Posts

July 16, 2014

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3:28 PM | Padre después de los 40
Me entrevistaron para esta nota del suplemento Domingo del El País.Padre después de los 40.
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3:26 PM | How to evaluate the quality of scientific research
One of the most tiresome discussions that a scientific skeptic has when debunking and refuting pseudoscience or junk science (slightly different variations of the same theme) is what constitutes real evidence. You’d think that would be easy, “scientific evidence” should be the gold standard, but really, there is a range of evidence from garbage to convincing. […]Continue reading «How to evaluate the quality of scientific research»
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2:56 PM | Expanding Guts in Pythons and People
Regular readers of this blog might remember a post I wrote a few months ago about weight-loss surgery. …
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2:51 PM | Baclofen in dialysis patients: Just say no!
At our hospital, we started noticing a pattern of admissions among some of our maintenance dialysis patients. In one case, an elderly woman with DM, peripheral arterial disease, and ESRD on thrice weekly hemodialysis was sent to the emergency department from her nursing facility for altered mental status. She was normal three days prior to admission, but when her nurse found her confused and difficult to arouse, they sent her to our ED. We got consulted to continue maintenance dialysis, but we […]
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2:15 PM | "Break" from Cancer a Turning Point for Patient
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines respite as “a short period of time when you are able to stop doing something that is difficult or unpleasant.” The trips that For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation provide for patients clearly fit that definition. The all-expense-paid vacation is a chance for the patient –– and...
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1:42 PM | Subcommittee Hearing On CDC Lab Incidents Today 10am EDT
BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID     # 8838   Like just about everyone else with an interest in the recent lab biosafety lapses at the CDC and FDA, I’ll be tuned into the House House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, which begins at 10am EDT.    The hearing will be broadcast from room 2123 of the Rayburn building and viewable at:   http://energycommerce.house.gov/studio/webcasts   […]
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1:05 PM | mBio: The Remarkable Evolution Of Cryptococcus Gatti
Credit CDC   # 8837     Although we normally think of viral or bacterial pathogens when we talk about infectious diseases, mycotic (fungal) diseases exert a heavy burden on human health as well.   A little over a year ago, in MMWR: Coccidioidomycosis Rising, we looked at dramatic increase in the number of Valley Fever infections over the past 13 years (1998-2011).   Coccidioidomycosisis – perhaps the best known fungal infection in North […]
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12:05 PM | And they say I’m in it for the money?
One of the most common criticisms launched at defenders of science-based medicine by believers in pseudoscience and quackery is that we are “pharma shills.” The assumption, or so it would seem, is that no one would defend science, reason, and medicine unless he were paid off by pharmaceutical, chemical, and/or agricultural companies. The further assumption…
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11:59 AM | Acupuncture for Menopausal Symptoms
A newly published meta-analysis of studies looking at acupuncture for symptoms resulting from natural menopause (not drug or surgically induced) by Chiu et. al. is entirely negative. That is not what the authors or the press release conclude, however. This disconnect between the study results and the interpretation of those results is a persistent problem […]
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9:00 AM | Is the Answer at the RIVUR? #NephJC
This study will be discussed as part of the online, twitter-based Nephrology Journal Club on July 22,2014. More information about the workings of #NephJC can be found here. The Problem of Reflux Vesicoureteroreflux (VUR) occurs in approximately 10% of children overall, but about one-third of those with a febrile or otherwise symptomatic urinary tract infection […]
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8:58 AM | Director’s Update: Thinking about our grant schemes
Since he joined us last year, Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, has been listening – to staff, to researchers, to members of the Wellcome community, and more. In this post he explains how your views have contributed to new ideas about the best ways we can offer our funding… Nine months ago, I […]
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7:09 AM | ME/CFS and the Magic of the Canine Factor
Jody Smith has been taken by surprise by the value of having a dog when dealing with ME/CFS … Cleo There’s been plenty of research indicating that having pets is good for your health. I never really noticed any particular benefits to having cats, though that may have had more to do with my cats. They’ve been fairly indifferent to my presence and we’ve shared a live-and-let-live type of relationship over the years. Then I got a dog. I didn’t even want […]
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3:20 AM | Nurses who refuse to vaccinate, harm patients
There’s an awful antivaccination cult called Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines whose sole purpose is to oppose vaccinating nurses and other healthcare workers against vaccine preventable diseases. These so-called nurses, whose profession is dedicated to protecting, maintaining and assisting people to live, are so blinded by their antivaccine beliefs that they would rather risk harm to patients […]Continue reading «Nurses who refuse to vaccinate, harm patients»

July 15, 2014

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8:46 PM | Genes promote hardening of arteries in type 2 diabetes
Certain genes make type 2 diabetics more prone to hardening of the arteries.
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6:50 PM | Lithium and the Kidney: Old Observations & New Insights
Lithium is indispensable as an effective treatment for bipolar affective disorder. However, it has a narrow therapeutic index with desired therapeutic levels between 0.6 and 1.2 mEq/L. Lithium is handled by the kidney (responsible for almost all its excretion) in a manner very similar to sodium. It has a molecular weight of 7 daltons, has a moderate volume of distribution, is <10% protein bound and is therefore readily dialyzable. Lithium may cause of myriad of renal related toxicities, some […]
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6:36 PM | SciAm: Branswell On Lab Biosafety
      # 8836   I’ve been away from my desk for most of the day, but I wanted to recommend (very highly) the following Scientific American piece by Helen Branswell on the fallout from the recent laboratory incidents involving select agents at the CDC and FDA.     Bio-Unsafety Level 3: Could the Next Lab Accident Result in a Pandemic? So-called gain-of-function pathogen research will likely receive closer scrutiny after three U.S. biolab […]
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6:01 PM | The Great Brain Experiment: Mobile gaming provides robust scientific results
A team of neuroscientists from the Wellcome Trust Centre of Neuroimaging at UCL used Wellcome Trust funding to create a smartphone app that allows people to play games and contribute to science. With over 60,000 players, The Great Brain Experiment has shown that mobile apps could be a useful source of data collection. Project scientist […]
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4:00 PM | Guest post: Smoking in people with mental health issues
We recently spotted an interesting-looking paper on smoking and mental health, so we asked Suzi Gage – an expert in the field – to have a look.
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2:59 PM | What’s in a work space? Lori Passmore and her images of science
Dr Lori Passmore is head of the Mechanisms of Macromolecular Machines group in the Structural Studies Division at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB). She showed Isabel Baker around her […]
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2:52 PM | The High Cost of Vaccines
Few medical interventions have been as successful as vaccines in improving public health. Whether they are childhood vaccinations, vaccines to prevent healthy adults from contracting influenza or the more recent HPV vaccine for adolescents, these preventive methods have resulted in dramatic benefits for individuals and the public. We have only to think of the eradication [...]
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12:26 PM | BBC Fail on Acupuncture Documentary
Alternative Medicine’s best friend, and in my opinion largely responsible for what popularity it has, is a gullible media. I had thought we were turning a corner, and the press were over the gushing maximally clueless approach to CAM, and were starting to at least ask some probing questions (like, you know, does it actually [...]
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11:00 AM | The Pain Of Being A Redhead
Redheads comprise around 1% of the world’s population, having the least common hair color found in humans. Redheads can most easily be spotted in Scotland, England and Ireland. In Scotland, were the highest proportion is found, only 13% of the population has red hair. Red hair, as well as fair skin and freckles, is associated […]
Editor's Pick
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10:29 AM | WHO Ebola Update – July 14th
@WHO & Partners Ebola Response In Guinea   # 8835   The World Health Organization has posted an updated Ebola surveillance report that finds the disease still spreading vigorously in Sierra Leone and Liberia, with 79 new cases reported over a 4 day span (July 8th-12th).  While the number of cases in Guinea remains lower, 6 new cases were reported there as well, a marked increase over the single case reported in the week previous. The number of cases is approaching […]
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10:18 AM | Reshuffling The NSABB & A New Biosecurity Working Group Emerges
BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID     # 8834       Although Crof covered both of these stories during the overnight hours (see here & here), they are well worth repeating here.   The NSABB or National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity is a 23-member review panel, first formed in 2005, who meet rather infrequently and at the behest of the NIH to review research projects with possible biosecurity concerns.   Their role, […]
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8:00 AM | Millennials and CAM use: Some depressing news
After having returned from TAM, I was pumped up by how much interest was shown in the case of Stanislaw Burzynski. More importantly, I was heartened to learn while I was there that the Texas Medical Board had submitted an amended complaint against him containing 202 pages worth of charges. Sure, the descriptions of the…
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7:00 AM | Evaluating Treatment Claims: A Primer
I recently wrote about the claim that acupuncture can improve vision in patients with macular degeneration  In response, I received this e-mail:  At Discovery Eye Foundation we have an education and outreach program for people with age-related macular degeneration, the Macular Degeneration Partnership.  We are constantly getting calls from people who have heard of a […]

July 14, 2014

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10:07 PM | Prices of vaccines–an uncomfortable discussion
Suddenly, there has been a lot of noise about the price of vaccines. Well, there’s always been over-exaggerations and outright misinformation about vaccine prices and profits from the antivaccination gang, and they must be embarrassed by the quality of their arguments. OK, I doubt that. But there is noise out there. But when the criticism comes […]Continue reading «Prices of vaccines–an uncomfortable discussion»
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9:01 PM | In female flies, sex is more complex than yes or no
New research reveals the neural subtleties underlying a seemingly simple response ScicuriousNeuroscience by Bethany Brookshire 9:00am, July 15, 2014 When two flies mate, it’s because she gave permission. New papers show how a female makes the complex decision to take a male home.Solvin ZanklWhen it comes to mating, male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) put on […]
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5:13 PM | Education: A Professional and Personal Commitment
As a workforce development consultant at Penn Medicine Academy, Kerry Nihill is passionate about creating opportunities. Through on-site degree programs, a learning ambassadors program, managing new employee orientation, workshops, and other initiatives, Nihill strives to help Penn Medicine employees reach their professional goals. Naturally, this dedication to helping others reach...
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4:32 PM | Americans Are Sleeping More, Despite New Demands on Time
Despite the stress of a sluggish economy and more distractions than ever, Americans are setting aside more time for sleep than they were 10 years ago--although it may come at a price.
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