Posts

October 24, 2014

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2:50 PM | The Many Interacting Worlds Hypothesis
Howard Wiseman, a theoretical quantum physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and his colleagues have come up with an entirely new theory to explain the weird behavior of particles at the quantum level. The idea is that quantum effects result from classical universes interacting with each other. Classical physics is essentially the physics of [...]
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2:21 PM | COCA Call: Approaches to Clinical Management for Patients with Ebola
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9244   With a second imported case of Ebola now in a New York hospital, and the potential for seeing more cases arrive in the coming months, the COCA Call held earlier this week on the clinical management of Ebola patients comes at an opportune time.   Primarily of interest to clinicians, the CDC holds frequent COCA (Clinician Outreach Communication Activity) calls which are designed to ensure that practitioners have up-to-date information for […]
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1:00 PM | Tough Prep for #NaNoWriMo
I am doing some preparatory work for my novel writing efforts in November, in particular coming up with the characters for my story. You would be surprised how difficult making up names for these folks can be. This book will be dramatic, filled with intrigue and danger. I can’t call the bad guy Dr. Evil […]
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12:50 PM | Roundabout RNA: How Circular RNAs Form
Penn scientists are at the forefront of exploring and pushing back the boundaries of the bewilderingly complex world of RNA.And, Jeremy Wilusz, PhD, a new faculty member in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, is adding to that knowledge with a recently published paper in Genes & Development on circular RNAs.
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12:00 PM | Your Friday Dose of Woo: Just what acupuncture needs. Holograms. And more quantum.
It’s been a bit of a depressing week. I suppose it’s not any more depressing than usual, with the usual unending stream of pseudoscience, quackery (particularly of the Ebola type), and, of course, antivaccine nonsense to deal with. Then, as I’m writing yet another in a long line of unfunded grants, I find out that…
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12:00 PM | The “It’s All Good!” Fallacy of Complementary and Alternative Medicine…..
  As a young mother comforts her feverish and uncomfortable infant, a doctor enters the dimly lit exam room. The child’s mother and the bedside nurse look at him expectantly. “I’ve got the results. There is an infection in your son’s spinal fluid, which was one of the things we discussed as a possible cause of his high fever and irritablity,” the physician explains to the now […]
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11:56 AM | Coming ever closer – first PARP inhibitor on track to be licensed in Europe
Olaparib is the first PARP inhibitor to move closer to licensing in Europe. What is it, how does it work, and when will it be available in the UK?
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11:00 AM | It’s time to Cross Cancer Out – our General Election campaign
Cancer is a national issue. It affects families up and down the country. So we need to make sure that more cancers are diagnosed earlier and that everyone in the UK with a diagnosis receives the best treatment.
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11:00 AM | Exercise Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Physical activity is a holistic strategy for increasing overall health and lowering disease risk among a wide range of individuals, and people with neurological conditions can benefit from them too. The benefits of physical activity for individuals with, or at risk of, dementia are not particularly well known to the general public. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) […]
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10:50 AM | MSF Protocols For Volunteers Returning From Ebola Stricken Nations
MSF health staff in protective clothing constructing perimeter for isolation ward. Credit CDC Ebola Webpage   # 9243   Even though we are just beginning to learn the details about New York City’s Ebola case – that of a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) volunteer doctor recently returned from Guinea – already the media are attempting to dissect his movements (see WPIX report NYC doctor rode subway before testing positive for Ebola at Bellevue) over […]
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9:30 AM | Homeopathy Awareness Day: Post-Mortem
Homeopathy is the low-hanging fruit from the perennial tree of irrationality. This year, in order to draw awareness to its ludicrous claims, I published an article in the Prince Arthur Herald and a video on this site. The response was predictable. While the content received plenty of positive feedback and dissemination, a couple of proponents of … Continue reading →
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8:38 AM | Image of the Week: Science Makes You Happy
science makes you happy (Pharrell Williams) from KEMRI WELLCOME TRUST RES. PRO on Vimeo. This week we’re taking a departure from our usual static image of the week to bring you a moving image of happiness! As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the KEMRI-Wellcome Research Programme in Kenya, the team wanted to express […]
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4:45 AM | CDC Statement: Ebola Case Tests Positive In NYC
Credit CDC PHIL     # 9242   A not altogether unexpected statement this evening, given the media reports of this Healthcare Workers symptoms and recent work in Ebola stricken Guinea, but this evening the CDC has announced that local testing indicates he has been infected with the Ebola virus.   Confirmatory testing should come from the CDC in the coming hours, but there seems little doubt in the matter. The epidemiological investigation is already underway, […]
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4:00 AM | Eman’s Emails from Liberia: Through September
Emmanuel Gokpolu, who lives in Liberia, calls me Mom, although he has a wonderful real mother. In Africa, family isn’t only about DNA. Eman contacted me in 2007, after using my human genetics textbook in college. My husband Larry and I had been putting him through medical school in Monrovia -- until Ebola happened. Now the funds go for gloves, long sleeve shirts, detergents, food and medicine, to keep Eman and his family, including his almost-one-year-old son, Larry, safe. This week […]
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3:28 AM | Excerpt: Child Maltreatment Alters Hormone Levels Linked to Obesity
Children who are maltreated may be at an increased risk of obesity and inflammatory disorders because of low levels of leptin—a hormone involved in regulating appetite, according to new research from King's College London.Dr. Andrea Danese, from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre and the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's, who led the study, said: "Previous studies […]
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2:29 AM | Morebola
The news tonight about Dr. Craig Spencer, an MSF volunteer who recently returned from caring for Ebola patients in Guinea, is sobering for several reasons. There are many details to come, but I thought I’d post a few quick initial thoughts (or reminders) about how this tragic development should, or shouldn’t, change the way we think about the Ebola virus outbreak:This outbreak is occurring in West Africa. Not in the US. West Africa. The level of hysteria in the US is directly […]
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2:10 AM | Biotech Reading List
Compound Properties: Starting a RenunciationDerek Lowe (In the Pipeline)The Empire of Edge: How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.Patrick Radden Keefe (The New Yorker)Cellular Immunotherapy & Unum Therapeutics: Out of Many, OneBruce Booth (LifeSci VC)Great perspective along with the news of another entrant into the CAR-T space along with Novartis, Kite, Juno, etc.Authors retract green coffee bean diet paper touted by […]

October 23, 2014

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9:45 PM | Reuters: Mali Reports 1st Confirmed Ebola Case
  # 9241   Although this case has been on the radar for a couple of days (see FluTrackers thread), according to Reuters Mali’s Health Minister has confirmed that country’s first case of Ebola.   First case of Ebola confirmed in Mali - health minister Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:32pm GMT BAMAKO Oct 23 (Reuters) - Mali said on Thursday it had detected its first confirmed case of Ebola, making it the sixth West African country to be touched by the worst […]
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7:56 PM | NYC Health Dept Statement On Symptomatic HCW From Guinea
  UPDATED:  Added a statement from Doctors without Borders (MSF).  16:50 hrs EDT   # 9240   Normally I don’t report on suspected cases of Ebola since most will turn out to be false alarms, but since it is already all over the media, and the New York City Department of Health has issued a statement, I’ve reproduced it here.   Statement on Patient at Bellevue Hospital October 23rd, 3:05 pm Today, EMS HAZ TAC Units […]
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7:00 PM | WHO: Locally Acquired Chikungunya In France
Credit ECDC – Aedes Albopictus (Red & Yellow regions)   # 9239   Although it isn’t the first time that local transmission of the Chikungunya virus has been reported in Europe, today’s World Health Organization DON (Disease Outbreak News) report of autochthonous transmission of this mosquito-borne virus Southeastern France is still noteworthy.    Chikungunya – until 2005 – was an obscure virus pretty much limited to causing […]
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6:00 PM | New Microscope Puts the Life Back in Biology (with Videos!)
Life moves. Or more precisely, as neuroscientist Eric Betzig and his colleagues put it in today’s issue of …
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4:32 PM | Why people with Down syndrome invariably develop Alzheimer’s disease
How beta-amyloid plaques are made in individuals with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's pateints.
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4:13 PM | Uses expand for drug developed at UChicago
It took 29 years, but the FDA finally approved a drug developed at UChicago to provide relief for patients taking powerful pain relievers.
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3:59 PM | Homeopathy Is Not Scientific
The Prince Arthur Herald, a McGill University student publication, has just published a short piece I wrote on homeopathy. Here is an excerpt: “In the mid-2000s, semi-isolated acts of “suicide by homeopathy” were performed as demonstrations of the lack of efficacy of this antiquated belief system, culminating in the Liverpudlian 10:23 challenge which extended this act … Continue reading →
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3:13 PM | Why Ebola Is a Wake Up for Infection Control
Just as the CDC’s and other experts’ thoughts on Ebola and infection control have evolved with experience, mine have taken a slight twist as well. Given the missteps at Dallas’s Texas Presbyterian Hospital, which could have occurred in any community, I now agree with the current recommendations to centralize care in specialty centers. My perspective [...]
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3:13 PM | Research Ethics and Ebola
Every day we learn of new suspected cases of Ebola infection in the United States, causing worries among the population and renewed efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contain the epidemic. A student in the postgraduate course in research ethics that I teach at Einstein recently asked whether we could discuss [...]
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2:20 PM | Smartphone App Boosts Alcoholism Treatment Outcome
Smartphone apps and other mobile technology are emerging as promising tools in medical treatment.A recent randomized study published in JAMA Psychiatry found evidence that a smartphone app improves alcoholism treatment outcomes.David Gustafson and colleagues conducted a study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.A series of 349 adults with DSM-IV alcohol dependence were enrolled as they entered a alcoholism residential treatment program.Approximately half of the […]
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2:14 PM | ECDC: Management Of Contacts Of Ebola Virus Disease Cases In The EU
  # 9339   One of the `moving targets’ in the global public health response to Ebola has been what constitutes a `low risk exposure’ vs.  a `high risk exposure’, and what kind of monitoring, or movement restrictions, are appropriate.     Previously, we’ve looked at the CDC’s original guidance (see CDC Issues New Ebola Case Definitions)  along with some of updates (see CDC Updated Interim Guidance On Ebola) over […]
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1:34 PM | WHO Statement On 3rd Meeting Of IHR Emergency Committee On Ebola
Credit WHO Ebola Roadmap #7   # 9238   Yesterday the World Health Organization’s IHR Emergency Committee met to discuss the ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa.     Today the WHO issued the following statement, which – among other things – reiterates their opposition to any general ban on international travel or trade with the affected nations, and calls for continued and strengthened exit screening travelers leaving the affected […]
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1:27 PM | Eman’s Emails from Liberia: Through September
Emmanuel Gokpolu, who lives in Liberia, calls me Mom, although he has a wonderful real mother. In Africa, family isn’t only about DNA. Eman contacted me in 2007, after using my human genetics textbook in college. My husband Larry and I had been … Continue reading »The post Eman’s Emails from Liberia: Through September appeared first on DNA Science Blog.
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