Posts

July 14, 2014

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2:22 PM | Sequencing exomes: what sort of read to use?
What's the right way to sequence an exome? We've been looking at Illumina's v4 chemistry for HiSeq 2500 and wondering whether we should jump to PE125bp or not, or should we try to reconfigure our exome capture for shorter or longer fragments.Exome-seq: Exomes have been a big hit, there are currently over 3000 publications in PubMed with the search term "exome". Given that the first in-solution exome paper was only published in 2009 that's pretty amazing, but then again the exome is an amazing […]
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2:10 PM | The Texas Medical Board vs. Stanislaw Burzynski, Round Infinity
There’s a point I feel that I have have to make briefly as I begin this post. Basically, this might look familiar, but given that I was at TAM Wednesday through Sunday, I didn’t have time to produce two separate posts, and this is important enough to be distributed as widely as possible. In any…
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1:51 PM | The Epic Window: Circulating Tumor Cells and the Liquid Biopsy
14 July 2014 Dear Friends and Family, I’d like to offer a life-update style post (I’ve been a bit off the radar, sorry!). In the span of the last 90 days the following events happened: 1) I defended my PhD 2) Job applications and interviews 3) I began work at Epic Sciences The short version […]
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1:03 PM | Individual Variation: A Revisit of Lactose Intolerance
Bacillus by Jennifer Hulsey I have always had certain dietary restrictions growing up. Apple juice and grape juice gave me a great deal of gas so I shied away from them. I also developed moderate lactose intolerance when I was in college. But since then I have been able to manage my issues fairly easily. … Continue reading »
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12:59 PM | Why young Americans aren’t using Obamacare
The first open enrolment period for Obamacare ended this March. Despite the cringe-worthy ads, it was a success. 9.5 million Americans now have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act – a huge step forward for President Obama’s vision of …The post Why young Americans aren’t using Obamacare appeared first on Public Health.
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12:32 PM | WHO MERS Update – July 14th
  # 8831   Although we’ve gone 3 days without an announced case out of Saudi Arabia, between July 7th and July 10th KSA reported 7 new cases to the World Health Organization.     Notably at least three of the seven cases had direct contact with camels or camel products, and other farm animals.   With considerably more detail than we see in the daily updates, here is the latest GAR (Global Alert & Response) Update.   Middle East […]
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12:04 PM | Upcoming House Sub-Committee Hearing On Lab Safety
CDC Anthrax Timeline – Credit CDC # 8830   Even before Friday’s announcement by the CDC that one of their labs had accidentally shipped H5N1 contaminated virus samples to a USDA lab, the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee had scheduled a hearing on last month’s CDC Anthrax incident (see CDC Statement On Possible Lab Exposure To Anthrax).   Hearing Notice: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to Examine Anthrax […]
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9:55 AM | It’s “Embrace Your Geekness Day”!
Today, July 13th (I’m still up y’all) is Geekness Day or “Embrace Your Geekness Day” – what better excuse for a quick post on why I am TheCancerGeek (my current username on the internet). I actually didn’t know about this … Continue reading →
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7:29 AM | The Texas Medical Board vs. Stanislaw Burzynski, 2014 edition
As I begin this post, I’m on a miserably crowded, hot, stinky flight winging my way home from TAM. This puts me in the perfect mood to write about my bête noire to conquer all bêtes noires, namely Stanislaw Burzynski, the Polish expat doctor who claims to have much better results treating deadly brain cancers […]
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7:00 AM | Researcher Spotlight: Professor Margaret Robinson
Professor Margaret “Scottie” Robinson holds a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship and is a Professor of Molecular Cell Biology and the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research. He she tells us about eukaryotes, cakes and clarthrin… What are you working on? I’m interested in the organisation of cells like our own – that is, eukaryotic cells, […]

July 13, 2014

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8:57 PM | Why we vaccinate–so mom will protect her newborn baby
One of the important hypotheses of vaccination is to make sure that all family members or others who may encounter a newborn child be vaccinated, especially since many vaccinations are not indicated for infants for a couple of months after birth–those newborns are very susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases until they themselves are vaccinated with the DTaP vaccine (which […]Continue reading «Why we vaccinate–so mom will protect her newborn […]
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4:13 PM | Sobre cábalas y cabaleros
Cada vez que miras un partido importante lo haces en el mismo lugar. Cada vez que rendís un examen los haces con la misma ropa. Pensás que hay personas que traen mala suerte. Tenes tu amuleto de “la buena suerte”
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2:48 PM | Read: The Med Student Who Wants to Bring Down Dr. Oz
A very interesting read. Some physicians have had enough of Dr. Oz’s pseudoscience and its effect on their patients. “‘Dr. Oz has something like 4-million viewers a day,’ Mazer told Vox. ‘The average physician doesn’t see a million patients in their lifetime. That’s why organized medicine should be taking action.’ “Last year, Mazer brought a policy … Continue reading →
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12:59 PM | Family Pets, Zoonoses & An Upcoming COCA Call
The undisputed ruler of my house   # 8829   An oft-repeated factoid in this blog is that 70% of the infectious diseases plaguing humans began in other species, and then adapted to people. Most of these diseases only began to appear in humans after we – as a species – began to domesticate animals roughly 10,000 years ago (see The Third Epidemiological Transition).   That process continues to this day, with new zoonotic diseases emerging practically every […]
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6:20 AM | ‘Comparative Approaches to Grand Challenges in Physiology’
Phew!! I just submitted my abstract for the Comparative Physiology meeting that will be held this October. Judging from the preliminary program, it is going to be an exciting meeting! Here is a description of the meeting from the American Physiological Society’s website: “Comparative physiology takes advantage of the diverse evolutionary histories and ecological settings…

July 12, 2014

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12:46 PM | Kansas DHE Reports Naegleria Fowleri Fatality
L & R: Trophozoites of N. fowleri in brain tissue, stained with H&E. Center: Ameboflagellate trophozoite of N. fowleri. Credit: DPDx   # 8828   Of the many and varied infections reported in North America each year, Naegleria Fowleri is among the rarest, and almost certainly one of the deadliest, that we know of.  Sometimes called the `brain eating amoeba’ in the media, this parasite lurks in warm, often stagnant fresh water, and is usually responsible for […]
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11:31 AM | CDC: Press Conference Transcript, Audio & Timelines For Lab Incidents
H5N1 Photo Credit – CDC PHIL     # 8827   For those who missed yesterday’s bombshell press conference on recent government lab biosafety incidents involving anthrax, smallpox and  avian H5N1, the CDC has posted the audio file, transcript, and some timeline graphics.    While there has been a great deal of excellent media coverage over the past 18 hours (including Helen Branswell’s  What happened at the CDC’s flu lab? & […]
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11:00 AM | Psychological Factors Predict Soccer Injuries
As the World Cup continues in Brazil, several star players have been left out due to injuries: French winger Franck Ribery due to a back problem, Colombia’s striker Radamel Falcao out with a torn ACL, Germany’s Marco Reus’ ankle injury, Italy’s midfielder Riccardo Montolivo’s broken tibia, and Theo Walcott of England as the result of […]
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8:00 AM | News digest – vasectomies and prostate cancer, fishing for cells, brain tumour epilepsy and more
Vasectomies and prostate cancer, fishing for rogue tumours cells in blood, a discovery on brain tumour epilepsy plus much more - here’s the week’s news.

July 11, 2014

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9:39 PM | LabBook July 11, 2014
This week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians.
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8:21 PM | The Sexual Politics of Autism
A diagnosis of autism is almost five times more common in boys than girls. But a new study suggest the sex differences in autism have been greatly exaggerated. …
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5:22 PM | Box of Pox: The Return of the Smallpox
According to a CDC media release, vials labeled “Variola”, more commonly known as Smallpox, were found in an unused storage room in a laboratory at the NIH, Bethesda, which was used by the Food and Drug Administration. The laboratory had been shifted and these final materials were being transferred to the new facilities when these…
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4:36 PM | CDC Announces Another Serious Biosecurity Incident
BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID     # 8826   It’s been a bad summer for US government labs, with two high profile biosecurity incidents involving `select agents’ – the most dangerous types of pathogens – reported over the past couple of weeks.  First, there was the potential anthrax exposure incident (see CDC Statement On Possible Lab Exposure To Anthrax), reported on June 19th, followed last week by the discovery […]
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3:20 PM | Our new report – gazing into a tobacco-free future
Our 'Tobacco Control Endgames' report launched this week - but what is an 'endgame' and how might this help us achieve a tobacco-free future?
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3:00 PM | A Scottish doctor endorses Robert O. Young’s “pH Miracle Living”
I didn’t think I’d be revisiting this topic so quickly. However, given that I’m at TAM and I don’t have a lot of time to do one of my usual 2,000 word epics for a change, I thought that this story, which popped up the other day while I was traveling was at least worth…
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1:44 PM | WER: Update On Human Cases Of Influenza At Human-Animal Interface
H5N1 activity by year – Credit WER     # 8825 This week the World Health Organization’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) is devoted to a detailed review of human infections by novel (swine & avian) flu viruses over the course of 2013. As in the past, a good deal of time is spent on the H5N1 virus, but last year also saw the emergence of a new contender for the dominant avian flu throne – H7N9 -  the return of H3N2v and H1N1v swine […]
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1:04 PM | Parvovirus B19 and the Kidney
Parvovirus B19 (PVB19) is a small, non-enveloped, single-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Erythrovirus genus, named for their tropism for erythroid precursor cells. It is the only known parvovirus to infect humans. By late adulthood, most people have IgG Anti-PVB19 serology demonstrating previous exposure, often from an asymptomatic infection. However, infection with PVB19 may cause a variety of clinical syndromes including fifth disease (‘Erythema infectiosum‘, a childhood viral […]
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12:00 PM | The Force from Outside In: Cells Sense Surrounding Protein Stiffness for Insider Info
A new study is shedding light on how cells respond to surrounding “stiff” tissue that can influence cells to go rogue—and ultimately cause disease. A better understanding of that process could help advance the development of treatments for cancers and cardiovascular disease resistant to therapy. An article in Science Signaling...
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11:21 AM | Wolbachia, West Nile Virus & An Unexpected Result
Credit Wikpedia   # 8824   Three years ago the mosquito-disease control world was abuzz with news of a promising new method to prevent mosquitoes from carrying, and passing on, dengue to humans. It involved infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia, a bacterium commonly carried by a variety of insects around the world, and then releasing them into the wild. Scientists discovered that when mosquitoes are infected with Wolbachia, their lifespan was halved and their ability to […]
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9:11 AM | WHO Epidemiology & Surveillance Update On Ebola – July 10th
@WHO & Partners Ebola Response In Guinea   # 8823     As we saw in our last World Health Organization update (July 7th), the number of new cases in Guinea continue to tumble, while Ebola continues to spread vigorously in neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Over the past 7 days Guinea has only reported one new case, while 94 new cases have been reported in Sierra Leone (n=66) and Liberia (n=27).     Ebola virus disease, West Africa – […]
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