Questions tagged [medicine]

For questions about treatment methods as well as substances used to heal wounds and cure diseases.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
101
votes
13answers
23k views

If I went back in time, how could I handle being among the Black Death and survive?

In the near future time I invent time travel. But when perfecting it, something goes wrong and I'm transported back to the time and place of the Black Death. I wasn't prepared for this, and try as I ...
71
votes
16answers
6k views

How to give a rationality-inducing drug to an entire software company?

I'm a genius inventor who's managed to come up with a drug that increases the occurrence of rational behaviour over 400% among human beings. This drug makes humans more likely to communicate ...
48
votes
28answers
11k views

Poison which constantly needs to be treated by antidote to not get killed

Inspired by Frank Herbert's Dune: Action Joe is kept prisoner in Doctor Evil's prison. Doctor Evil knows that Joe's escape is inevitable. So he decides to introduce poison to Joe's body. Joe gets his ...
46
votes
11answers
17k views

Would a wound from a monomolecular blade instantly heal?

Or, phrased another way, how thick would the blade behind the cutting edge need to be in order to cause significant and lasting damage to a human body? My question can be considered an expansion of ...
45
votes
16answers
11k views

A pill to make you think faster: Side effects?

OK, so scientists have found a great new substance: That substance makes you think ten times as fast! The advantages are obvious. However, as every medicine, this pill will have side effects. There ...
41
votes
11answers
11k views

Would time travelling to the present be lethal to a person from the 1200s?

John Smith is a time traveller from the year 2018, he goes back in time to the year 1200 and in the process falls in love with a woman of that era. He doesn't want to abandon her so he decides to ...
41
votes
2answers
8k views

How long would it take until we realise that people stopped dying from natural causes?

This would only comprise death by natural causes, no accidents, suicides, homicides etc. As Wikipedia says: A death by natural causes is one that is primarily attributed to an illness or an ...
33
votes
7answers
7k views

Could a modern times time traveler produce an antibiotic in medieval times?

Joe Everybody, a modern day man with average knowledge (high school and Wikipedia) in biology, medicine and chemistry, wakes up in an medieval city. He sees a lot of sick people and remembers about ...
30
votes
8answers
5k views

Why would an incredibly long lived race not be known for their scarring?

Many long lived races are seen as serene, beautiful, and wise. Yet with long life comes the increased chance to be permanently injured in a life-altering way, either physically, emotionally, or ...
30
votes
6answers
8k views

Without modern medicine, can somebody survive a third degree burn?

The backstory of one of my characters involves being lowered onto steadily rising, open flames back first. The story is set in a dystopic/post apocalyptic time where modern technology became ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

How would industrial civilizations contacting each other for the first time protect themselves from diseases?

In a world big enough for human civilizations as knowledgeable about medicine as ours to develop without contacting each other, how could they initiate that contact without exposing each other to ...
25
votes
8answers
5k views

Where to place an artificial gland in the human body?

An artificial endocrine gland is cultured in the lab and is to be inserted in a person. This gland functions by secreting special substances in the blood stream. It needs to be placed in a position ...
25
votes
15answers
4k views

Why is transplanting a specific intact brain impossible if it is generally possible?

In the near future Science Fiction novel I am writing, the personality and memory of a person are transferred to an artificial brain after a fatal accident, creating an artificial intelligence with ...
24
votes
16answers
7k views

How can a modern medic help medieval patients

My modern doctor has been time-slipped to a medieval city, without any equipment. She has the patronage of a powerful, rich noble, so being accused of witchcraft is not a problem. She will be ...
23
votes
20answers
7k views

Create a disease that can easily be cured by adopting a custom from another culture

I have a world with nations with culture/magic tied to each element. The Fire Nation was in the middle of invading the Earth nation when a disease starts to spread rapidly through their nation ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Would ritual cannibalism of the dead lead to issues with disease?

Assume you have a culture that eats some or all of their dead at the funeral as a ritual, instead of burying the dead as we do. Assume somewhere between medieval and renaissance level of technology/...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How good are vets as doctors?

I am toying with a scenario in a RPG where the catastrophe has happen (financial desaster, meteorite hit whatever) which has wiped out large parts of humanity and caused a complete breakdown of ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

How do mermaids perform major surgical procedure underwater?

Suppose the mermaids share similar intelligent and technology with us, they also practise performing surgical operation like we do in hospital. Negate the issue of negligent during the operation the ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

What would a corpse of a person who drowned in mercury look like?

I want to use a mercury based golem as a enemy in a murder mystery P&P story. The golem flows through cracks and under doors and envelops its victims until they are dead. Let's assume that the ...
18
votes
16answers
6k views

How do I ensure that two characters survive the black death without making them naturally immune?

Everyone in my community is collapsing to the ground and dying painfully. My husband, he is one of the few remaining men to bury the dead and I worry that soon I'll be left alone. How do I ensure that ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I manage disease risk while time traveling?

Time travel works...just invented, by you. The tests prove it! Now for the human tests. It works by poking the residual timey-wimey weebley-woobley stuff just enough for you to move yourself and ...
17
votes
13answers
11k views

Disease that requires regular medicine [closed]

I have a character in one of my stories with a severe disease. It requires regular medical therapy, like pills, or else they could die quickly after. I cannot find any specific diseases like this, ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Could a simple hospital oxygen mask protect from aerosol poison?

I'm writing a story in which a character has to make it through an area filled with aerosol poison...or something along those lines. He starts out in a hospital area, with access to equipment. Is it ...
16
votes
7answers
10k views

How long could a human survive completely without the immune system?

If the immune system of a healthy human just shut down completely and instantly (magic, nanotechnology, whatever), and after a certain time period it went back to normal, how much time without the ...
15
votes
9answers
4k views

How would the law enforce a ban on immortality? [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy story where magic is common and wizards follow a strict code of conduct. One of those tenets is "never stray from humanity and do not seek immortality or godhood." While I admit ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Is surviving this (blood loss) scenario possible?

So my character (16 yr old girl) got a deep cut (inches across) from a dagger across her torso and is knocked unconscious. (She falls onto her back) She had just enough time to contact her friends ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Substance that counteracts one poison but accelerates/exacerbates the effect of another?

Is there an example of substances interacting with each other in the following way? A is a lethal substance, killing within minutes to hours when orally ingested; anti-A is an antidote for A (or at ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Disease treatable by zero-G

Background story: In near future (max 10 years from now) mega-rich person suffers yet unknown disease. He obviously employs every doctor possible and spends loads from his fortune on researching, what ...
13
votes
14answers
2k views

Potential causes for generational deafness in space colony

I'm working on a sci fi story which heavily integrates themes of varying alien configurations and how they shape society, culture and language. As part of this theme, I want to have some of the human ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Plausible Components for Zombie Immunization?

Thank you everyone. This was certainly not a question with a simple solution, and was far more complicated than I could've imagined. All of you provided so many amazing, insightful responses, ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How could nanobots in the body be discovered via a routine blood/medical test?

I have a scenario where a person has nanorobots unknowingly injected into his bloodstream. I'd like his doctor to discover them through some kind of medical test, preferably a blood test. Of course ...
12
votes
18answers
81k views

How can I create a poison that kills a person after a specific amount of time, and is treatable by an antidote?

I did read several great thrillers where main hero is injected with unknown fluid and told, that such fluid is deadly poison unknown to normal medicine and our hero has 48 hours to live. If he wants ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How much could basic sanitation and disease prevention combat illness in medieval and renaissance era?

Say that an individual with a decent, but not mastery level, understanding of health, medicine, and sanitation were to travel to an era with technological level roughly around medieval to Renaissance ...
11
votes
7answers
8k views

Can I keep a person unconscious for a long time? [closed]

Is there a reliable and, at least, relatively safe way to keep a person unconscious for a period of at least a year(more would be better)? It doesn't really matter whether the individual is comatose ...
11
votes
6answers
828 views

Everyday accomodations for autistic people in a world where Autism is extremely common [closed]

Related, but not a duplicate. Imagine a version of modern or slightly into the future earth in which it is quite common to be born on the autism spectrum. There are still plenty of neurotypical ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Is amputation a feasible solution in the zombie apocalypse?

There have been a lot of questions about zombie bites on this site. From making it lethal to allowing for an amputation cure. But we have not discussed the primary issue of this line of questioning is ...
10
votes
10answers
4k views

Aliens performing successful medical procedure on humans at first contact?

So, humans have finally figured out how to build a solar-system crossing ship. On the way to the first exo-planet to be colonized, an accident happens, and a few people wind up floating through space, ...
10
votes
3answers
399 views

Happiness is Mandatory

Happiness is mandatory. Unhappiness is treason. Treason is punishable by summary execution. Are you happy, citizen? - Friend computer. Welcome to Beta Complex, the little brother of Alpha Complex. We ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Will a modern time traveler survive diseases of the past?

Joe Schmo is your average college graduate who is suddenly transported back to medieval times, without time to prepare. From there the stories, and questions on this site, are all about how he can use ...
10
votes
5answers
404 views

Preventing Blindness from Microgravity

According to a recent National Geographic article, astronauts returning home after longer missions suffer permanently impaired vision. This is a problem that must be addressed in hard-science worlds ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

How can I set up the environment so that my creatures don't get sick?

In a world I am working on, I have a wilderness-living, social, group-living species that for various reasons lacks access and ability to anything resembling modern medicine, including vaccinations. ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Modified stem cells as a resuscitation serum after death by cyanide poisoning?

In large doses, the body's ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Could someone survive if all the DNA inside his cells got damaged? For how long?

I did some quick research on DNA and I know it can be damaged by different sorts of mutagens. I also know that this kind of damage can lead to cancer. Though I'm not entirely sure of where exactly it ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Fantasy and the germ theory

When developing a medival fantasy realm, especially one with no known healing and restoration magic, one may need to develop the people's understanding of science and medicine. A unique example of ...
9
votes
1answer
827 views

Placebo-worthy drug?

Are there any medicine out there specifically used to treat serious illnesses (it could be something as simple as painkillers to something for a very rare chronic illness) that could be swapped out ...
9
votes
6answers
300 views

Changing hospital procedures to accommodate a Shapeshifting Patient

What would happen if the following happened in a hospital. (Assume that this is the real world, where magic shouldn't exist.) A patient in the ER, who was admitted for poisoning, turned into an ...
9
votes
2answers
211 views

Security against “truth serum” by means of a drug poisonous in combination with sodium thiopental

The secret police of my fictional country (unoriginally) uses sodium thiopental in medical interrogations, usually in combination with various forms of physical torture. An antagonist (a courier of ...
9
votes
4answers
532 views

How would a medieval doctor identify a poison that was administered through a cut?

How would a medieval doctor identify a poison that was administered through a cut? Is it strictly by symptoms? If the implement is produced, would that help in identifying the poison? The story is ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Can flesh/skin form around an object that is placed on skin for years?

Say you have a man, living in a medieval time. When he is twelve years old, a stone amulet is placed on the skin of his chest and glued on. It will remain there forever, untill he dies. What will ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Mosquito protection for an ancient rainforest civilization?

This is one of a series of questions also discussing floating farms and city buiding. There is an early Iron Age civilization spread out along the riverbanks of an enormous tropical river (think ...