Posts

September 02, 2014

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3:50 PM | A Doctor’s Passion and Influence: From Haiti to Einstein and Beyond
There are certain people who enrich lives, shape careers and inspire excellence. Einstein’s Dr. Roger Duvivier is one of those people. From his upbringing in Haiti, Duvivier grew from a young man with a dream—who knew almost no English when he came to the U.S. at age 18—into an accomplished obstetrician/gynecologist, mentor and global health [...]
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2:06 PM | What is going on at the James Randi Educational Foundation?
And now for something completely different… Due to the holiday and suddenly being informed that my revised manuscript for a certain journal (more on that later) is needed NOW, I don’t have time for much of a post. However, a certain bit of bombshell landed over the weekend that should keep those of you interested…
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1:07 PM | Public Engagement Events Listing: Sept 2014
We have a packed month of events taking place both at the Wellcome Collection and around the UK, funded by our Engaging Science Awards. Upcoming events include a showcase of the best and worst public health films of the 20th Century, an event celebrating humankind’s relationship with the whale, and an exhibition based on an […]
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12:50 PM | The Lancet: Series On Emerging Respiratory Tract Infections
Pneumonia Etiology Unknown – CDC PHIL   # 9029   This is mostly a head’s up, since I’ve not had time to read any of these papers. But as they appear to be both interesting and on point for this blog, so I decided to point my readers in their direction.   Among the authors you’ll find such familiar names as  Ziad Memish, Christian Drosten, Alimuddin Zumla, and Jaffar Al-Tawfiq. This series is provided for free by The lancet, […]
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12:18 PM | WHO: Virological Analysis Shows `No Link’ Between DRC and West African Ebola Outbreaks
  # 9028   Actually this doesn’t come as a big surprise, but it does lay to rest an earlier report that suggested the DRC Ebola species was some sort of unusual  `hybrid’ between Ebola Zaire and Ebola Sudan. In fact, the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has now been identified as Ebola Zaire – and an older lineage at that – being most closely related to a strain that was seen in Kitwit, nearly 20 years ago. Although the West […]
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12:14 PM | Witch Hunter Sues BHA
The British Humanist Association has announced that they are being sued by notorious Nigerian “witch hunter”, Helen Ukpabio, for half a billion pounds for alleged libel. The only reasonable response to this situation, in my opinion, is to magnify the criticism of Ukpabio as much as possible. For those who are not aware, I am [...]
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11:50 AM | Penn Gynecologist Collaborates with Her Sister to Explore the “Wild West” of Reproductive Medicine
Billy the Kid. Jesse James. Buffalo Bill. Wild Bill Hickok. We’ve all heard the names before: They’re the colorful and dangerous characters of America’s old “wild west” that have dominated U.S. cinema and television for decades. And that is where the connotations of entertainment end. Today, whenever an emerging trend...
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11:45 AM | Gloves: Another reason to love them (and wear them)
It's pretty easy to hate on gloves. They're certainly annoying to put on and wear. Yet, much of what we do in medicine is difficult yet worth it, if what we do is effective. Now if we really could get hand hygiene compliance beyond 90%, I think a narrow focus on hand rub utilization would be OK. But, irrespective of what facilities are reporting, when you really look, their compliance is closer to 50% (if they're lucky). That's why I continue to (a) encourage investment in hand hygiene research […]
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10:59 AM | FAO Alert: Ebola Outbreak Threatens Food Security In West Africa
      # 9027   One of the scenarios we’ve looked at previously surrounding severe epidemics or pandemics involves disruptions in the supply and/or production chain, leading to shortages, price hikes, and severe economic downturns. All of which can lead to even greater misery and loss of life.    We’ve discussed this cascade effect a number of times, including in the Supply Chain Of Fools, and in the CIDRAP Coal Report, which looked at […]
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9:53 AM | Japan: Locally Acquired Dengue Cases Rise To 34
Credit Wikipedia   # 9026   Less than a week ago, in Japan Reports 1st Locally Acquired Dengue Case In 60 Years, we learned of a teenage girl  (without recent travel history outside the country), living in Saitama prefecture (near Tokyo) who had been diagnosed with Dengue fever.   This marks Japan’s first locally acquired case of the mosquito-borne virus since the 1940s (although a German tourist came home from a trip to Japan with Dengue in 2013).   […]
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7:00 AM | The Unpersuadables
We would like to believe people are rational. We would like to believe that if they have formed a false belief based on inaccurate information and poor reasoning, they will change that belief when they are provided with accurate information and better reasoning. We are frequently disappointed. An Example of What Should Happen: I recently […]
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12:31 AM | The Science of ‘Morning Wood’
The Science of ‘Morning Wood’ TWEET IT – http://clicktotweet.com/aQNb5 The Sex-Ed class you never got in school! Why do men tend to wake up with “morning wood”? We look at the hard facts and some of the biology of an erection, to discover the mechanism behind this phenomenon. Written and created by Mitchell Moffit (twitterRead More »

September 01, 2014

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11:26 PM | Ebola perspectives from a BSL-4 virologist
Our colleague Tara Smith just posted an interview with Dr. Heather Lander, a virologist who works with hemorrhagic fever viruses. From this interesting interview I linked to her new blog, “Pathogen Perspectives”. She addresses some of the Ebola transmission issues we’ve touched upon, and more. Check it out!
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7:54 PM | China: H5N6 Outbreak In Heilongjiang Poultry
Credit Wikipedia   # 9025     Considering that highly pathogenic H5N6 was only first detected last April in South Central China, where it infected local poultry and killed one person (see Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu), it is suddenly starting to turn up in a number of widely separated locations. In August, we learned of outbreaks in three separate provinces of Vietnam (see Vietnam Orders Intensified H5N6 Surveillance), and today […]
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3:37 PM | 10 facts you should know about prostate cancer
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness month
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3:16 PM | Missouri Health Alert On Enterovirus 68
    # 9024   On Friday morning, in Kansas City Outbreak Identified As HEV 68, I wrote at some length about an outbreak of respiratory illness among children in Kansas City, Missouri that had been identified as  Enterovirus 68, and about the recent increases in its detection around the globe.   While EV 68 was first identified in the early 1960s, it has only rarely been detected in the United States, although several small clusters were reported (see  […]
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2:00 PM | The CDC whistleblower William W. Thompson: One last word
I know that when last I commented, I expressed the desire to move on from the topic of the CDC whistleblower case after having covered it for a week. And so was my intent. However, this being a holiday in the US and my having had an odd experience on Friday led me to think…
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12:30 PM | Do high voltage power lines cause cancer?
This could be a very short article. I could just write “no, power lines don’t cause cancer"—but that wouldn't explain why so many people believe otherwise. And it won’t help people who are thinking about buying a home that has power lines nearby. So let’s look at this question a bit more closely.For the past century or more, humans have been surrounding ourselves with an ever-growing array of electrical devices. All of these devices create electrical or magnetic […]
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12:04 PM | NPM 2014: Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.
  # 9023   After getting smacked repeatedly by hurricanes in the middle of the last decade (Katrina, Wilma, Rita, etc. . .), and pummeled by huge tornado outbreaks in 2010 and 2011 (see Weathering Heights: A Year For The Record Books), the United States has – comparatively speaking – enjoyed a welcome lull in major disasters.   Disasters still occur, of course.  Last months California quake caused billions of dollars in damage and major disruptions in […]
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11:16 AM | Wellcome Trust Research Round-up: 1/9/14
Our fortnightly round-up of news from the Wellcome Trust research community… Genes linked to development of glaucoma A new study funded by the Wellcome Trust and Fight for Sight has identified four new gene locations associated with glaucoma, an eye condition that can lead to blindness and visual impairment. It is hoped the finding could […]
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11:00 AM | Facing the Future
Nine years have passed since the first partial face transplant was performed in France but the questions regarding both the physical and psychological ramifications for patients remain. One of my first contributions to Brain Blogger examined the debate surrounding face transplantation, written in 2008 after the completion of the first partial procedure in the United […]
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11:00 AM | Refitting a Hospital during the Great War
During the Great War, several institutions in London were refitted as auxiliary hospitals to treat the wounded servicemen returning from the battlefields. With large numbers of hospital staff heading to the front lines or volunteering for the war effort, some … Continue reading →
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4:01 AM | The “CDC whistleblower saga”: Updates, backlash, and (I hope) a wrap-up
Given that this is a holiday weekend here in the US and that I’m having a bit of a staycation right now, I had thought of simply not posting today or of rerunning a “classic” (if you want to call it that) blast from the past. But the topic I wrote about last week has […]

August 31, 2014

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9:10 PM | The Hollywood Medical Reporter – Review of “Lucy”
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a hard swing with such a loud miss. Lucy truly deserves an A for effort; and in the world of this film, effort probably does start with the letter A. After all, in the world of this movie, 1 plus 1 does not equal 2, life […]
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9:09 PM | How to Astral Travel: The Science of Astral Projection and OBE
How to Astral Travel: The Science of Astral Projection and OBE Weekly Q and A’s: http://www.ralphsmart.com/membership/ Feel Alive by Ralph Smart. The New Book Now Available Below: http://www.ralphsmart.com/the-book/ My Website: http://ralphsmart.com Personal Consultations.: http://www.ralphsmart.com/1-on-1-coaching/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/infinitewatersworld
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7:24 PM | New species of “glass frogs” discovered in Peru
Researchers in Peru have discovered four new species of tiny so-called “glass frogs” (family: Centrolenidae). Centrolene charapita: with the yellow splotches on its back, this species was aptly named after little yellow chili peppers. Their hindlegs also had fleshy little zigzag-like protuberances whose purpose is unknown. Cochranella guayasamini: This species is mostly green with yellow encircling its…
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12:40 PM | Modest Fissure Eruption Near Bárðarbunga
Source Icelandic Met Office    UPDATED:  See update at bottom.   # 9022   The on again, off again RED aviation alert for the Bárðarbunga volcano is on again after a 1.5 km long fissure eruption overnight, but right now it is impossible to know just how disruptive this event is likely to become.  That said, this  eruption appears to be much larger than the small fissure eruption on Friday.   For now, a long dyke of sub-surface magma […]
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11:31 AM | Mackay On Ebola: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9022     Ian Mackay, in a follow up to his seminal post on Ebola ten days ago, writes today on the level of EBOV detection (often via RNA, or Antigens) in various human body fluids.    While the blood of  viremic patients is infamously teeming with the virus, Ian describes the (somewhat limited) research to date on the level of EBOV detection in other body fluids – like tears, sweat and saliva.   Although the level […]
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10:31 AM | WHO Update & Timeline On Senegal’s 1st Ebola Case
    # 9022   On Friday we learned that a fifth African nation had been touched by the Ebola outbreak in Senegal Reports 1st Imported Case Of Ebola.  Initial details were sketchy, particularly concerning the timing of the index cases' arrival and diagnosis.   Today the World Health Organization has released an update that, unfortunately, shows this patient was symptomatic, and living with relatives in Dakar for several days before being admitted to the […]
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4:57 AM | Possible origin of tuberculosis in the Americas
Paleogeneticist Dr. Johannes Krause (University of Tübingen, Germany) and colleagues were interested in the origin of tuberculosis (TB) in the Americas. Since strains of TB found in the Americas are related to strains found in Europe, prior theories held that Spaniards may have introduced it to the Americas while colonizing South America.  The problem with…
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