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Posts

April 15, 2014

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10:54 PM | That beard is only hot because it’s not cool
A new study suggests that rarity increases the attractiveness of facial hair ScicuriousPsychology by Bethany Brookshire 7:01pm, April 15, 2014 James Harden of the Houston Rockets might earn some of his attractiveness from his beard as well as his ball-handling skills.Game Face/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)Every hipster knows that something is only cool before it becomes […]
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9:01 PM | Cable guys: Inside UAB's high-tech, custom-built approach to eye science
This machine, designed and built by UAB vision researcher Crawford Downs, is producing ultra-clear images of a key structure implicated in glaucoma, the world's second leading cause of blindness. The miracle of sight relies on a masterpiece of wiring. More than a million individual nerve cells scattered around the eye convert visual information into electricity. Then these individual cells are bundled together at the back of the eye into the optic nerve, which carries the signal to the […]
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8:41 PM | Highlights from the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells & Reprogramming
I recently attended the joint Keystone Symposium “Stem Cells & Reprogramming” and “Engineering Cell Fate & Function” at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek. In addition to gorgeous weather, there was an amazing lineup of talks demonstrating the power and promise of stem cells and cell/tissue engineering. Here are just a few of the highlights from the meetings:  … Read more
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8:40 PM | A Look Behind Low Vaccination Rates in Chicago-area Schools
Pediatric infectious disease expert Allison Bartlett talks to NBC 5 about the surprisingly low vaccination rates in Chicago-area schools.
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6:03 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 5 More MERS Cases In Jeddah (1 Fatality)
    # 8479   The Saudi Ministry of Health has announced another 5 MERS cases from Jeddah today, including one death.  Three of the cases are described as Health Care Workers, and of those, two are asymptomatic.    Today’s announcement moves the Jeddah cluster to more than 30 cases, and if local Arabic press reports are to believed, there may be more announcements coming.   Health: 5 registered cases of HIV (Corona) in Jeddah 06/15/1435 […]
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5:01 PM | Usefulness of my article alert…
Dear readers, I have a simple question for you today: Do you find my posts entitled “Cerebrovascular Physiology – Article alert” useful or should I relay this information on twitter ? Your feedback would be appreciated! Many thanks !Filed under: Uncategorized
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3:43 PM | Religious Belief and Depression Resilience
Identifying risk factors for brain disorders is a key element in clinical research.Understanding protective or resilience factors for brain disorders is also important and receiving increased attention in clinical research.Factors that promote resilience to brain disorders may come from a variety of domains. Religious belief is one domain receiving attention as a potential resilience factor.Miller and colleagues recently published a longitudinal study of religious belief and risk for major […]
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3:07 PM | UAE Announces 3 More MERS-CoV Cases
@WHO Twitter feed this morning.   # 8478   The World Health Organization telegraphed this announcement  earlier this morning (see tweet graphic above), and I expect we’ll get more information from a GAR DON update in short order, but in the meantime we have this report from KUNA – the Kuwait News Agency.   All three cases are apparently asymptomatic contacts of a previous case, discovered during the epidemiological investigation. Hopefully […]
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1:13 PM | MERS And Loathing In The UAE
  Photo Credit http://www.24.ae/   # 8477   The headline in the photo above says quite clearly what is all-too-apparent when monitoring Arabic twitter feeds discussing the MERS coronavirus; regardless of government assurances that everything is `stable’, the level of anxiety in the UAE (and elsewhere in the Middle East) has been on the rise over the past week.    Parents are keeping their children out of school, masks are being worn in public (and are […]
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1:09 PM | Using the Penn High Performance Computing Cluster to Unravel the Spider’s Web
Uncovering the genomic architecture of spider silk genes wasn’t top of mind for Benjamin Voight, PhD, when he first came to Penn a few years ago. But he and postdoctoral researcher Paul Babb are now deep into sequencing the whole genomes of two spider species: a Golden Silk Orb Weaver and Darwin's Bark Spider.
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12:24 PM | Why We Need a Skeptical Movement
Skeptics tend (as they should) to question everything, even the need for a movement of self-identified skeptics. It is an interesting question – what is the net cultural effect of organized scientific skepticism? Of course, we can’t really ever know the answer to this question. There are too many moving parts. We could point to [...]
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12:00 PM | Videos: A (Very) Close Look Inside the Zebrafish Brain
About a year ago I wrote a story about the hottest new animal model in neuroscience: baby zebrafish. …
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10:30 AM | Dieting Deafness Away
I’m sure some of you have heard of London-based undertaker William Banting (1797-1878), who was the first to popularize a low-carb diet that formed the basis of modern-day diets (think Atkins). Banting was an upper middle-class funeral director whose family … Continue reading →
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10:28 AM | OpenSciLogs – A Glimpse of the Future of Science Blogging
Guest blog post by Paige Brown, SciLogs.com blogging manager and Ph.D. student in the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.  Read more
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10:02 AM | EID Journal: MERS Coronavirus In A Saudi Dromedary Herd
Photo Credit Wikipedia   # 8476   Over the past eight months we’ve seen a number of studies linking camels and the MERS virus, starting last August with Lancet: Camels Found With Antibodies To MERS-CoV-Like Virus, and continuing in December with The Lancet: Identification Of MERS Virus In Camels, and most recently with EID Journal: MERS Coronaviruses in Dromedary Camels, Egypt.   While the precise mechanism by which the MERS Coronavirus has come to infect […]
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10:00 AM | CRTKL: Homeopathy and Ritalin
If you missed my talk entitled “CRTKL: The Critical Reasoning Tool Kit Lecture”, here’s a clip from it: Continue reading →
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8:00 AM | Consciousness as Social Perception (BSP 108)
Michal Graziano and Kevin (click image to play interview) In his latest book Consciousness and the Social Brain  Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano proposes a unique and compelling theory of consciousness. He proposes that the same circuits that the human brain uses to attribute awareness to others are used to model self-awareness. He emphasizes that his attention schema theory is only tentative, but it is […]
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7:39 AM | Patients, doctors embracing alternative medicine in battle against cancer? Not so much.
In the well over nine years that I’ve been blogging, there’s one tried and true, completely reliable topic to blog about, one that I can almost always find. I’m referring, of course, to the credulous news story about pseudoscience. The pseudoscience can be quackery, creationism, anthropogenic global warming denialist arguments, or whatever; inevitably, there will…
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7:00 AM | Risk of Intussusception with Rotavirus Vaccines
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and children worldwide, leading to more than half a million deaths each year in children under the age of 5. Before the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, almost all children in the US were infected by the age of 5, and rotavirus infections were responsible […]
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12:19 AM | Events
Grab your calendar, plan ahead — biotech events through June, including the annual BIO Convention.  Read more

April 14, 2014

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7:26 PM | More Photos from Around Penn Medicine
In late February, Penn Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Center joined forces with the City of Philadelphia to wrap up American Heart Month by offering free cardiovascular screenings for city employees. The screenings, which included blood pressure screenings, cardiac risk assessments, peripheral vascular screening and abdominal aortic aneurysm screens, are preventive...
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6:14 PM | Join us for the National High-5-A-Thon for Cancer Research
Thursday, April 17, 2014, is the National High-5-A-Thon for Cancer Research. Join in the celebration and show your support for the incredible work being done to fight cancer here at Sanford-Burnham! Take a photo or shoot a video of how you participate in the National High-5-A-Thon and post it on Facebook or Twitter using the hash tag #NH5D and @sanfordburnham.
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5:49 PM | Postcards (aka Sketchnotes) from Texas
As I reported in my last post, I was off to the Texas Library Association’s annual conference in San Antonio last week. In a nutshell, it was a terrific meeting. As I usually spend my meeting and conference times with other medical, science, and/or academic librarians, the chance to mix and mingle with LOTS of […]
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5:03 PM | WHO GAR Update On MERS-CoV – KSA & UAE – April 14th
Photo Credit WHO   # 8475   The World Health Organization has posted an update this afternoon covering some (but not all) of the recently announced MERS cases from the Middle East.    Not included are the 6 paramedics infected in the UAE (see UAE Ministry Of Interior Announces 6 MERS-CoV Cases (1 Fatality)), yesterday’s Yemen Reports 1st MERS-CoV Case, or cases reported from Saudi Arabia over the past 48 hours.   Earlier today the Saudi MOH […]
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4:37 PM | Hepatitis C cure on the Horizon: Implications for Nephrology
You have probably noticed the flurry of articles published this week in the NEJM, coinciding with the International Liver Congress meeting in London, reporting incredible results with new direct-acting antiviral agentsin Hepatitis C. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest medical stories of the year and a triumph for science, coming just 25 years after the discovery of the RNA virus. The studies were in patients with genotype 1 HCV although apparently the response is equally as good in other […]
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3:56 PM | EU Tobacco Products Directive: 10 reasons why it’s good news for public health
In a guest post, Linda McAvan MEP outlines what the EU Tobacco Products Directive is and what it means for public health.
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3:42 PM | The Molecular Future of Neurosurgery
A recent symposium delved into how neurosurgeons plan to move beyond scalpels and steel to treating brain conditions with viruses, genes and proteins.
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3:30 PM | I Got Rhythm, I Got Kidneys
Did you know that kidneys can tell time? Don’t trash your watch just yet. This phenomenon involves relative time, not what the clock says. A number of nephro-centric body functions vary throughout the day. Blood pressure normally dips at night, and salt and water excretion also drop while we sleep. When the latter gets dysregulated, […]
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3:12 PM | Learning from the South: influenza immunization in pregnancy
Writing from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jocalyn Clark celebrates the impact of a paper by Bangladeshi researchers on Western medical provision. When two worlds collide in global health it can be a marvelous thing. Take for example the fact that although countries …The post Learning from the South: influenza immunization in pregnancy appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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1:59 PM | Saudi Govt. Prohibits `Unauthorized’ Media Coverage Of MERS
    # 8474   Earlier today in The Battle To Control Online MERS Messaging, I wrote about attempts by the Saudi and UAE governments to control the flow of information in the media, and on twitter, regarding their MERS outbreaks.   It now appears that the Saudi Government has decided to impose even more restrictions on media coverage, by restricting the media to only publishing `official’ statements from the MOH. Two reports.  First from the […]
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