Posts

August 29, 2014

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3:36 PM | The Social Brain: Weekend Reading Links
The theme for September Brain Posts will be human attachment and social neuroscience research.Here are a series of relevant links to abstracts on this topic that I will be reviewing.All abstract links are to manuscripts that have free full-text access.These highlighted abstracts are culled from over 100 recent publications abstracts I reviewed on this topic.To access the abstract, click on the topic title and you will be sent to the PubMed link.For U.S. readers, Happy Labor Day!The photo on […]
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3:24 PM | Image of the week: Ebola
This week’s image is of a sculpture of the Ebola virus, created by artist Luke Jerram. It is an unusual, and artistic, take on Ebola. With the virus continuing to spread in West Africa and the responses from the global health community regularly in the news, we’ve found that journalists and health writers have been […]
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2:09 PM | The promise and challenges of e-cigarettes – the story continues to unfold
A lot's changed since we last blogged about e-cigarettes - so what does the latest evidence show?
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1:35 PM | The CDC whistleblower William W. Thompson: Final (for now) roundup and epilogue
It is as I had feared. I must do one more post on a story that I’ve been blogging about for one solid week now. Hopefully after this, I will be able to move on to other topics last week, but after spending this whole week writing just about this, I figured, “What the heck?…
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12:53 PM | Cancer and depression – why it matters, and what can be done to help
Depression is an important but largely under-recognised problem for people with cancer, but a new treatment programme could improve quality of life for patients
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12:51 PM | Senegal Reports 1st Imported Case Of Ebola
UPDATED: 10:00 Hrs EDT   The AP is now reporting this patient is a young man who appears to have been the subject of epidemiological surveillance team who were doing contact tracing of Ebola cases in Guinea, but he evaded them and crossed the border into Senegal.  The patient sought medical care earlier this week in Dakar after falling ill, and told doctors he’d had contact with Ebola cases. His tests have come back positive for the virus and the WHO have […]
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12:00 PM | A Touch to Fear: Chiropractic and the Newborn Baby
A significant part of my job as a pediatric hospitalist involves caring for newborns. It is arguably the best thing that I get to do as a physician, even if I do at times prefer the increased intellectual stimulation of the ill hospitalized child. While seeing newborns, I am almost always surrounded by happy and […]
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10:10 AM | WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report # 1
# 9017   This morning the World Health Organization has released as 7 page PDF SitRep (Situation Report) on the Ebola Outbreak in Western Africa.   This comes one day after releasing their Ebola Response Roadmap, which calls for a massive international effort and nearly 500 million dollars to respond to the crisis.   A few excerpts from the report, but follow the link to download and read it in its entirety.     WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap […]
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8:59 AM | Kansas City Outbreak Identified As HEV 68
Credit CDC – Non Polio-Enteroviruses     # 9016   Local media reports (see Unusual respiratory virus strikes metro kids) from Kansas City, Mo. indicate that a rarely seen – and not yet well understood – respiratory virus called HEV 68 (Human Enterovirus 68) has sickened hundreds of kids in the region this week, and that the local Children’s Hospital is unusually at full census in late August. Without specifying the pathogen, […]
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7:00 AM | Why mitochondrial donation is not about making ‘designer babies’
The UK Government is considering legalising a specialised form of IVF called mitochondrial donation, which aims to prevent potentially fatal mitochondrial disease. As Parliament prepares to debate the issue on […]
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1:11 AM | Biotech Reading List
How even a ridiculous, fake tweet can move stocks these daysBrad Loncar (Loncar Blog) $ICPTDIY Diagnosis: How an Extreme Athlete Uncovered Her Genetic FlawEd Yong (Pacific Standard)The Cancer Drug That Almost Wasn'tScience. $PFEAlso see companion write-up from In the Pipeline blog.The rise of the seemingly serious but “just for entertainment purposes” medical appBrian Dolan (Mobi Health News)Coke Confronts its Big Fat ProblemClaire Suddath and Duane Stanford (Bloomberg […]
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12:15 AM | Cancer Patient Shows Us Radiation Therapy through a Different Lens
Thomas Ashley, a seasoned Philadelphia filmmaker, has a message for anyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the prospect of undergoing radiation therapy: It's not as scary as it seems. He's telling his story in the form of a new video he produced that documents his own experience as a...

August 28, 2014

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11:40 PM | The fictional CDC coverup of vaccines and autism–movie time
Earlier this week, I and about 20-30 other pro-science bloggers wrote articles about a strange story, pushed by all of the usual suspects in the antivaccine universe (starting with Natural News, Green Med Info, and the Age of Lying about Autism). Despite new information, press releases, claims and counter claims, nothing has changed in the facts […]Continue reading «The fictional CDC coverup of vaccines and autism–movie time»
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9:45 PM | Give Directly-Observed Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring a Chance
As I've said before, "It's amazing how little evidence is required before infection prevention interventions are adopted." This phenomenon is particularly evident in the setting of automated hand hygiene monitoring systems. Few trials have been completed that have assessed the efficacy, effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of these systems, at least as of our recent systematic review.  However, it appears that many facilities are purchasing these systems anyway. Why is this?It appears that […]
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7:39 PM | Chasing an Ebola Strain: A Q&A with Researcher Dr. Jonathan Lai
There are five known species (or strains) of the deadly Ebola virus. Dr. Jonathan Lai, associate professor of biochemistry at Einstein, recently developed new antibodies that could one day be used as a therapy for the Sudan ebolavirus strain.  The Doctor’s Tablet recently sat down with Dr. Lai to discuss his latest study; his ongoing [...]
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7:30 PM | Study: Ebola Virus Is Rapidly Evolving
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9015   One of the concerns we have when any zoonotic virus spills over into the human population is that over time, as it passes from one person to the next, it could pick up host adaptations – mutations – that could make the virus a greater threat over time.   In the laboratory, researchers will often conduct serial passage experiments (see Serial Passage Of H5N2 In Mice) to observe these evolutionary changes, and try to figure out what […]
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6:27 PM | Visceral leishmaniasis-HIV coinfection: Time for Concerted Action
In 2013, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases decided to dedicate a special collection to VL-HIV co-infection. With Ed Zijlstra, Asrat Hailu, and myself as guest editors, they sent out a call for papers. Today the Visceral Leishmaniasis-HIV Collection is launched, …The post Visceral leishmaniasis-HIV coinfection: Time for Concerted Action appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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6:10 PM | The Science Of Mountain Climbing!
The Science Of Mountain Climbing! Mountain climbing is one of the most difficult sports, but it can be very rewarding. Trace is here today to discuss all of the aspects of climbing. Read More: Into Thin Air: Mountain Climbing Kills Brain Cells http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/brain-cells-into-thin-air/ “IN THE LATE 1890s in a laboratory atop a 4,554-meter peak inRead More »
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6:07 PM | Kidney Organ Allocation in the USA - Upcoming Changes!
This is a short video describing the current and new policies regarding deceased donor kidney allocation in the USA. These policies may significantly affect certain groups of patients and physicians must be aware of those in order to best represent their patients. For more details, also check prior blog.Link for the video here
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6:00 PM | Brain Zaps Boost Memory
Researchers who study memory have had a thrilling couple of years. Some have erased memories in people with electroshock therapy, …
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5:41 PM | Another reason to admire the naked mole rat
The naked mole rat is the longest lived rodent species (>31 years). Unlike most mammals, they seem resistant to many age-associated ailments until much later in life, making them an exciting model of healthy aging. They are also resistant to the development of cancer as mentioned in this prior post. According to the CDC, cardiovascular…
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5:23 PM | Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis
A recent renal consult I encountered was a Cantonese gentleman with a classical symptomatic history for Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis (HPP). He presented with a serum K of 1.4 mmol/l and profound weakness. Initially beginning in his teenage years, he had intermittent attacks of weakness lasting hours and affecting proximal muscle groups. Emergency department admissions invariably revealed low serum K.Many of us will know the classical features to look for in the history:High risk Asian […]
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5:07 PM | UK Govt. Strongly Advises Against Travel To Sierra Leone, Liberia & Guinea
Source OCHA   # 9014     A change in the advice  by the UK’s Foreign Office today now advises against all but essential travel to the three primary Ebola-stricken nations, and warns that as conditions deteriorate and air service to the region diminishes, it may become increasingly difficult for people to leave.     Foreign Office Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia travel advice update Published 28 August 2014 The UK has changed its travel […]
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4:51 PM | The Role of Culture in Health
Each year, the University of Pennsylvania sponsors a series of events throughout its campus focusing on a central theme chosen by faculty, staff and students. The focal point of the 2014-2015 academic year is Health. The Year of Health was chosen, in part, because of the national focus on health-care...
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4:41 PM | The Fix for Bad Slides: MORE SLIDES!
I love this slide-show about breaking dense slides into "layers of slides." I have been trying to get some colleagues to do something like this for awhile. Enjoy and please take this advice! by JonathanSchwabish.
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4:19 PM | Superfoods and breast cancer: Study takes a closer look at broccoli and green tea
Could a combination of broccoli sprouts and green tea offer protection against breast cancer — and transform hard-to-treat breast tumors into a type that responds to medication?A series of studies in the lab of UAB biologist Trygve Tollefsbol, Ph.D., D.O., have generated encouraging findings. Tollefsbol, who is also a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, has shown that mice given sprouts in their chow and green tea polyphenols in their water are protected against tumor […]
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4:16 PM | The immortality enzyme? Telomerase fights aging, fuels cancer
In a lab in the heart of Campbell Hall, UAB biologist Trygve Tollefsbol, Ph.D., D.O., stores the secret to immortality.Trygve Tollefsbol is a renowned expert on telomerase, an enzyme thatplays crucial roles in determining our lifespans and fueling cancer growth.Telomerase, the enzyme in question, is a quirky character. Even though it is dormant most of the time, it appears to play a key role in all three of Tollefsbol’s main research interests: aging, cancer, and […]
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3:40 PM | Gambler Sub-types: Three Distinct Profiles
One method to advance understanding of a disorder is to use statistical modeling for sub-type or class analysis.Lia Nower and colleagues recently published the results of such an analysis from the large general population data-set known as the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).In this sample, 851 adults 18 years and older were identified with disordered gambling.This group then underwent a type of latent class statistical analysis known as the […]
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2:13 PM | Bt and Leukemia – Another Anti-GMO Myth
The headline of an article on the Organic Consumers Association proclaims, “New Study Links GMO Food To Leukemia.” The same article trumpets the thoroughly discredited Seralini study. The claim is not true, but is part of a pattern of behavior that is depressingly familiar. The pattern is not unique to anti-GMO activism. In fact, it [...]
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2:01 PM | NIH To Launch Trials On Ebola Vaccine Candidate
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9014   The story has been filtering through the news wires for a couple of hours, but the embargo has just come off the following NIH press release, which outlines the plans for testing this (and other) experimental vaccine candidates.   NIH to Launch Human Safety Study of Ebola Vaccine Candidate Trial is First in Series of Accelerated Safety Studies of Ebola Vaccines Embargoed for Release: Thursday, August 28, 2014, 9:30 a.m. EDT   […]
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