Posts

February 19, 2015

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10:36 AM | Soft Drink Caramel Color Increases Cancer Risk
ByThe Toombst   New research finds that a byproduct from the manufacturing of caramel color increases cancer risk of consumers of one or more cans of soda per day. All over the world people drink a lot of soft drinks. Regularly drinking these sugary drinks negatively affect your health. Sodas increase the risk of diabetes as well as the risk of obesity which can cause other diseases. Even if the calories themselves might be cause for concern, sugary drinks also contain other compounds […]
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9:00 AM | In which I am called an astroturfer and generously offered a chance at unconditional surrender by antivaccine cranks
Ever since the Disneyland measles outbreak hit high gear last month and permeated the national consciousness, the antivaccine movement has, justifiably, been on the defensive. We’ve been treated to the spectacle of a truly despicable cardiologist spewing antivaccine nonsense with an added dollop of contempt for parents of children with cancer who are worried about…
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6:00 AM | 2015 NHIS Report on Complementary Health Approaches (whatever that means)
Back in 2004, data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) appeared in a report titled “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults: United States, 2002.” It showed a whopping 62% of adults had used CAM in the past 12 months, but only if prayer for health reasons was included. With prayer excluded, the […]
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12:10 AM | No Peaceful Slumber: Brain Mitochondria Help Hibernating Squirrels Cope with Stress
Congratulations to Mallory Ballinger, a graduate student from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, who is the 2015 recipient of the Dr. Dolittle Travel Award! The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding graduate student or postdoctoral fellow involved in comparative and evolutionary research and to provide assistance for them to attend the annual American Physiological Society…

February 18, 2015

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10:34 PM | Inflammation, Acupuncture, and HPA axis: Faulty Science Clouds Understanding
In the wake of my recent critique of acupuncture being touted as a remedy for allergic rhinitis, I was pointed (via a Twitter comment) towards a 2013 review in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which purported to propose a mechanism for the much-claimed anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture. There are several putative mechanisms, discussing all of which will make this post gargantuan. Therefore, I shall focus on the explanation involving the […]
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10:30 PM | Resource Alert: Children, Homelessness & Mental Health Services
By: Sharon E. ChinThe alarming increase in the sheer number of homeless children and youth within the past few years requires a closer look at the population and their needs. This raises questions like: What are the needs of homeless children? What programs are currently available to them, and are their services being used by their intended audiences? Are the programs effective?When considering the mental health of out of home people, the American Psychological Association (APA) states that […]
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9:06 PM | Elizabeth Warren schools the vaccine deniers
Elizabeth Warren, Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a liberal Democratic politician who is a darling of the American progressives. She came to the forefront while serving as a professor of Law at Harvard University, advocating for changes in financial regulation to benefit consumers. However, this article isn’t going to be about Senator Warren’s […]Continue reading «Elizabeth Warren schools the vaccine deniers»
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7:18 PM | Will Google’s new health search function change the way we manage health?
  Google says that one in twenty searches is for health information (1). For many people, the Internet has become the first port of call when a strange symptom, the common cold, or morbid curiosity in the ‘Google Images’ bar … Continue reading »The post Will Google’s new health search function change the way we manage health? appeared first on Public Health.
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7:13 PM | Book Review: What Cancer Teaches Us About Ourselves
Seth M. Holmes from University of California Berkeley and Molly Hales from University of California San Francisco and Berkeley review Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us by S. Lochlann Jain. Much as we might want to render cancer an external threat to … Continue reading »The post Book Review: What Cancer Teaches Us About Ourselves appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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5:39 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 New MERS Case, 2 Recoveries, 3 Deaths
  # 9726   We’ve the first single-digit MERS report in over a week, with only one new case reported in Khobar, which has been dealing with an extended healthcare related outbreak.    Over the past week three Healthcare workers have been reportedly infected in Khobar, along with several non-HCW hospital contacts.    While nosocomial infections have accounted for about a third of this recent surge, most of the cases reported this month are […]
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4:53 PM | Seasonal flu vaccine induces antibodies that protect against H7N9 avian flu
A new study co-led by Patrick Wilson, PhD, associate professor of medicine, identifies antibodies that neutralize H7N9 avian flu and other influenza strains. Where did they find these antibodies? From individuals with seasonal flu vaccinations.
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4:53 PM | Exercise Guidelines in Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease
A series of seven guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has recently been published.These guidelines resulted from a conference of experts in nutrition and the brain.The guidelines included a recommendation for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.Support for this exercise recommendation by experts was linked to 2 areas of research:Observational studies show lower rates of AD in regular exercise groups compared to sedentary groupsA single clinical trial found […]
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3:02 PM | Choosing Between Suffering and Death
Death can sometimes be a better treatment than any other forms of medicine or surgery. Yet, why are people still unable to live the final days the way they want? Join Jane. E Brody from The New York Times as she finds out more. ...
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2:29 PM | Networks of Genome Data Will Transform Medicine | MIT Technology Review
Networks of Genome Data Will Transform Medicine | MIT Technology Review
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1:58 PM | Referral: VDU Blog On Closure Of Guangdong’s Live Markets
Credit FAO     # 9725   Amid news of another H7N9 case reported from Guangdong Province (see CHP notified of additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong),  Dr. Ian Mackay weighs in with a blog on the importance of closing live bird markets (LBMs)  in China in order to reduce the spread of the virus.   Follow the link to read:   Guangdong sees sense among the feathers... Guangdong province in southern China is suspending […]
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1:17 PM | Reporting Research Misconduct
Perhaps one of the greatest threats to the enterprise of Science-Based Medicine is research fraud and misconduct. Rigorous research methods can be used to minimize the effects of bias, but when those methods themselves are the problem there is no easy fix. Related to this is the need for transparency. When fraud or misconduct is […]
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1:02 PM | JCI: Preexisting Human Antibodies Neutralize H7N9 influenza strains
  Credit NIAID   # 9724   Based on some of the press coverage overnight (see below) one could be forgiven for coming away with the impression that if you’ve gotten the flu shot recently, you are probably immune to the avian H7N9 flu.   But of course, things are never as simple as the headline writers would have us believe. First, this excerpt from Agence France-Presse.   Flu shot protects against new strain H7N9: study February 18, […]
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12:00 PM | Meditating Mind Machines
As technology races ahead and we come ever closer to an era where virtual reality devices become a commonplace, it is worth noting that there already exists a whole range of technology designed to encourage altered states of consciousness – the “mind machines” or audio-visual stimulation (AVS) devices. These are doubtless going to become far […]
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12:00 PM | Niños por diseño
Niños por diseñohttp://www.espectador.com/Recientemente Reino Unido se convirtió en el primer país en permitir la concepción in vitro de niños de tres progenitores, es decir, que contendrán material genético de tres personas. Este tema que da lugar a discusiones éticas, legales y biológicas, fue abordado en nuestra "pausa para el café".Los invitados fueron el Doctor Omar França-Tarragó, director de […]
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11:00 AM | Science isn’t perfect, but it’s better than the alternative.
It often comes as a surprise to proponents of alternative medicine and critics of big pharma that I’m a big fan of John Ioannidis. Evidence of this can easily be found right here on this very blog just by entering Ioannidis’ name into the search box. Indeed, my first post about an Ioannidis paper is…
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6:18 AM | The Strongest Natural Material Known
ByThe Toombst   A new study finds the strongest natural material known to humans, limpet teeth. Finding materials that are extremely strong and durable are very interesting in production of anything from formula one cars to electronics. We’ve been able to make extremely strong materials in the lab, like carbon nanotubes, but mass producing these nanomaterials are very challenging. Finding strong materials in nature, like spider silk, can provide a shortcut to manufacture large […]

February 17, 2015

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10:54 PM | New compound shows promise for safe, effective treatment of heart attack and stroke
A new compound shows promise as a novel antiplatelet therapy for better treatment of heart attack and ischemic stroke
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7:05 PM | Simple test spots risk from acute kidney injury
A simple test used early in the setting of critical illness can help doctors predict which patients with acute kidney injury—which often follows major surgery or severe infection—are most likely to develop serious kidney problems, require dialysis, or die in the hospital.
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6:16 PM | Melanoma’s addiction to glutamine is the basis for cancer growth
Melanoma tumors use the amino acid glutamine in an unusual way to gain extra energy for growth and survival
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3:42 PM | Anderson Cooper Takes Down Dan Burton
I criticize bad, biased, and or just lazy science journalism frequently, and so it’s a pleasure to occasionally have the opportunity to praise good journalism. This recent interview of Dan Burton by Anderson Cooper could be a template for how to conduct an interview over a scientific issue. Dan Burton is a former Republican Congressman who [...]
Editor's Pick
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3:31 PM | Lessons Learned from the Ebola Crisis: An Update
Editors’ Note: The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as of February 11, 2015, more than 10,000 people have died from Ebola, nearly all of them in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and a small number in Nigeria.  In December, the WHO dispatched a response team to the Kono District, a [...]
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3:06 PM | Who Was Joseph Leidy?
A man of far-ranging interests and great contrasts: that, in a nutshell, describes Joseph Leidy. A lifelong Philadelphian, he earned his medical degree from Penn’s School of Medicine in 1844 and later served as dean of the school from 1877 to 1888. He was raised only a few blocks from...
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3:01 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 5 More MERS Cases
# 9723     For the second day in a row the Saudi MOH has announced 5 new cases, bringing their 7-day total to 39, and February’s total so far to 51.   Of today’s 5 cases, only one is listed as having a known risk exposure (contact with a case in a hospital).   For a discussion of what we know, and don’t know, about community transmission you may wish to revisit my first blog of this morning (WHO MERS Update – Saudi Arabia).  […]
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1:33 PM | CIDRAP/Wellcome Trust: Recommendations For Accelerating The Development Of Ebola Vaccines
  # 9722   While the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has slowed, it is far from ended, and the specter of future outbreaks still remains, even when this epidemic ends.  The best hope for reducing the impact of future outbreaks – particularly among healthcare providers – is the development of a safe and effective vaccine.   Today CIDRAP has announced the publication of a major (84 page PDF) expert committee report (Recommendations  for Accelerating […]
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12:32 PM | H7N9 In Guangdong, Seasonal Flu In Hong Kong
Credit HK CHP     # 9721   Hong Kong’s CHP has been notified of an additional H7N9 in Guangdong Province, bringing to 54 the number of cases reported from their neighboring province this winter.  Unfortunately, timely reports from the rest of mainland China are in short supply, making it difficult to characterize this year’s outbreak. 17 February 2015 CHP notified of additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong  The […]
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