Today’s Headlines: Boston Marathon Aftermath, Meditation in Hospitals, and Brain Cells

Boston Hospitals Scramble to Treat Wounded in Marathon Bombing Aftermath: The injuries from the detonation of two bombs at the Boston Marathon are “more commonly found in a war zone,” local hospitals reported. According to the Boston Globe, “Patients arrived at Boston hospitals with limbs blown off, shrapnel wounds, burns, gruesome fractures, and perforated eardrums from the shock wave of two explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line.” Other patients suffered from severe eye damage, deep flesh wounds, and ruptured internal organs. Blast injuries, because of the sheer force that comes from explosives, are some of the most difficult and complex injuries to treat. (Boston Globe)

Hospitals Show Interest in Meditation: Hospitals and clinics are integrating meditation to complement their current medical therapies, acknowledging that recent research shows meditation can reduce blood pressure, and aid patients with pain and depression. Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, said the technique should not replace traditional medical treatments, but it can be used to help manage symptoms. (Wall Street Journal)

New Technique Adapts Skin Cells to Brain Cells: Scientists at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Stanford University have mastered a technique that adapts skin cells to brain cells. They are able to convert these normal skin cells into the type of brain cells that are often destroyed in patients with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other myelin disorders. The research is early – only with mice and rats so far – but a study published online Sunday in the journal Nature Biotechnology indicated that the process of making these cells ultimately could offer a new approach to MS and other diseases in humans. (San-Francisco Business Times)