workers tour the city’s homeless encampments and other areas to test and treat people in need of medical attention.

“We are providing COVID testing and for people that are homeless, transient and living rough, and also primary health care,” Jane Harrison with the Anishnawbe Health Toronto Mobile Unit told CTV News.

The system allows the health unit to track and care for the people who are experiencing homelessness and may have contracted COVID-19, while also affording them the ability to travel to where they’re needed most.

Now, the mobile health unit typically sees about 100 people per day.

“You can find 50 (to) 60 tents in some of these parks,” said Harvey Manning, director of Programs and Services at Anishnawbe Health Toronto. “What has happened is a lot of drop-in’s have closed. There’s fewer places for people to eat.”

Anishnawbe Health Toronto began in 1984 after its founder, Joe Sylvester, realized a “more comprehensive approach to health care” was needed among the Indigenous community in Toronto.

The health unit promotes traditional forms of Indigenous medicine and practices and offers its patients access to traditional healers, elders and medicine people, along with dentists, chiropractors and massage therapists. The health unit also helps people looking to “escape homelessness.”

“Anishnawbe Health has saved my life,” said Bonnie Gegwetch, a client of the organization.

For Gegwetch, having access to Anishnawbe Health Toronto has helped her to connect with her roots.

“I’m part of the 60s scoop,” she said. “This is my culture, this is where I found it.”

“Anishnawbe health has done an awesome job.”

The health unit is currently fundraising to put all of its services in one new building in downtown Toronto. Construction on the new facility is set to begin later this year.

Wiith files from CTV National News and Indigenous Circle reporter Donna Sound

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How Modern Medicine Has Been Fueled by Racism

There’s a dark side to medicine that involves the literal use of Black people.

Medical advances save lives and improve quality of life, but many of them have come at a high cost. There’s a dark side to medical advances — one that includes the literal use of Black people.

This dark history has reduced Black people to test subjects: bodies void of humanity.

Not only has racism fueled many modern medical advances, it continues to play a role in preventing Black people from seeking and receiving appropriate medical attention.

J. Marion Sims, credited for the invention of the vaginal speculum and repair of vesico-vaginal fistula, is referred to as the “father of gynecology.”

Starting in 1845, Sims experimented on Black women who were enslaved, performing surgical techniques without the use of anesthesia.

The women, considered the property of enslavers, were not permitted to give consent. Further, it was believed that Black people did not feel pain, and this myth continues to restrict Black people’s access to proper medical treatment.

The names of the Black women we know of who endured torturous experimentation at the hands of Sims are Lucy, Anarcha, and Betsey. They were taken to Sims by enslavers who were focused on increasing their production yields.

This included the reproduction of enslaved people.

Anarcha was 17 years old and had gone through a difficult 3-day labor and stillbirth. After 30 surgeries with nothing but opium to ease her pain, Sims perfected his gynecological technique.

Anarcha Speaks: A History in Poems,” a poetry collection by Denver poet Dominique Christina, speaks from the perspectives of both Anarcha and Sims.

An etymologist, Christina was researching the origin of “anarchy” and came across Anarcha’s name with an asterisk.

Upon further research, Christina found that Anarcha was used in terrible experiments to aid in Sims’ scientific discoveries. While statues honor his legacy, Anarcha is a footnote.

“No Magic, No How” — Dominique Christina

right there

right there

when Massa-Doctor look

right past the

way i hurt

to say

she a tough ole gal,

can take a mighty lickin’


The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, commonly referred to as The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, is a fairly well-known experiment conducted by the United States Public Health Service over a 40-year period starting in 1932.

It involved about 600 Black men from Alabama who were between ages 25 and 60 and experiencing poverty.

The study included 400 Black men with untreated syphilis and around 200 who didn’t have the disease to act as a control group.

They were all told they were being treated for “bad blood” for 6 months. The study involved X-rays, blood tests, and painful spinal taps.

When participation waned, the researchers started providing transportation and hot meals, exploiting the participants’ lack of resources.

In 1947, penicillin was shown to be effective in the treatment of syphilis, but it wasn’t administered to the men in the study. Instead, researchers were studying the progression of syphilis, allowing

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