Hyperbaric oxygen treatment and Michael Crichton

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment and Michael Crichton-- the two leading keywords by which people find their way to this blog. Hardly a day passes without one or the other or both listed as "referral" keywords.

Michael Crichton

 Michael Crichton  had long been one of my favorite authors--some have termed him the founder or king of the science techno-thrillers-- and so I when I find something interesting on him I usually link to it from this blog. (Sadly, he died in 2008.)  

There was quite a flurry of pieces about him in the past few months, in part because his earliest thrillers, pubished under the name John Lange, had been re-published. Partly also because of the new sequel to JURASSIC PARK, as well as a remake of WESTWORLD.

 Here's the link to an old interview with him, click to go to that page in this blog.  That will lead to some of the other Crichton articles.

But the two Michael Crichton-related posts that draw the most relate to articles on the Michael Crichton conspiracy.  Why those draw highest, over more informative interviews with him, I have no idea. 

 Hyperbaric oxygen therapy -- HBOT

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy plays a key role in the plot-line of my science techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, so I've been posting here links to articles from my older research, as well as newer peices that I run upon.

 This week (January 6, 2015) the Wall Street Journal ran quite a long article, "Patients take pure oxygen in off-label treatments" link. I had not known that some parents of children with autism have been using HBOT as an off-label treatment.

HBOT is also being used for FDA-approved uses including nonhealing wounds and, of course, the orignal use--treating divers with decompression problems.

Not in this article, but I have heard of other studies using high pressure oxygen therapy in fields including regenerative medicine, rejuvenating aging bodies and body parts, and other anti-aging therapies

But HBOT is being used experimentally with, in addition to treating autism, sports injuries, strokes, and various athletic injuries.  

Also, according to that WSJ article, the Defense Department has also studied the use of HBOT to treat post-concussion symptoms. DOD found no significant difference between the test group (who did receive HBO), and a control group, the members of which did not actually receive pure oxygen but were told they did.

However, seems to me that by telling the control group that little fib, the researchers were casting a shadow over the whole test. Why? I don't have time or space to get into it here, but a number of recent studies have explored the placebo and "nocebo" effect. Those studies (still underway) suggest that simply by telling the control people they were getting the treatment they may have unconsciously improved themselves.  (Granted, that is just my speculation; I haven't seen the full study. But, based on what I do know, seems to me the study invalidated itself.)

A Michael Crichton interview I had not read before

A few months ago, I wrote two posts on the so-called "Michael Crichton Conspiracy" on my main blog, MichaelMcGaulley.com.   Here's the link to the first of my posts  Here's the link to the second article

A strange thing happened: since then, these two topics have been right at the top of my most clicked-to items. It seems that hardly a day or so goes by without someone from somewhere in the world pulling them up.  Michael Crichton was one of my favorite writers, as he was for a few million others, as well, so I thought I'd pass them on.

Those two posts are also among the often-clicked on another of my blogs, this for my technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH.

That's by way of background for today's post, a pair of interviews with Michael Crichton in which he discussed his books PREY and TIMELINE. They're not new--as, sadly, he died suddenly in 2008-- but they are new to me, and I thought you'd find them of interest, as well.  It's not clear whether they were originally separate interviews.

Here's the link to the interviews in BookBrowse


Michael Crichton -- victim of a conspiracy?

Michael Crichton was long one of my favorite authors. (As a matter of fact, I was a fan of his books even before he became Michael Crichton!  If you're a long-term Michael Crichton fan, you'll know what I mean; if not, I'll post an explanation another time, after folks have had a chance to think about it.)

via www.michaelmcgaulley.com

This is the first of the linked articles on the alleged Michael Crichton conspiracy.

Hyperbaric chambers: how athletes use them to stay healthy and energized

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are an element in my technothriller, A Remedy for Death. Interestingly, a couple of pieces I posted on the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy  have been probably the most read of all the posts on all of my websites  

(Here's a  link to one of those articles, and from that you can link to the second on hyperbaric therapy, as well as to another post on how swimmer Michael Phelps uses his hyperbaric chamber in training.)

This morning, the Washington Post featured another long article on the use of hyperbaric oxygen chambers. This was on how the Washsington Nationals' relief pitcher, Rafael Soriano, uses his chamber through the season to keep himself young and healthy. "When I was younger, I didn't train like this," he said. He feels he is less likely to be injured, and recovers more quickly, particularly as the season goes on.

Here's a photo, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Wa PO PIC OF hyperbaric chamber

 His chamber is about 7.5 by 4 feet, and is inflatable via remote-controlled air pumps. While he's in it, for about 90 minutes, he can watch DVDs or text friends.

The article also mentions other athletes, both football baseball players, who use their hyperbaric chambers to get up for games, or, in many cases, to ward off or recuperate from injuries  . . . thereby lengthening their careers.

Oh yes, the price-tag. About $20,00--a good investment if it gives you another year or two with major-league.

Curious what the other most-read articles on my blogs have been? A poair of  posts on the so-called "Michael Crichton Conspiracy" that someone has put out onto the web a few years ago.  Crichton's thrillers were among my long-time top-favorites, so I posted it. And there's been hardly a day someone from around the world hasn't checked one or both of those pieces.  Rather than linking them,t, I'll just reblog the two original articles to this blog.





Washington Post article on Hyperbaric Chamber

"Tech billionaires determined to buy their way out of death"--UPDATE

Seems another instance of fact following (my) techno-fiction. My science techo-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, centers around a conspiracy of the elite, a secretive cabal of the rich, powerful and politically-connected, that is funding an analogue to Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK . . . to recreate themselves, and hence gain the chance to go around again in life, as one of them put it, in "healthy, horny 21-year old bodies complete with all our accumulated savvy from this lifetime."

But that's no longer just some wacko author's fantasy: Check out the Business Insider article, "These Tech Billionaires Are Determined to Buy Their Way Out of Death"

And see my previous post "New Google division, along with TIME Magazine, follow trail blazed by technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH!"   That will link you to the TIME cover story on Calico, a new division or subsidiary, of Google. Calico is exploring much the same issues as in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH. (But, hey, let's face it: they've got a bigger budget!)

 Seems the same mindset as in my book.  Want more proof? Check out Adam Gollner's article in the Daily Bookbeast, "The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever"

Incidentally, that article quotes Global Industry Analysts, which suggests that "the anti-aging industry generates more than $80 billion per year." I expect that includes aging lotions and potions, and not just regenerative medicine. TIME estimates the regenerative medicine industry is now about $1.5 billion annually. likely to grow to $20 billion by 2025.

Implication: if these billionaires' investment pays off as they hope, then they get to live again and again.  Or, worst case, it doesn't work for them, but odds are it will be a profitable niche with good payback for their investment. But they can't take it with them.

Or can they? In my A REMEDY FOR DEATH, the crusty old media billionaire, at a drunken dinner, shouts out "If I can't take it with me, then hell no, I won't go!"  (Not to spoil the plot, but at about the point he says "hell no" all hell does break out there.)

BTW, Adam Gollner has recently published THE BOOK OF IMMORTALITY.  i'll look for a copy and report back here.  It's straight reporting, not a techn-thriller.

"Cloning scientists create human brain cells," reports the London Observer

 "We can take a skin sample, make stem cells from it and then direct these stem cells to grow into brain cells. Essentially, we are turning a person's skin cells into brain. We are making cells that were previously inaccessible. And we could do that in future for the liver, the heart and other organs on which it is very difficult to carry out biopsies."

--- This from Professor Charles ffrench-Constant, director of the Roslin Institue at Edinburgh University, where sheep Dolly was cloned 16 years ago.

This work does not rely on using embryos at all; instead the cloning or regeneration comes from scraps of a patient's own skin.

Sounds like something from a Michael Crichton thriller? I hope so, but it's not from Crichton's, but rather from one of mine.

I won't spoil the plot of my speculative thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, by pointing out how this work ties in with what is done in the fictional clinic in the book. But it does, and that part of the book was written way back even before Dolly saw the light of day.

The article is by Robin McKie in the Observer of January 28, 2012. Here's the link

Human embryonic stem cells successfully implanted in chimps

First readers of my  medical techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, questioned the real-world likelihood of implanting the brain cells from a human fetus into Chimp Donnie.  "Too far out!" they said. "Probably too far out even for a Michael Crichton thriller.")

Well, now the future far-out is happening, and happening in the real-world, not just in my thriller. I could cite several reports on how human brain cells have been implanted in the brains of both humans (and animals, earlier, to test the procedures).  The aim is to treat conditions including stroke, Parkinson's, tumors, Traumatic Brain Injury, and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Here's one news report to get you started: London Guardian: Stem cells transformed into brain cells to treat Parkinson's disease

PLOT ADVISORY re: A REMEDY FOR DEATH:  The experimental implantation of brain tissue as done by Dr. Daulby (with the assistance of Chimp Donnie) is not performed for any of the treatment purposes mentioned above.