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Posts

April 09, 2014

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3:56 PM | A Conversation with Neil Shubin About “Your Inner Fish,” Premiering Tonight on PBS
A Q&A with biologist Neil Shubin about tonight's television premiere of "Your Inner Fish."
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2:59 PM | MERS, The Twitterverse & MOH Damage Control
  # 8454   A sign of increasing concern among residents of Saudi Arabia is that Arabic social media – in particular twitter – has gone ballistic this morning over the MERS coronavirus.     I’m tracking about 30 new tweets a minute containing the word  كورونا (`SK’ or `Corona’) coming across the transom, many with photos attached.  Before Chrome can auto translate a batch, another […]
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12:48 PM | A Smile Makes A Big Difference
Eleanor Ball, who welcomes patients at the main entrance of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, greets everyone with a smile. “Most people are scared when they come in,” she said. “When they see a smile, it makes a big difference.” A smile is just one component of how...
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12:23 PM | Why Do Cancer Surgeons Cure More Patients Than Medical Oncologists?
    Robert A. Nagourney, M.D.   Who does it really serve when a clinical trial involving 597 patients results in an increase in survival by 10 days?   read more
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12:07 PM | Epstein-Barr virus and the immune system – are cures in sight?
Concluding our story on Epstein-Barr virus and cancer, we explore the ongoing research into the virus and how this could lead to treatments in the future.
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11:59 AM | Reminder: CDC COCA Call On Tickborne Diseases Tomorrow
(Credit CDC) # 8453   Although I announced this more than a week ago, the CDC will hold a COCA call tomorrow afternoon on tickborne diseases, with an emphasis on Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.   While 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 their practices.   If you are unable to attend the […]
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11:55 AM | Another Damning Homeopathy Report
What will it take? That is the lingering question, one that has significant implications for the legitimacy and effectiveness of our professional and regulatory institutions. Homeopathy is 100% pure nonsense. It is one of the so-called “alternative” medical systems that has absolutely no basis in reality. It is magic-based medicine. It is based on two-centuries-old […]
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11:30 AM | Paranoid Schizophrenia and Paradoxical Intervention
Psychotic ideation is delusional and illusory. One cannot simply convey to a psychotic individual that he has a valid perspective. To an extent, it has been traditionally asserted in the field of mental health that one should not affirm the psychotic beliefs of the schizophrenic. Contrarily, some clinicians believe that one should persistently deny the […]
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11:28 AM | Xinhua News: Extensive H5N1 Outbreaks In North Korean Poultry
  # 8452   Although we occasionally get hints of outbreaks of bird flu, or FMD, in North Korea, very rarely do we details out of that closed and secretive nation. Given the amount of bird flu activity (H5N1 & H5N8) we’ve seen reported out of South Korea over the past decade, the assumption has been that unreported bird flu outbreaks probably occur with some regularity in the DPRK as well.   This morning Yonhap News, Xinhua News, and others are reporting on a […]
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10:32 AM | Eyewire: Solving mysteries of the brain through gaming
While some may be familiar with the concept–made famous by Foldit, a pioneer online video puzzle where you “fold” protein as part of a University of Washington research project–the crowd at Bibliotheca Alexandria were blown away by a similar game model: Eyewire, neurology’s first ever computation game, open to laypeople.  Read more
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10:28 AM | Saudi MOH Announces 4 MERS Cases In Riyadh (1 fatal)
  # 8451   Although most of the MERS-CoV reportage the past week has centered around Jeddah (see Saudi MOH Statement On Jeddah Cluster), the Riyadh region continues to provide its share of Coronavirus reports as well.  On April 2nd we saw a report of 2 cases in the Saudi Capital, and overnight the MOH has announced an additional 4 cases there.   Unlike in Jeddah, where some cases have been described as asymptomatic, all four of these cases are serious enough to […]
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8:00 AM | Windback Wednesday: Entrepreneurship
The word entrepreneur comes from the 13th century french verb entreprendre, which literally translates to “to do something” or “to undertake”. By the 16th century, the word entrepreneur had developed a meaning of its own: someone who undertakes a business venture. It’s distinguishing features, according to Richard Cantillon (an 18th century economist), are an understanding of risk and being prepared to do business without guaranteed profits. Sounds scary, but it […]
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7:00 AM | By JoVE, I think they’ve got it!  A multimedia approach to intervention description
Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Mary Dixon-Woods is Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Leicester. She was recently involved in a large international team that published the TIDieR checklist in the BMJ, aimed at improving the way interventions are described in research papers. Better descriptions of interventions can help ensure better care for patients […]
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3:42 AM | National Public Health Week: Start Here
The theme for National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2014 is Public Health: Start Here.
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12:33 AM | Monthly Map
Ireland looks into dairy cows, the UK eyes synthetic biology, and the Philippines grapples with Bt eggplant. (You want it big? Click the image.)  … Read more

April 08, 2014

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10:21 PM | The Elderly: A neglected population with neglected tropical diseases
According to the World Health Organization, many of the world’s developed countries consider 65 years as the chronological age when people are considered “elderly,” while the United Nations uses the ages of 60 and above.  However, in parts of sub-Saharan …The post The Elderly: A neglected population with neglected tropical diseases appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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7:59 PM | My Arch Enemy
Oklahoma is recovering from an outbreak of Escherichia coli which has kept me away from the blog recently. E. coli, as we usually call it, lives all around and in us. A good chunk of that microbiome we keep hearing about includes this bacteria. Most strains happily thrive in our guts, living a perfectly benign […]
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6:40 PM | To live longer, eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
A paper investigating whether the consumption of fruit and vegetables actually affects health in the general population of England was published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health last week (1). The paper measured health as death due …The post To live longer, eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day appeared first on Public Health.
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5:32 PM | Genetic Predisposition To Liking Amphetamine Reduces Risk Of Schizophrenia And ADHD
A study from UChicago shows that genetic variants associated with enjoying the effects of Adderall are also associated with a reduced risk for developing schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Hart A.B., Gamazon E.R., Engelhardt B.E., Sklar P., Kahler A.K., Hultman C.M., Sullivan P.F., Neale B.M., Faraone S.V. & de Wit H. & Genetic variation associated with euphorigenic effects of d-amphetamine is associated with diminished risk for schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:

Citation
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5:30 PM | The National Autism Association not “antivaccine”? Then why is its president speaking at an antivaccine quackfest?
As I hang out at the San Diego Convention Center, I can’t resist one last note on the Chili’s debacle that I wrote about yesterday. Remember how Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association (NAA), the antivaccine group posing as an autism advocacy group, whined when Chili’s backed out of its deal to donate…
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4:19 PM | Just the Fats: What’s New? What’s Old?
With the Mediterranean diet all the rage, not only because consumers like its tasty composition but because of research touting its health benefits, experts have had to become more specific about recommendations for fats. There’s a steady drumbeat these days—from everyone from chefs to food writers to health gurus—criticizing nutritionists and the “diet police,” who, [...]
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3:25 PM | Saudi MOH Statement On Jeddah Cluster
    # 8450 Amid escalating media reports on the cluster of MERS cases in Jeddah, and the recent announced closure of the King Fahd Hospital Emergency Room (see More MERS-CoV Reports From Jeddah), the Saudi MOH has released a lengthy press release detailing their response, and reassuring the public that the situation is `stable’.   Among the points made:   The closure of the King Fahd Hospital ER is for 24 hours, for disinfection purposes. […]
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2:42 PM | Imagine not getting the PhD you’d been working towards… #datadramas
What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.  Read more
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1:53 PM | Meanwhile, In The UAE . . .
UAE’s Proximity to Saudi Arabia     # 8449   The Abu Dhabi Health Authority has announced the detection of a new case of MERS-CoV, this time a 59-year old renal patient.  Shiloh on FluTrackers has a version of the story from Arabian Business News, while I’ve a report from Gulf News below. Thus far, we’ve no indication of how or where this patient contracted the virus.   New coronavirus case in Abu Dhabi 59-year-old Abu Dhabi […]
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1:48 PM | No Magic Number - Penn Medicine Researcher to Be Among Architects of New National Sleep Recommendations
We’ve all heard it before…“sleep experts recommend you get 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night for optimal health.” But is that true for everyone? The answer is there really is no magic number. “For years, members of the sleep research and clinical community have been discussing the issue...
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1:16 PM | WHO Ebola Update, West Africa – April 7th
Credit @UNMILNews   # 8448   Later today the World Health Organization will host a virtual press conference on the Ebola outbreak, but for now we have a few twitter comments by WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl (posted this morning), and the latest GAR (Global Alert & Response) Report, dated April 7th.     Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update Disease Outbreak News 7 April 2014 - As of 7 April, a cumulative total of 151 clinically compatible […]
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12:46 PM | More MERS-CoV Reports From Jeddah
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 8447     Given some of the governmental reprisals against outspoken journalists in Saudi Arabia in recent years, the media’s sudden willingness to cover the MERS-CoV outbreak at King Fahd hospital in Jeddah (see here & here) is both surprising and encouraging.    Overnight there have been well over a dozen  newspaper articles in the Arabic press announcing the closure of that hospital’s Emergency […]
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12:43 PM | Relative Risk: Breast Cancer and Genetics
Last week the Progress Educational Trust held an event called Relative Risk: Breast Cancer and Genetics, supported by the Wellcome Trust. This was the first event in a series looking at issues surrounding breast cancer, and focused on the genetics and relative risks associated with carrying predictive genes. James Heather attended, and shares a taste […]
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12:08 PM | Geocentrism – Seriously?
I just saw the trailer of a new movie, The Principle. The movie is produced by Robert Sungenis, who writes the blog Galileo Was Wrong. Sungenis is what we technically call a kook. He believes the earth is at the center of the universe and that there was no Jewish holocaust, but rather the Jews were [...]
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11:21 AM | Emily Anthes discusses how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Psychology Today, BBC Future, SEED, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.  Read more
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