A soft-bodied wormlike larva of a fly that lays its eggs in living or especially in decaying tissues. The living or rotting material furnishes heat for the hatching of the eggs and food for the newly hatched maggots.
Certain blowfly maggots — notably, those of the blackbottle fly (Phormia regina) and the greenbottle fly (Phaenicia sericata) — were used in medicine to consume and clear away both bacteria and dead tissue from deep wounds and so promote their healing. This was a favorite part of the treatment of osteomyelitis (infection of bone) and other deep suppurative (pus-filled) lesions. In a sense it was biologic (rather than surgical) debridement of a wound. The maggots also promoted healing by secreting allantoin, a supposedly salutary substance found also in fetal urine.
- Magic bullet
Or, sometimes, silver bullet. 1. The perfect drug to cure a disease with no danger of side effects. The term magic bullet was first used in this sense by the German scientist Paul Ehrlich to describe antibody and, later, the drug salvarsan that he created to treat syphilis. 2. In general, a magical solution to […]
Named after a town in present day Turkey where an ore containing magnesium carbonate was mined. Milk of Magnesia, the laxative, is magnesium hydroxide.
A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the building of healthy bones, and normal muscle contraction. About 350 enzymes are known to depend on magnesium. Magnesium is contained in all unprocessed foods. High concentrations of magnesium are contained in nuts, unmilled grains, dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes such as peas and […]
- Magnesium deficiency
Can occur due to inadequate intake or impaired intestinal absorption of magnesium. Low magnesium (hypomagnesemia) is often associated with low calcium (hypocalcemia) and low potassium (hypokalemia). Deficiency of magnesium causes increased irritability of the nervous system with tetany (spasms of the hands and feet, muscular twitching and cramps, spasm of the larynx, etc.). According to […]
- Magnesium excess
Persons with impaired kidney function should be especially careful about their magnesium intake because they can accumulate magnesium, a dangerous situation. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the Recommended Dietary Allowances of magnesium are 420 milligrams per day for men and 320 milligrams per day for women. The upper limit of magnesium as supplements […]