Mr. Wizard’s amazing television discoveries

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, March 26, 2008

By By Lowell McGill
I don’t know how many of you remember Don Herbert. He was TV’s “Mr Wizard.”
This man was noted for his scientific knowledge and predictions of things to come in the way of technology, science and medicine. He even told about the Internet.
Herbert lived to the ripe age of 89 before he passed away last year. His TV show had run from the 1950s until not too long before his death. He was also good with kids. He prompted them to experiment with normal household items, He taught them how to think and work with their hands and minds. His accomplishments earned him a Peabody Award in 1954.
In his later years he told of new medicines and technology that would be most beneficial to mankind.
I think of him today as I research the Internet and discover various medical predictions he made.
One that comes to mind was from an Internet article written by David Derbyshire in January of 2008. He writes about a helmet that is fitted for patients with Alzheimers. According to his report, medical science believes the helmet, which has to be worn for 10 minutes each day, “bathes the brain with infrared light and stimulates the growth of brain cells.”
Even though it is in its early stages the author says this device could be “potentially life changing.” It is also believed it will be able to “reverse symptoms of dementia such as memory loss and anxiety,” the author further related.
According to Derbyshire the helmet is a creation of doctors at the University of Sunderland. The report indicated that more human trials will begin this summer.
Another medical story written by the Associated Press Jan.14 indicated that doctors are looking for a breakthrough in heart research. You remember I have written about a new “machine” used by my cardiologists that in many cases pinpoint clogged arteries without having to use the “cath method.”
An area that I have found particular interesting because of my medical condition comes from an Internet Web site Heart Center Online. Study is underway for a new catheter that may one day “lead to a non surgical cure for heart arrhythmia.” This has to do with atrial fibrillation. It is a rather lengthy article, but full details of it can be found on their Web site.
In the January story it was reported that researchers managed “to grow a rat heart in the lab and start it beating.” Researchers hope to use this procedure, if proven successful, to “provide options for patients with end stage disease.” A research team is now led by Dr. Doris Taylor, director of the Center of Cardiovascular Repair at the University of Minnesota. The AP stated that researchers are “focusing on heart valves as an alternative to plastic or animal valves that wear out after being implanted in humans.” Her team is working in various experiments regarding this effort to “regrow a heart.”
Mr. Wizard not only predicted improvements in medicine but he told of the Internet.
This amazing discovery has changed the world. It is especially beneficial for medical patients to go online and find that experiments and new trials are constantly ongoing. Much can be learned from your “web searching.” Doctors can not use robots for various operations miles away using commands sent over the Internet.
You can find other medical Web sites that list medicines that are not compatible with medicines you may be currently taken. I recommend you find one of these sites, particularly, if you are on any heart medication.
Yes it has been a long time since Mr. Wizard made his debut on TV. He provided many interesting and helpful hours of programming for just about anything anyone was interested in.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox