Posts

November 18, 2014

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12:00 PM | Memory Enhancement – Nootropics and Electromagnetic Stimulation
Memories naturally degrade with the passing of time. Although the information is initially registered and stored, after a couple of days, weeks, or even years, it is simply erased from storage. The decline of memory function, be it due to normal aging or due to specific medical conditions, greatly affects one’s day-to-day life. Consequently, it […]
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11:01 AM | Four ways to tackle antibiotic resistance
It’s European Antibiotics Awareness Day today, and the MRC, BBSRC and EPSRC have produced a new timeline looking at progress in tackling antibiotic resistance over the past few decades. Here […]
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11:00 AM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer: Who’s to blame?
I figured that yesterday’s post about the First Nations girl in Ontario with lymphoblastic leukemia whose parents stopped her chemotherapy in favor of “traditional” medicine would stir up a bit of controversy, and so it did, albeit much more at my not-so-super-secret other blog, which featured an expanded version of this post. Don’t worry, you…
Editor's Pick
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9:46 AM | Director’s Update: Simple, flexible funding
Having listened to our grantholders, colleagues at the Wellcome Trust and others in the UK and international research communities, Wellcome Trust director Jeremy Farrar now introduces a new way of understanding the Trust’s funding framework. At our best, funders of medical research provide support that brings the right people together in the right places with […]
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8:00 AM | Recent Developments and Recurring Dilemmas in Cancer Screening: Colon, Lung, Thyroid
A new stool DNA test was recently approved by the FDA for colon cancer screening. My first reaction was “Yay! I hope it’s good enough to replace all those unpleasant, expensive screening colonoscopies.” But of course, things are never that simple. I wanted to explain the new test for our readers; but before I could […]
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5:57 AM | Coconut oil: A brain cell defender against Alzheimer’s disease protein #SfN14
Poster: Treatment of neurons with coconut oil and constituent fatty acids attenuates the effects of amyloid beta in vitro When someone finds out that I study the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease, all too often I get asked the heartbreaking question – ‘Is there a cure?’ Currently, there is no cure. Even within the field of Alzheimer […]
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5:46 AM | Wanted: Ebola test with perfect negative predictive value at time zero
The tragic death of Dr. Martin Salia has triggered a spate of news articles about the limitations of Ebola diagnostic testing. According to news reports, Dr. Salia tested negative twice early in his symptomatic period, and was already quite ill by the time he tested positive.The fact that the most sensitive Ebola virus diagnostic test (PCR applied to a blood sample) may not be positive until 3 days after symptom onset is well known, however. The reason for this has to do with the pathogenesis […]

November 17, 2014

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11:17 PM | Study concludes that homeopathy cures tonsillitis–probably not
Here we go again. “Researchers” trying to show that a pseudoscientific concept is real medicine, but failing so badly that only true believers would qualify it as real “evidence.” In this case, homeopaths from the Department of Homeopathy at the University of Johannesburg (seriously, a Department of Homeopathy?) in South Africa recently published a study that claimed a […]Continue reading «Study concludes that homeopathy cures […]
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10:22 PM | Donald Steiner, MD, pioneer of insulin production, 1930-2014
Donald F. Steiner, MD, was a pioneer whose research improved lives for millions of diabetic patients worldwide, and revolutionized thinking about how the body produces insulin.
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9:55 PM | No, A Glass of Wine Doesn’t Equal 1 Hour of Exercise
Wine (Wikipedia) In this week’s post I return to my roots and highlight some new reporting that doesn’t quite do justice to the reality of a scientific study. It all began when I saw a Facebook link to an online article entitled “Drinking A Glass Of Red Wine Is The Same As Getting An HOUR … Continue reading »
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9:23 PM | Is Aspirin Really Beneficial to the Heart?
A heart attack is not something that starts and ends within minutes; rather it is an ongoing event. The damage to your heart and body can be minimized by taking proper steps the minute the heart... [[To read the full story, visit my website.]]
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8:39 PM | Celebrating Women in Science
Recently, the New York Times published the provocative op-ed, “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist,” which described a soon-to-be-published study that found that experiences of young and midcareer women in math-intensive fields are, for the most part, similar to those of their male counterparts in terms of hiring, pay, tenure and promotion,...
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7:00 PM | Red meat and cancer: the biological evidence
  Two weeks ago, we discussed the link between red meat consumption and breast cancer risk. This relationship is particularly interesting, given that younger women and those taking birth control pills were at the highest risk for breast cancer, indicating … Continue reading »The post Red meat and cancer: the biological evidence appeared first on Public Health.
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6:40 PM | Michelle P Winn Endowed Lectureship, ASN 2014
At this year's ASN Kidney Week in Philadelphia Andrey Shaw, MD, presented the inaugural Michelle P Winn Endowed Lectureship. Dr Shaw was not only a longtime collaborator of Michelle’s but also a very close personal friend making him the perfect choice for this inaugural lectureship. Dr Shaw delivered an excellent talk interweaving highlights from Michelle’s stellar career with examples of Michelle’s fun loving and genuine kindhearted nature. I was lucky enough to work in […]
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5:55 PM | An Interview with Pascale Cossart
Charles Ebikeme interviews Pascale Cossart of the Institut Pasteur on the occasion of her receipt of the Women in Science Award at FEBS-EMBO 2014. On September 2, Pascale Cossart received the Women in Science Award at the Federation of European … Continue reading »The post An Interview with Pascale Cossart appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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5:30 PM | NCI-Designated Cancer Center hosts successful second open house
Sanford-Burnham’s NCI-Designated Cancer Center and the Cancer Center’s Community Advisory Board hosted the second Cancer Center open house for cancer survivors, their families and friends, and research advocates on Thursday, November 6, in La Jolla, Calif.
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5:14 PM | ‘The People Who Are Keeping Me Alive’ – Rina’s story
Rina has stage four breast cancer, but following a conversation with her care team, she's putting them in the spotlight as part of a new photography exhibition.
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4:21 PM | How does frailty impact lung cancer surgery outcomes?
Lung cancer surgeon Mark Ferguson, MD, is developing new ways to assess patients before surgery to give them the best chance for good outcomes.
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3:55 PM | Eating Disorders in Obesity: DSM-IV and DSM-5
The recent revision of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) altered several eating disorder diagnostic criteria.Some have expressed concern that these revisions are overly broad and may result in over diagnosis in some clinical populations. One clinical population where this is a concern is obesity.A research study has been recently published addressing this issue.Jennifer Thomas and colleagues at Harvard University […]
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3:30 PM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about this case…
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1:53 PM | Referral: Mackay On Early Negative Testing For Ebola
Credit CDC PHIL   NOTE:  As I am posting this, NBC News is reporting the death of Dr. Martin Salia, who reportedly initially tested negative for the virus even after becoming symptomatic. Ebola Patient Dr. Martin Salia Has Died in Nebraska: Officials Dr. Martin Salia, an Ebola patient being treated in Nebraska, has died, medical officials said Monday. Salia was diagnosed with Ebola in Sierra Leone and was airlifted to Nebraska on Saturday. He was the 10th Ebola patient […]
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1:49 PM | Ion Proton amplicons for clinical molecular diagnostics
A recent paper from the MD Anderson's Department of Hematopathology reports on their use of the AmpliSeq for a 409 gene panel on Ion Proton: Clinical massively parallel next-generation sequencing analysis of 409 cancer-related genes for mutations and copy number variations in solid tumours. I'm a big fan of amplicomes, another 'ome I know, and in this context used to mean all the amplicons in your panel. PCR is a great way to enrich for specific regions of the genome and we all understand the […]
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1:00 PM | Personhood Week: Conception Is a Process
Earlier this month voters in two U.S. States, Colorado and North Dakota, considered new laws that would bolster …
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12:42 PM | Researcher Spotlight: Dr Lucy Blake
Our Researcher Spotlight shines on Dr Lucy Blake this week. Dr Blake is a research associate at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, conducting some fascinating research into family relationships – especially those within “non-traditional” families. Her work helps give a voice to those people who can get overlooked by assumptions […]
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12:34 PM | Why can't we easily clean our stethoscopes?
I just finished two weeks on the inpatient internal medicine service. When we round on the service every morning, I insist on 100% hand hygiene and 100% stethoscope hygiene but one of these targets is far easier to achieve than the other. As Mike mentioned last year, almost 50% of stethoscopes are contaminated with pathogens including S. aureus and MRSA. Despite this level of contamination, hospitals have done almost nothing to make cleaning them quick and easy. Like many (? all) hospitals, we […]
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12:30 PM | The top five cold remedies that do not work
A cure for the cold, from ThadGuy.comOne of my daughters caught a cold last week, and now she's given it to me. We’re giving ourselves the best treatment known to science: rest. But to judge from the products offered at our pharmacies, you’d think there were dozens of options to treat a cold. In local pharmacies and in the medicines aisle at my local grocery store, I’ve found row after row of colorful packages, claiming to relieve cold symptoms, shorten the duration of the […]
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11:57 AM | Defra: Yorkshire Bird Flu Tentatively Identified As H5 Subtype
  Yorkshire – Credit Wikipedia   # 9336   Europe’s third bird flu outbreak in less than two weeks has been tentatively identified as an H5 variety – although further testing is required to nail down the exact subtype.  The two earlier outbreaks (Germany & The Netherlands) were both H5N8 – a new, upstart virus that previously had only appeared in Korea and Northeastern China.   Defra (the UK’s Department of Environment, Farming […]
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11:22 AM | CDC Updates Ebola Travel Warnings
Credit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel   # 9335   Although the number of Ebola cases in Mali remains small, unlike with their first introduction of the virus last month - local transmission has occurred and may still be occurring (see WHO Statement On 2nd Introduction Of Ebola Into Mali)- prompting the CDC to issue an updated travel Alert. Level 3 Warnings remain in effect for Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, while a Level 2 Alert has been issued for […]
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8:00 AM | Ontario fails to protect the life of a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11 year old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about […]
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6:10 AM | Microbiomania, microbophobia, and getting excited about the microbiome
Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis famously polices news and academic articles that oversell the microbiome on his blog, The Tree of Life. He provides a valuable service to the field of microbiome research, since it benefits neither the researchers nor the public when writers convey wishful or wrong messages.Recently on his blog, Eisen "rediscovered" two new words that I think capture some important concepts:1) Microbiomania:The overselling of the impact (beneficial or detrimental or otherwise) of […]
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