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Posts

April 13, 2014

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11:30 AM | Empathy and Stress – Women Are the Stronger Sex
I learned many of life’s great lessons while watching Audrey Hepburn movies with my grandmother. To this day, I cannot hear the word “empathy” without being reminded of the first time I heard that word in the movie Funny Face. Empathy is difficult to study, owing to its many dimensions and facets, but it is […]
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11:04 AM | Referral: VDU Charts Rise In MERS Cases
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 8469   After a brief lull in cases reported in January and early February, the number of MERS cases being reported out of the Middle East over the past couple of months has begun to climb like a homesick angel.    Although the numbers have a tendency to change by the hour now, Dr. Ian Mackay has updated his tracking graph this morning, and provides some commentary.     MERS-CoV update: Case accumulation […]
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10:50 AM | Yemen Reports 1st MERS-CoV Case
# 8468   For several days Sharon Sanders of FluTrackers and I have been discussing vague and unsubstantiated reports (on twitter, and elsewhere) suggesting that there was a MERS case in Yemen, but until this morning they have been only rumors.    Today Reuters, and several other news agencies, are reporting that an aeronautical engineer from Sanaa has been infected with the virus, although very little else has been divulged. This report from Reuters. […]
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10:01 AM | Japan: Detection Of H5 Avian Flu At Poultry Farm
Credit Wikipedia   # 8467   It’s been three years since Japan has had to deal with an H5 avian flu outbreak in poultry or wild birds (see OIE reports 29/06/11 Final report 48089 & 25/06/11 Final report 48022), but that respite appears over as several birds at a poultry farm in Kumamoto Prefecture have tested positive for the avian virus.    The exact subtype has yet to be identified, but any form of H5 influenza is considered a serious threat to […]
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7:30 AM | Patient Experience: “What Bronllys taught me about pacing.”
In 2012, Maya, who had tried to cope with ME/CFS on her own for many years, attended a pain management centre in Wales, U.K., and is now able to achieve more through pacing and acceptance, than she had been able to before the course… My name is Maya, I’m 42 and live in Mid- Wales. I have had ME for 8 years, am mostly housebound and use a wheelchair outside. In April 2012, I underwent a three week residential ME/CFS management programme at Bronllys Pain and Fatigue Management […]

April 12, 2014

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8:50 PM | 7.6M Quake Solomon Islands: No Pacific Wide Tsunami Expected
Credit USGS      # 8466   A shallow (10km) and fairly large (M7.6 – 7.8) earthquake has struck in the Solomon Islands.  While we are awaiting reports, here is a link and excerpts from the Tsunami bulletins being issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.     Note: This earthquake was originally reported as an 8.4, but has been downgraded. At this only local warnings have been issued. BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE […]
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8:28 PM | Standing Up to Pancreatic Cancer is Tough—But Not Impossible
Cancer Researchers and Celebrities Come Together for a Stand Up to Cancer Event to Announce New “Dream Team” “It can run, but it can’t hide.” That’s the message Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, the Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research in the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) and the Perelman School of...
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6:43 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 4 More MERS-CoV Cases In Jeddah
# 8466   The MERS outbreak in Jeddah continues to expand with the announcement this afternoon of an additional four cases. Two (ages 58 & 71) are listed in stable condition, while two others (ages 26 & 39)  are reportedly asymptomatic.   Although the Jeddah cluster began more than two weeks ago, over the past 48 hours we’ve seen 10 new cases announced, bringing the total to over 20 cases.   Both asymptomatic cases and the 58 year-old in stable […]
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5:06 PM | Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Home Remedies
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of woman's infertility. It is a problem results from an imbalance of female sex hormones. It may cause irregular menstruation,... [[To read the full story, visit my website.]]

Pau CT, Keefe CC & Welt CK (2013). Cigarette smoking, nicotine levels and increased risk for metabolic syndrome in women with polycystic ovary syndrome., Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, 29 (6) 551-5. PMID:

Citation
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3:05 PM | Keep the beard, Eli!
There's a new paper in the Journal of Hospital Infection that takes a look at the bacterial ecology of facial hair. In this study, 408 male healthcare workers had two areas of their face cultured. About half of the men had facial hair and the other half did not. Interestingly, the men with facial hair were significantly less likely to have skin colonization with S. aureus (lip: 34% vs 45%; cheek 41% vs 52%). When the facial skin was scratched with a sterile swab there was no difference in […]
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3:03 PM | Referral: VDU Blog - Professor Ali Mohamed Zaki On MERS-CoV
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL     # 8465   During the summer of 2012 Egyptian virologist Dr Ali Mohamed Zaki, working at the Virology Laboratory of Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia isolated a previously unknown coronavirus from a 60-year old male patient with pneumonia and acute renal failure.  That virus, we know today as MERS-CoV.   The story of his discovery, and eventual `reward’ (he was fired for going public with his […]
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12:48 PM | The Perfect 46 - Trailer
The Perfect 46 - Trailer from Clindar on Vimeo. Trailer for the independent science fiction drama The Perfect 46. Screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival April 26th.
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12:43 PM | Read: A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science
A great complement to the talk I gave last week, this one specifically addresses how to evaluate a scientific paper and/or its coverage in the news. You can read the whole poster here: http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/04/02/a-rough-guide-to-spotting-bad-science/ Continue reading →
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11:47 AM | KSA: Public Health Messaging On MERS
  Credit KSA MOH   # 8464   In my last blog (see MERS-CoV: The Twitter Of Their Discontent) I wrote about some of the dubious medical advice being purveyed by Arabic newspapers and on Twitter for dealing with the MERS Coronavirus.  Luckily, more reasoned public health advice is being promoted as well. An example comes from a widely tweeted link to the following SAAID.net story.   8 important questions of Corona Dr. Mohammed Al-Filali Doctor in […]
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10:57 AM | MERS-CoV: The Twitter Of Their Discontent
  Looking down the rabbit hole     # 8463   Three days ago in MERS, The Twitterverse & MOH Damage Control, I wrote about the outpouring of concern, the proliferation of rumors, and growing criticisms of the Saudi government over the recent surge in MERS coronavirus cases reported in Saudi Arabia on the popular social media platform twitter.   While twitter traffic containing the word   كورونا (`SK’ or […]
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8:00 AM | News digest – when muscle turns to bone, prostate cancer tests, ‘zombie’ cancer cells and more
Catch up on the week's big cancer new stories, including a remarkable link between two rare and devastating diseases, plus much more.
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6:22 AM | Dolphin high-speed swimming is just a fluke!
Gray’s paradox was originated by the zoologist James Gray in 1936 (J. Exp. Biol. 13: 192–199, 1936). The paradox questioned how a dolphin is able to swim fast (~10.1 meters per second according to his calculations) with what he saw as a limited ability to generate that much power. Therefore, he concluded that dolphins must have…

April 11, 2014

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10:17 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 3 New MERS Cases (1 Fatal)
# 8462   While I was away from my desk for an hour the Saudi MOH posted an update (at midnight their time) describing three additional cases in Jeddah (see Saudi MOH Announces 3 More MERS-CoV Cases In Jeddah and Saudi MOH Statement On Jeddah Cluster for earlier reports on this cluster). In addition to seeing more mild or asymptomatic infections being reported, in recent weeks we have also seen a younger cohort of patients than we’ve seen in the past, with many cases […]
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10:09 PM | Countdown to #xBio 2014
Two weeks from today I leave my home and head to glorious San Diego for Experimental Biology 2014, the annual gathering of the organizations that comprise the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, AKA FASEB. My favorite of these groups, the American Physiological Society, once again asked me to blog the meeting. I have […]
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8:46 PM | LabBook April 11, 2014
A protein named Tim, Your Inner Fish, schizophrenia and much more in this week’s LabBook, our weekly roundup of University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences research news from our blogs, around campus and the internet.
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5:00 PM | Cool animation following the breakdown of starch through the gut
Cool animation following the breakdown of starch through the gut
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4:13 PM | Second annual Pedal the Cause gears up for cancer research
Pedal the Cause kick-off event 2014.
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3:46 PM | Shorter list for gamma-ray telescope sites, but no home yet
Where will host the world’s next generation ground-based γ-ray detector, the Cherenkov Telescope Array? The answer is, still no one knows. But a panel of funders have narrowed the field following a meeting in Munich, Germany, this week.  Read more
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3:33 PM | Green Light: Mr D.
This is the fifth installment of my autobiographical series on my experiences with hearing loss. You can view earlier posts: Prologue; Chapter 1: Seeing Sounds; Chapter 2: Fearless Leader; Chapter 3: The Black Box. Posts appear every other Friday.  Sometime when I was six or … Continue reading →
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1:32 PM | WHO MERS-CoV: Jordan Reports Case With Travel History To KSA
  Photo Credit WHO       # 8461   With the UAE reporting a cluster over night, and Saudi Arabia dealing with a cluster of fairly long duration in Jeddah, I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised to see a MERS case has turned up in Jordan.   According to this release from the World Health Organization, this patient had recent travel history to Jeddah, and visited a hospital there.     Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus […]
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1:19 PM | World Wildlife Fund’s Dr Brendan Fraser on improving fish diversity and conservation agriculture in Mozambique
Dr. Brendan Fisher is a research scientist at the World Wildlife Fund. His research and fieldwork lie at the nexus of conservation, development, and natural resource economics. Brendan is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles on topics such as poverty, human welfare, ecosystem services and biological conservation, and the co-author of two books, Valuing Ecosystem Services (Earthscan, London, 2008) and A Field Guide to Economics for Conservationists (Forthcoming, Roberts and […]
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12:23 PM | Away from home: Collaboration in a global organisation
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
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11:47 AM | Saudi MOA Spokesman: Camel Link Unproven, MERS-CoV Is MOH Problem
  Photo Credit Wikipedia   # 8460   Even as evidence that camels are – at least partially – involved in the carriage and transmission of the MERS Coronavirus mounts (see CIDRAP NEWS report WHO sees camels as MERS source, but route uncertain) , the spokesperson for the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture has stated that MERS is essentially not their problem, but the problem of the MOH. Camels are part of the Saudi national identity. Any restrictions on (or […]
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11:30 AM | Does Spirituality and Religion Guard Against Depression?
There has long been anecdotal evidence that sustained spiritual or religious practice can help improve people’s mood and general sense of well-being. For the first time, we may be on the cusp of understanding the neurological mechanisms underlying these long reported effects. A recent study from Columbia University has found that there is a strong […]
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11:00 AM | Faith healing everywhere in medical academia
When I’m trying to demonstrate the utter implausibility and mystical pseudoscience behind so much of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), which is now more commonly referred to (by its advocates, at least) as “integrative medicine,” I like to point to two examples in particular of modalities that are so utterly ridiculous in concept that anyone…
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