Posts

October 08, 2014

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12:12 PM | The Miracle Cure for Everything
One common feature of pseudoscience is that proponents of a specific belief tend to exaggerate its scope and implications over time. In the world of physics this can eventually lead to a so-called “theory of everything” – one unifying theory that explains wide-ranging phenomena and displaces may established theories. In medicine this tendency to exaggerate […]
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11:50 AM | ECDC: Risk Of Ebola Transmission From Blood Products & Other Substances Of Human Origin In the EU
    # 9161   While the Ebola epidemic is currently only spreading in three West African countries, there are concerns that over time the virus could migrate to other African nations - or to other regions of the world - necessitating the thinking about possible public health risks both as they stand now, and how they might evolve down the road. Yesterday the ECDC published a technical report on managing the potential risks to the blood supply, and to organ and cell […]
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11:05 AM | WHO: Statement On The Risks Of Ebola `Spreading’ In Europe
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9160   Sometimes, it is just easier to wait for the clarification that you know will be coming, than to blog a hyperbolic news story when it first appears.    On Tuesday headlines screamed - More cases of Ebola spreading in Europe 'unavoidable', WHO says - after comments by Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director of the European Region of the World Health Organization, were carried by the wire services.   Although Director Jakab added […]

October 07, 2014

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10:39 PM | Infectious Disease: JAMA Theme Issue
This week's JAMA is a special ID Theme Issue with a publication coinciding with IDWeek 2014. For the infection prevention inclined there is a Viewpoint by Dan Morgan (along with Dan Diekema and Keith Kaye) that asks us to consider contact precautions as secondary/adjunctive measures for MRSA and VRE but suggests that their use is prudent for MDR-GNR. I guess the BUGG study has me convinced that contact isolation works for MRSA, so I'll have to disagree with my esteemed colleagues. There are two […]
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10:02 PM | Melatonin and the watery beginnings of sleep
The nightly behaviors of plankton may give insights to how sleep evolved ScicuriousNeuroscience BY Bethany Brookshire 6:03pm, October 7, 2014 It may not seem like humans would have much in common with ragworms, but both species use melatonin to help control daily behaviors.© Natural […]
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9:33 PM | Antibiotic Use is Common in Hospitalized Patients
Even with Ebola and Enterovirus D68 on their plate, CDC still finds the time to do one of their day jobs - antimicrobial stewardship. In today's JAMA Infectious Diseases issue, Shelley Magill and her CDC EIP colleagues published (open access) a point-prevelance survey of antimicrobial use in acute care hospitals. The one-day survey included 11,282 randomly-selected patients from 183 hospitals in the 10 EIP states. In addition to recording which antibiotics the patient received, they also […]
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8:15 PM | Personality, Emotion and Psychopathology: David Watson Lecture Notes
I had the privilege to attend today the William K Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience Conference in Tulsa, OK by Dr. David Watson from Notre Dame University.Dr. Watson's lecture was titled: An integrative model of personality, emotion and psychopathology. This lecture summarized a body of research examining personality, psychological symptoms and a variety of brain disorders.Here are my lecture notes and links to relevant research citations. The first two citations have links to a free […]
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7:34 PM | How does the Ebola virus spread?
We spoke with hospital epidemiologist Emily Landon, MD, about the ways Ebola is transmitted and how that plays into deliberations about how to handle any possible case that presents to a U.S. hospital.
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5:31 PM | Sandman & Lanard: Ebola Risk Communications
      # 9159   When it comes to risk communications, Dr. Peter Sandman & Dr. Jody Lanard are both highly sought out experts, and over the years I’ve highlighted their work a number of times (you’ll find a small sampling here, here, here & here) . During a crisis, they not only know what needs to be said, they aren’t afraid to say it.   Their website is an invaluable repository of risk management advice, that quite frankly, should […]
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4:30 PM | Cancer medicine: new, improved, expensive and exploited?
Two studies published in the October issue of Health Affairs by a University of Chicago health economist examine spending on oral anti-cancer drugs as well as a federal program designed to help the poor, which may instead helps hospitals boost profits.
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4:17 PM | Saudi Arabia Reports 2 New MERS Cases
  # 9158   The steady trickle of MERS reports continues to come out of Saudi Arabia – with now 15 cases reported since the 12th of September – 8 of which are from Taif – located just about an hour’s car ride from the Holy City of Mecca.  Today KSA announces two new cases; 1 from Taif, and 1 from Hafoof.       The Hafoof case reportedly had contact with camels. 
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3:58 PM | Count-down to AGBT 2015
Registration is open! The registration process for AGBT has been overhauled in the last few years; yes there's still a lot of people who don't get in, but it seems to be pretty fair. Countdown WidgetsI hope to see you there. I'm going to be blogging and Tweeting again (assuming I get in). Say Hi if you read CoreGenomics and I'll buy you a beer (or rather grab one from Illumina, Agilent, etc)!
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3:14 PM | Practice to Policy: Doctors Protect Kids from Dangerous Magnetic Toys
As practicing pediatric gastroenterologists at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, my colleagues and I remove a fair number of esophageal and intestinal foreign bodies (i.e., things kids accidentally swallow). A couple of years ago, several physicians across the country began noticing serious injuries in children who swallowed high-powered magnets. The issue was raised in an [...]
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12:52 PM | NACCHO Hospital Preparedness Checklist For Ebola Webinar
  # 9157   Given the speed at which the Ebola story is moving, it isn’t terribly surprising that a Webinar sponsored on September 29th by NACCHO - on preparing for the possibility of seeing an imported Ebola case in the United States -  has now been overtaken by actual events.     Still, that only makes the infection control message delivered by this webinar all the more important.   The Webinar was limited to only 1,000 viewers, but has […]
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12:40 PM | Two million reasons to beat cancer
Making sure the Government prioritises cancer is a crucial part of our work - that's why we're backing the 2 million reasons initiative.
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11:30 AM | Ebola: Doc from Oklahoma City Calms the State of Texas
Many of you might not know that Kent Sepkowitz, while living and practicing in NYC, hails from the great state of Oklahoma. So when Stephen Colbert went in search of an infection control expert with Red-River roots, he couldn't do much better than our esteemed colleague, just a taxi ride away. If you're still left wanting more after watching this video, head on over to NPR to hear one of the better discussions of Ebola with Kent and Scott Simon from Weekend Edition. 
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11:15 AM | WHO Informal Consultation On How Science Can Inform Our Response To The Ebola Outbreak
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9156   Although the oft repeated meme `We know how to control Ebola’  is still being uttered, the truth is we have entered uncharted territory with this epidemic. Tactics that always worked well in Ebola outbreaks of the past – which struck in smaller populations that were remote, rural, and not terribly mobile -  have come up short with the virus now spreading in both rural and urban centers across three West African nations.   […]
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10:34 AM | Spain: MOH Statement On Ebola Infected Nurse & News Roundup
  # 9155   In a follow up to yesterday’s report (see Nurse `Infected With Ebola’ In Madrid, Spain) we are seeing more details emerge, including demands from the EU for clarification on how this infection could have occurred (see AFP article EU demands explanation from Spain on Ebola case) in a modern hospital that knew they were receiving and treating an Ebola case.   ABC News is reporting that Spain Places Husband of Ebola Nurse in Quarantine – a […]
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7:00 AM | Why Does This Immunologist Reject Vaccinations?
Vaccination is arguably medicine’s greatest success. It has eradicated smallpox and has saved millions from death and suffering from a growing list of preventable diseases. It’s surprising that it has so many critics. Most of them are either not educated in medical science (like Jenny McCarthy) or are educated but prefer to reject science in […]
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7:00 AM | Time for Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014, a.k.a. Quackery Week
In my eagerness to note that Brian Hooker’s “reanalysis” of a ten year old study that failed to find a correlation between vaccines and autism had been retracted, I forgot to write about what I was originally planning on writing about yesterday. It actually would have been more appropriate a topic for yesterday, because it…
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6:27 AM | Monday- Grand Challenges in Physiology
As anticipated, the meeting today was excellent! Here are some highlights from today: Dr. Michael Joyner (Mayo Clinic) spoke about how we should reconsider animal models that are used in research as laboratory rodents can be manipulated to match their genotype to their phenotype. In other words, researchers modify the animal’s genome to produce a…

October 06, 2014

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11:30 PM | Ebola in the U.S.–Politics and Public Health Don’t Mix
“Against stupidity, even the gods strive in vain.” — Fredirich Schiller I’ve been glued to the Ebola news, riding the roller coaster of emotions. While  very impressed with CDC’s director, Dr. Tom Frieden’s, initial press conference (10/2/14), I became infuriated at the subsequent statements from Lisa Monaco, Homeland Security Advisor, and the tragicomedy of the [...]
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11:12 PM | Ebola Screening: Hey CDC! Is it an AND or an OR?
Like many of you, we've all been assisting with Ebola planning for the past several months. Just today, Mike and I were in another planning meeting and the subject of our screening algorithm came up. Mike had noticed that the September 4th CDC Definition of Person Under Investigation (PUI) that we've been using: "fever of greater than 38.6 degrees Celsius or 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, AND additional symptoms such as severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or unexplained […]
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9:35 PM | Another flu vaccine myth–Big Pharma profits
The 2014-15 flu season is upon us, and that means it’s flu vaccine time again. Despite the availability of several flu vaccines, many people think that the flu is a painless, harmless disease, a belief belied by evidence. To put flu in perspective, in the USA, depending on the severity of the flu season, from 3,000 (which happened 25 years […]Continue reading «Another flu vaccine myth–Big Pharma profits»
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7:36 PM | UChicago researcher receives prestigious NIH New Innovator Award
University of Chicago researcher Sarah Cobey, PhD, has received a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award to support high-risk, high-reward research on the evolution of influenza
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7:10 PM | MSF Statement On Norwegian Staff Member Infected With Ebola
  # 9154   Although stringent infection control and proper PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) have proven their ability to protect Health Care Workers against infection with the Ebola virus, one of the realities of life is that achieving 100% compliance - 100% of the time - is a daunting task.    Earlier today we learned of a Spanish Nurse who was infected while treating a patient in Madrid, and now we have the following statement from MSF (Médecins Sans […]
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6:32 PM | Book Alert: The Body Keeps The Score
By Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.Viking Penguin (2014)About The AuthorBessel van der Kolk, M.D., is the founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, and director of the National Complex Trauma Treatment Network.SynopsisA pioneering researcher and one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for healing.Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans […]
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6:29 PM | Cracked Science Video 2: Code
A follow-up to my first video, this is a quick-and-dirty look at how the DNA code gets translated to make proteins. Enjoy! Il y a des sous-titres en français disponibles en cliquant sur le bouton “CC” sur YouTube. Continue reading →
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5:52 PM | Media Reports: Nurse `Infected With Ebola’ In Madrid, Spain
    # 9153 This story has been making the wires for perhaps an hour now, with more details beginning to filter out.  Based on multiple media reports (I find nothing yet on the Spanish MOH site), one of the nurses who attended the Spanish Missionary who was evacuated to Madrid  and subsequently died in late September has apparently tested positive for the virus.   At this time, we don’t have any information as to what kind of breakdown in infection […]
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5:24 PM | The tricky costs of school-based vaccination programs
Schools are an ideal place to provide vaccinations for kids, but experiences from a Chicago-based program show how it's tough to make them financially-sustainable.
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