Posts

September 13, 2014

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11:06 PM | Fight to save world’s rarest fish
Conservationists are trying hard to save the Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) from extinction. With less than 100 animals remaining, a captive breeding program was started at the University of California, Berkeley. As you can imagine from the image below, the geographic range of this fish is smaller than other wild vertebrates. They are only found…
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7:58 PM | Success and Failure of Anti-Vaccine Legislative Efforts, 1998-2012
This article was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA. She has written a valuable review of the recently published article, “Power and Persuasion in the Vaccine Debates: An Analysis of Political Efforts and Outcomes in the United States, 1998-2012”. Dr. Reiss writes extensively in law journals about […]Continue reading «Success and […]
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4:56 PM | SCIENCE of BEER!!!
SCIENCE of BEER!!! Is beer the perfect beverage? Let’s see what science says… Subscribe to It’s Okay To Be Smart: http://bit.ly/iotbs_sub ↓ More info and sources below ↓ Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jtotheizzoe Follow on Tumblr: http://www.itsokaytobesmart.com Special thanks to Jester King Brewery in Austin, TX: http://jesterkingbrewery.com/ The chemistry of beer flavors: http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/07/10/beerchemicals/ Uncorking the past,Read More […]
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4:55 PM | Top Papers in Infection Prevention
Last week, Andreas Voss gave a talk on the year's top papers in infection prevention at ICAAC. He graciously allowed us to post his slides to the blog. To see his presentation, click here. Thanks, Andreas!
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2:26 PM | KSA MOH Reiterates Camel Warnings On MERS
Image Credit: A Saudi farmer kisses a young she-camel - Credit: Al Sharq   # 9073   Although it has been a bit slow in coming, the acceptance that there is a strong connection between exposure to camels and contracting the MERS coronavirus seems to have finally taken hold in Saudi Arabia. Six months ago the Ministry of Agriculture was in full denial (see Saudi MOA Spokesman: Camel Link Unproven), and camel kissing briefly surged as an act of defiance.   For many […]
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12:24 PM | The Very Model Of A Modern Major General Public Health Disaster
The Epi Curve from Monrovia   # 9072   In two short weeks we’ve gone from viewing the World Health Organization’s warning that as many as 20,000 people in West Africa could be infected by the Ebola virus as being a worst case scenario, to that being among the more optimistic estimates.    While no one knows for certain how bad things will become, partly because there isn’t a lot of confidence in our understanding of how bad things are now, […]
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11:00 AM | How Temperature Affects People With Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder that presents with myriad of symptoms. The disease causes physical as well as emotional changes in the patients. One peculiar symptom seen in people with MS is their sensitivity to heat. While heat sensitivity is a symptom of many other conditions as well, the exacerbation of the other […]
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10:11 AM | CDC HAN Advisory On EV-D68
    # 9071   The respiratory illness outbreak which was first reported last month in Kansas City & Chicago (see Kansas City Outbreak Identified As HEV 68), and that we’ve been following for more than two weeks (see Enterovirus D-68 (HEV-D68) Update) continues to spread across the nation with confirmed or suspected cases reported now in well over a dozen states, including New York, Iowa, Georgia,and yesterday in  Indiana.   The culprit, a rarely […]
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8:00 AM | News digest – NHS cancer services struggling, 3D-printed tumour, burnt toast and more
Concerns over struggling NHS cancer services, a man 3D prints versions of his own tumour, plus does burnt toast cause cancer?
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4:00 AM | Black Pee Disease Offers New View of Arthritic Joints
When I read the headline of a recent press release – "A new cause of osteoarthritis identified by research on a rare disease" -- I was drawn to "rare disease," even though I actually have osteoarthritis. And when I read “alkaptonuria," I was catapulted back more than a century to the first description of an "inborn error of metabolism.”
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1:56 AM | Excerpt: "ISIL's Abuse of Women and Girls Must Be Stopped"
Catherine M. RussellAmbassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues U.S. Department of StateThe Huffington PostWashington, DCSeptember 12, 2014Excerpts:Beheadings are not the only horrors perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL. Over the past two months, there has been a tragic stream of reports about thousands of women and girls abducted from their families and sold in markets. These violent extremists are attacking their own women and girls. Reports […]

September 12, 2014

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9:31 PM | Grad student receives national award for new insight on alcohol and liver damage
Uduak UdohBy connecting the dots between chronic drinking, molecular clocks, and energy storage patterns, UAB doctoral student Uduak Udoh has identified a potential new approach to target alcoholic liver disease. The work has also earned her a top honor from the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and kudos from former NIAAA director Enoch Gordis, M.D.Udoh, a fifth-year doctoral student in Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine, […]
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8:07 PM | In PTSD, a good night’s sleep means feeling safe
Learning a safety signal in a shock paradigm associated with a better night’s sleep ScicuriousPsychology,Neuroscience by Bethany Brookshire 4:08pm, September 12, 2014 Many people diagnosed with PTSD suffer from problems with getting a good night's sleep. A new study shows that in these patients, sleep problems aren’t linked to reaction to fear, but instead to a […]
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7:25 PM | LabBook September 12, 2014
The enterovirus outbreak, statins to treat cancer, brain machine interfaces and more in this week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians.
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6:29 PM | Ethical dilemmas of giving Ebola drugs to the people who need them most
Although the outbreak is bursting beyond efforts to contain it, and daily finds ways to reach whole new levels of scary (for example, there have been a handful of cases in Lagos, a city the size of New York), …The post Ethical dilemmas of giving Ebola drugs to the people who need them most appeared first on Public Health.
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6:24 PM | One mother’s crusade against antibiotics–it’s complicated
This is a guest post by Karen Ernst, who is the parent-leader of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. Karen is the mother of three boys and the wife of a military officer, living in Minnesota.  I could be the mother-in-charge of the such the […]Continue reading «One mother's crusade against antibiotics–it's complicated»
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6:09 PM | Back to School Biotech Reading List
Genetics and decision-making in drug discovery Part 1: overview ANDDecision-making part 2: Genetics and assays for drug discoveryRobert Plenge (Plenge Lab blog)Biotech's recent examples of why turnover can be an ominous signBrad Loncar (Loncar blog) $ACRX $KINMaking clinical development more investable with “financially adaptive trials”Frank David (Pharmagellan)The Transformation: Is it possible to control cancer without killing it?Jerome Groopman (The New Yorker) […]
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5:04 PM | Mackay On The Prospects (Or Not) Of An Airborne Ebola
    # 9070     Earlier today, in Osterholm: What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, we looked at an Op-Ed by Dr Osterholm, and an interview of Osterholm by Helen Branswell, which discussed the possibility that – over time – the Ebola virus could pick up mutations that would allow it to transmit more readily among humans.    As you might imagine, this has caused a bit of a stir this morning, even though the possibility had been briefly […]
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4:03 PM | Ebola: Could it get worse?
Today's New York Times OpEd section has a provocative and scary piece by Mike Osterholm. It focuses on the possibility that mutations in the Ebola virus could allow the virus to spread via the airborne route. I must admit that I don't know enough virology to comment on the probability of that occurring, but it is sobering to think about the implications of this. He also offers some recommendations for improving the management of the current epidemic.Image:  Jonathon Rosen, New York Times
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3:52 PM | Saudi MOH: 2 New MERS Cases
  # 9069   While our attentions are rightfully focused on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, it wasn’t so many months ago when the MERS Coronavirus on the Arabian peninsula was dominating infectious disease headlines.  Over the past couple of months, we’ve only seen a small trickle of cases reported, but as today’s report from the Saudi MOH shows – the virus hasn’t disappeared entirely.     Given that we are roughly 3 weeks […]
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3:27 PM | ACCESSories
For years, I lived on Lower Flying Point in Freeport, Maine, one of those fingers of land that stretches out into Casco Bay. You can get to Lower Flying Point one of two ways; Flying Point Road off of Bow Street, which is off of Main Street in Freeport (turn right at L.L. Bean) or […]
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2:51 PM | Catching up with Edna Foa: From OCD to Her Latest Degree
Last month, Edna Foa, world renowned for being the creator of prolonged exposure therapy, a treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) whereby patients revisit the traumatic event in order to help them heal, received her second honorary doctorate degree for her work in psychiatry—a career that spans four decades....
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2:21 PM | “Payback Time” cancer campaign mis-step
Here’s the video and some background. It’s a two minute animation currently showing on British TV, in support of an upcoming Channel 4 cancer research fundraising evening, which will be held on 17th October 2014. The cause is impeccable and I’d urge people to support it. Furthermore, the animation is well made and quite striking. […]
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2:20 PM | Image of the Week: DNA Fingerprinting
This week’s image of the week is one for all the detectives out there. It’s an image of the first ever DNA fingerprint, produced almost exactly 30 years ago, by Professor Sir Alex Jeffreys at the University of Leicester. “My life changed on Monday morning at 9.05am, 10th September 1984. What emerged was the world’s […]
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1:15 PM | WHO Ebola Roadmap: SitRep # 3
The Epi Curve from hell – Monrovia   # 9068   Today the World Health Organization has published their third Ebola Roadmap Situation Report, which continues to show the Ebola epidemic spiraling out of control in Western Africa.   The WHO also held a press briefing this morning (which I confess, I’ve not had time to listen to) with even more current numbers.  You’ll find the audio link below:   12 September 2014 virtual press briefing on […]
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12:35 PM | Features of Denialism
Denialism is a thing. What I mean is that denialism is a definable intellectual strategy, with consistent features that tend to cluster together. I first wrote about denialism 12 years ago, before global warming denial made the term more widespread. I pointed out that certain beliefs tend to follow the same fallacious arguments – HIV [...]
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12:15 PM | Osterholm: What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9067   Epidemiologist and CIDRAP director Michael Osterholm, in an editorial that appeared last night in the New York Times, outlines two possible scenarios that `should keep us up at night’  in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, should it not be brought under control soon.  Helen Branswell also published an interview this morning with Osterholm.   The first is that the Ebola virus spreads from West Africa to other developing nations, […]
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12:06 PM | The Science of Addictive Food
The Science of Addictive Food Our health reporter Kelly Crowe looks at the science behind making the food that’s so bad for us taste so good.
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11:57 AM | Have You Fallen Victim to the Guru Effect?
Four years ago a paper by Dan Sperber published in the Review of Philosophy and Psychology coined the term: The Guru Effect – the tendency for people to “judge profound what they have failed to grasp.” The paper examines how self-professed Gurus have a knack for inspiring devotion through speaking…
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11:30 AM | WHO: Cuba To Lend 165 HCWs To The Ebola Fight
      # 9066   From the World Health Organization, an announcement that Cuba will be sending 165 doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and other health specialties to West Africa’s hot zone, with most of these resources going to Sierra Leone.   WHO welcomes Cuban doctors for Ebola response in west Africa Statement 12 September 2014 WHO welcomes the commitment from the Government of Cuba to provide 165 health professionals to support Ebola […]
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