Summary of Omen in the Blood

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Scientific

Recommendation

Some sleuths carry a magnifying glass, others sport a stethoscope. In the article “Omen in the Blood,” science journalist Stephen S. Hall tells the story of a disease detective on the trail of an enigmatic and pernicious kidney disease. Plot twists include genetically identical twins, one with the disease, while the other is perfectly healthy; and a suspicious blood protein called suPAR found lurking nearby. But is suPAR the guilty party or an innocent bystander? getAbstract recommends this article to people who might enjoy a medical story that is part science and part mystery. 

About the Author

Stephen S. Hall is a science journalist who lives in New York City.

 

Summary

Healthy kidneys are filters, keeping proteins and cells in the blood, while allowing only small molecules to pass into the urine.

When disease damages the kidneys, important proteins like albumin leak out into the urine, a process that may lead to heart disease and other health problems. Ultimately, the patient may need frequent dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.

The kidney disease FSGS poses a special treatment challenge and a mystery.

In up to 30% of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) patients, the disease not only “burns though” the...


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