Posts

February 01, 2015

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1:22 PM | How a diet scam was born: The rise and fall of green coffee bean
I thought I’d written my final post on the Dr. Oz-fueled green coffee bean extract (GCBE) diet supplement fad. But now there’s another appalling chapter, one that documents just how much contempt The Dr. Oz Show seems to show for its audience, and how little Dr. Mehmet Oz seems to care about providing medical advice […]
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1:01 PM | Anti-vaxxers are to blame for a new epidemic of measles in the U.S.
Measles is now spreading outward from Disneyland in California, in the worst outbreak in years. The epidemic is fueled by growing enclaves of unvaccinated people. The CDC reports that in just the past month, 84 people from 14 states contracted measles, a number that is certainly an under-estimate, because the CDC doesn’t record every case. California alone has 59 confirmed cases, most of them linked to an initial exposure in Disneyland. A majority of people who have gotten sick […]
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8:42 AM | Opposing Chiropractic: Persecution or Justified Criticism?
The saga of chiropractic began in 1895 when D.D. Palmer, a magnetic healer, announced that “95 percent of all diseases are caused by displaced vertebrae, the remainder by luxations of other joints.” Palmer opened the first chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa, offering a three-week course of study at the Palmer School and Cure, subsequently renamed […]
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4:59 AM | Puppy Bowl XI
I am pretty excited about Puppy Bowl XI tomorrow afternoon on Animal Planet! So cute! (3pm) Team Ruff vs Team Fluff http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/about-this-show/about-puppy-bowl/
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2:13 AM | So, you want to write about medicine?
Last year, I was honored to receive an invitation to address the Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association (AMA) on writing about medicine. I’ve been meaning to upload my slides for... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

January 31, 2015

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8:44 PM | What’s wrong with supermarket pharmacies?
TEXT: Former Fresh trader Steve Milton handles Healthcare sales as he would a bag of apples. “I look at the job as similar to selling store products off the shelves,” said CTM Steve, whose influence at Greenhithe led to an 18% increase in Pharmacy sales after just three weeks. Providing healthcare isn’t the same as […]
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3:51 PM | Bulgaria: Additional H5N1 Outbreak Reported
# 9657 Earlier this week we saw media reports, and then an OIE Notification Of H5N1 In Bulgaria, when a dead pelican near the Poda Protected Area located south of the port city of Bourgas on the Black Sea tested positive for avian flu. This was the first detection of the virus in Bulgaria since 2010. Today there are media reports of a small outbreak in the nearby village of Konstantinovo.     Secondary outbreak of bird flu discovered in Bulgaria’s […]
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3:04 PM | CDC Interim Guidance On Antiviral Chemoprophylaxis For Persons With Exposure To Avian Flu
Photo Credit – FAO   # 9656   Last night the CDC released a pair of interim guidance documents for clinicians and public health officials on how to deal with patients suspected of being exposed to novel (primarily avian) influenza. I blogged about the first guidance document earlier today in CDC Interim Guidance For Testing For Novel Flu. Although we haven’t had to deal with HPAI much in North America, the standard procedure it to treat – […]
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2:37 PM | CDC Interim Guidance For Testing For Novel Flu
  Credit NIAID    # 9654   While the risk to the public remains low, the importation this month of two cases of H7N9 into Canada from China, the ongoing outbreak of H5N1 in Egypt, and the recent introduction of HPAI H5 viruses via wild and migratory birds into North America are all reasons why doctors around the country need to be aware of the potential for seeing novel flu cases. The HPAI H5 viruses currently circulating in North America have not been […]
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2:19 PM | Selling complementary and alternative medicine: An business ethics perspective
Is it ethical to sell complementary and alternative medicine? This presentation — by a philosopher and a pharmacist — considers CAM from the perspective of commercial ethics.
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1:58 PM | HK CHP Notified Of 2 H7N9 Cases In Guangdong Province
Credit Wikipedia   # 9653 Guangdong Province’s streak of H7N9 reports continues with two more cases reported to Hong Kong’s CHP today.     CHP notified of two human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (January 31) closely monitoring two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) notified by the Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong […]
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1:35 PM | CIDRAP News On The Lancet Oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®) Meta-Analysis
Photo Credit – Wikipedia     # 9552   I had plans this morning to write an overview of meta-analysis of Tamiflu effectiveness published January 29th in The Lancet, but I’m happy to note that last night Robert Roos of CIDRAP News has beaten me to it. Since I’m unlikely to improve upon his reportage, I’ll direct you to his excellent review – which you’ll want to read in its entirety - after which I’ll return with a little bit more. […]
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1:15 PM | Is it ethical to sell complementary and alternative medicine?
I joined Professor Chris MacDonald at Ryerson University earlier this week to participate in Ryerson’s business ethics speaker series. The topic was CAM: Is it ethical to market complementary and alternative medicines? Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are medical products and services outside the mainstream of medical practice. But they are not just medicines (or […]
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12:20 PM | Nevada Reports HPAI H5N8 in Wild Bird
  # 9651   Nevada becomes the sixth western state to report HPAI H5 in wild birds this winter, as we learn from this release from the Nevada Department of Agriculture.    Dept. of Ag Says Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu Found in Nevada Posted: Jan 30, 2015 7:57 PM EST Updated: Jan 30, 2015 7:57 PM EST From the Nevada Department of Agriculture: The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) confirms the first case of Highly […]
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9:00 AM | News digest – dismissing symptoms, persistent heartburn, unboiled eggs and more
Concerns over people dismissing symptoms, a new campaign about persistent heartburn and what does ‘unboiling’ an egg have to do with cancer research?
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5:41 AM | Middle-Age Heavy Drinking Increases Stroke Risk
ByThe Toombst The weekend is here, time for another alcohol related news item. New research finds that middle-age heavy drinking increases stroke risk more than traditional risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes. Stroke is when a blood clot blocks blood vessels in the brain or when a ruptured blood vessel in the brain causes a bleed. This blockage starves the brain-tissue of oxygen which causes damage. Stroke victims are commonly affected by one sided weakness caused by this brain […]
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2:05 AM | The path of least resistance
I was glad she never asked if I had done this before. My first nasogastric tube was placed on an elderly woman with chronic liver disease. As her illness worsened, it gradually turned her skin... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

January 30, 2015

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9:35 PM | LabBook, January 30, 2015
Prostate cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma and ancient vegetation in this week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians.
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9:02 PM | Transforming Trauma
As we look toward the opening of our new Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC) and the transition of our trauma center from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, throughout the month of January, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest news and...
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9:01 PM | Biological Clock Predicts Risk of Dying
ByThe Toombst We all have a clock that’s slowly ticking down to our eventual demise. New research find that a biological clock predicts people’s lifespans. Mutation is a word that many are familiar with, changes to the DNA caused by any number of factors. Another less known process that can affect DNA is called methylation. In this case a chemical group called a methyl group (-CH3) binds to the DNA turning genes on or off. These so-called epigenetic changes occur over time and have […]
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8:11 PM | Astronomers See a Massive Black Hole Tear a Star Apart
A telescope peers into the blackness of deep space. Suddenly — a brilliant flash of light appears that wasn’t there before. What could it be? A supernova? Two massively dense stars fusing together? Perhaps a gamma ray burst? Five years ago, researchers using the ROTSE IIIb telescope at McDonald Observatory noticed just such an event. But far … Continue reading →
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7:13 PM | Semen: The Ultimate Liquid Biopsy for Prostate Cancer?
By: Renée Stirling Richards, Ph.D.Managing Editor: Arvin Gouw, Ph.D.[The following is a layperson’s introduction followed by an early publication article for Cancer InCytes magazine: Volume 4, Issue 1, Summer 2015.]Current therapies for advanced prostate cancer can extend life but the disease is still largely incurable. Preventative measures and early detection are much more effective at reducing death rates from advanced cancer. Early detection may be achieved with a liquid biopsy […]
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5:30 PM | FluView Week 3: Senior Hospitalizations Soar & H1N1v In Minnesota
    *** Correction ***  H1N1v was inadvertently listed as H3N2v in original post – Mea culpa.   # 9650   Since we’ve got a drifted `H3N2’ virus running rampant across much of the northern hemisphere, an unusually vigorous outbreak of H5N1 in Egypt, our regular winter H7N9 mini-epidemic in China, avian HPAI H5 viruses spreading impressively internationally, and even a pair of imported H7N9 cases in Canada this week  . . .it makes perfect […]
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3:00 PM | Antivaccine cardiologist Jack Wolfson and the resurrection of false balance about vaccines
Yesterday, I wrote about false balance in reporting on vaccines in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak. For those who’ve never encountered this blog, what I mean by false balance is when journalists, in a misguided belief that there are “two sides” (i.e., an actual scientific controversy) about the safety of childhood vaccines and…
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2:29 PM | Saudi Arabia Reports 2 New MERS Cases
# 9649   Saudi Arabia’s intermittent outbreak of winter MERS cases continues today after a couple of days with no reports, with two new cases , bringing January’s total to 20. Yesterday, in anticipation of seeing more cases later in the spring, the CDC’s MMWR posted a  MERS Epidemiological Update & Guidance document for clinicians, public health, and the public.
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1:08 PM | The Gap Between Public and Scientific Opinion
A recently published poll from the Pew Research center finds that there is a huge gap between public opinion and the opinion of scientists on many important scientific issues of the day. This is disappointing, but not surprising, for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, if the majority of scientists have the same opinion about [...]
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1:02 PM | Guangdong’s H5N6 Patient Recovers
Credit Wikipedia   # 9648   Normally the recovery of a single avian flu patient wouldn’t rate a separate blog entry, but since this is only the second human H5N6 case diagnosed - and the first one was fatal (see Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu) - the recovery of the 58-year old man diagnosed last December from Guangdong Province is not only good news, it is newsworthy.   Guangdong The first H5N6 bird flu patient rehabilitation […]
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1:00 PM | Biosimilars: 2014 Year in Review and 2015 Outlook
Editor's note: I am thrilled once again to present a guest post from Dr. Duncan Emerton, author of the Biosimilarz blog. Enjoy Duncan's wrap up of the busy year 2014 and his look ahead at what is in store for 2015.Don't miss the Biosimilarz Twitter feed and podcast series as well.You can also revisit Duncan's "2013 Biosimilars in Review"  John Simpson, World Affairs Editor at the BBC, once said that trying to predict the future is a mug’s game. He, like many of us, write […]
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12:24 PM | Taiwan Bird Flu: Eating Chicken Is Safe – Raw Raw Raw!
Credit China Times   # 9647   One of last year’s genuinely `bad ideas’ came from Saudi Arabia, where for a time it became a thing to post pictures of people kissing camels in order to prove that `beauty’  did not spread the MERS coronavirus.    While there is no evidence that anyone died from this practice, it nonetheless undermined their public health’s messaging on MERS prevention, which recommends wearing masks and gloves around […]
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12:22 PM | More good news about MRSA. This time from VA.
It's not often that good news about hospital-acquired infections (HAI) is reported in the media. When was the last time you read an article congratulating a hospital for having lower CLABSI rates or good hand hygiene compliance? It's even rarer to hear good news about VA Medical Centers. While the quality of care in VA often meets or exceeds that in the private sector, it's rarely reported, since high quality runs contrary to established memes.That's what's unique about today's 'Opinionator' […]
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