Are You Vaporous? Plus Bone Healing Plus Crohn’s Disease

This entry was posted by Saturday, 21 February, 2009
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Left you breathless and hanging, didn’t I? You’ve been wondering how things made almost entirely of nothing get to rub against each other, bump into each other, slap against themselves, and reflect light and sound. Maybe, if you’re a bloodhound, you even wondered how you could smell things with so little substance.


Electrons, of course, surround every atom. And, I’m sure you remember that electrons have a negative charge and, therefore, repel other electrons. The electrons on the outer atoms of the baseball come first into “contact” with the electrons in the outer atoms of the wood in the bat. And, though they’re very sparse and occupy very little of the vast void that constitutes the bat, the strength of the surrounding electromagnetic field is unbelievable – at least at small distances. So you have the illusion of something “solid” coming into contact with something else “solid”.

No such thing, of course. There’s no contact at all. Nothing touches. Just the fields of two small things repelling each other in a big void.

Why do things LOOK solid? Light (photons) don’t really bounce off of things. If they did, they would be more likely to miss in that big void (being very little particles). They, instead, get captured by atoms, absorbed, and then ejected again. A very smooth operation. Looks like a bounce. Done with fields. Quite deceptive.

I thought you would like to know.


Unless you’ve worked in orthopedics (as I have), you might not know this but broken bones don’t always heal and that’s a big problem for those people who are unlucky enough to wind up with a nonhealing fracture. Various tricks have been tried. The one that we were experimenting with when I was at Beth Israel Hospital in Brookline, Massachusetts: electricity. If I didn’t have to run to the hardware store, I would explain more about this since there’s some interesting science in why electric current makes bones heal. Another time, OK?

But a group in South Korea figured out a way to borrow cells (called osteoblasts) from the patient’s own body and inject them right into the site of the healing (or nonhealing, in this case) fracture. The results look good and the bone healed faster. I can’t compare this work to electrical stimulation unless I blow off the hardware store, but I will tell you that you won’t have to worry about your carbon footprint with this technique. No batteries.

And one more thing I would like to mention is some work on CROHN’S DISEASE.

A group in Spain have reversed Crohn’s in almost all of the patients in a study with 80% of them in total remission. This, obviously, is sensational because a) it’s a wretched, painful, debilitating disease and b) it shows that stem cell research is something that has value beyond getting Republicans elected in Bible Belt states.

One Response to “Are You Vaporous? Plus Bone Healing Plus Crohn’s Disease”

  1. Anonymous

    Many year’s ago, a doctor whose name escapes me, noticed that even though everyone was convinced (and probably still is convinced) that Crohn’s Disease was an autoimmune disease, the tissue removed from the intestines of such patients looked almost identical to that taken from patients with tuberculosis. So he tried treating his Crohn’s patients with antibiotics and had pretty good success–though he had to keep them on it.

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