Posts

September 04, 2014

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8:23 PM | Boosting Potassium Intake to Lower Stroke Risk
The American Heart Association journal Stroke published an article this afternoon that reinforces the importance of sufficient potassium intake in reducing risk for the most common type of stroke. The study involved more than 90,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79, who were followed for an average of 11 years. Compared with women who ate [...]
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7:11 PM | The Hungry Heart
Examining the fuels that benefit an injured heart.
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6:24 PM | The newest sequencer on the block: Base4 goes public
I've heard lots of presentations about novel sequencing technologies, many have never arrived, some have come and gone, all have been pretty neat ideas; but so far not one has arrived that outperforms the Illumina systems many readers of this blog are using.Base4's pyrophosphorolysis sequencing technologyThe latest newcomer is Base4's single-molecule microdroplet sequencing technology. The picture above explains the process very well: a single molecule of double-stranded DNA is immobilised in […]
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4:17 PM | WHO Ebola Update – Sept 4th
Credit CDC PHIL     # 9039   With the caveats that the numbers are constantly changing, and that in some areas reporting and surveillance is either scant or nonexistent, we have the latest update from the World Health Organization.   With the recent imported case into Senegal, this DON now covers 5 African nations. Ebola virus disease outbreak – west Africa Disease outbreak news 4 September 2014 Epidemiology and surveillance […]
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3:47 PM | Apple wants to track all of your health data, but that may not be useful to doctors just yet
Apple is set to release new software that consolidates all of your health and fitness data in one place. But is that useful for a physician?
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3:09 PM | How transmissible is Ebola? About the same as pandemic flu.
There seems to be very little good news associated with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The death toll is now approaching 2,000, and the disease continues to spread. The World Health Organization reports that a lack of resources has hampered its efforts. And we have recently learned that another physician has developed the disease. What's worrisome about his case is that he had no known contact with an Ebola infected patient.Over the past few weeks, I have read several times that the Ebola […]
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2:44 PM | Collaborating with compounds
In July we unveiled a new partnership with seven pharmaceutical companies to share deprioritised compounds for research in new disease areas. Here Chris Watkins, the MRC’s Director of Translational Research and Industry, […]
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2:30 PM | Did the “CDC whistleblower” William W. Thompson apologize to Andrew Wakefield in a text message?
Orac post-publication note: There is reason to believe that one point I made below could well be incorrect. However, even leaving that point out, there are still many reasons to doubt the authenticity of the text exchange I discuss below. See the first 10 comments for a discussion. Unlike AoA and other antivaccine groups, if…
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2:16 PM | Vietnam: More H5N6 Outbreaks In Poultry
Photo Credit – FAO     # 9038   Admittedly, with only 1 human notch on its belt (see Sichuan China: 1st Known Human Infection With H5N6 Avian Flu), the H5N6 avian flu virus which emerged last April may seem an almost trivial public health hazard – particularly when compared to the recent exploits of MERS, H7N9, and Ebola.   But big epidemics from little viruses grow, and the same could have been said about MERS, H7N9, and even Ebola not so long […]
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1:36 PM | Low-diversity sequencing: RRBS made easy
Illumina recently released a new version of HCS v2.2.38 for the HiSeq. The update improves cluster definition significantly and enables low-diversity sequencing. It’s a great update and one that’s making a big impact on a couple of projects here. Better RRBS: the current RRBS protocols require a very strange HiSeq protocol involving an initial template read with four dark cycles that is thrown away before analysis can begin. The template read is required due to the RRBS libraries […]
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1:00 PM | Meet our Postdocs: Juan Pablo Palavicini
This interview with Lake Nona postdoc Juan Pablo Palavicini, Ph.D., is the second installment in our "Meet the Postdocs" Beaker series.
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12:50 PM | WHO Consultation On Potential Ebola Treatments & Vaccines
    # 9037     Although we won’t know the results until the post-meeting press conference tomorrow (Friday, 5 September, at 18:00 CEST 12:00 EDT), today and tomorrow the World Health Organization is convening a consultation of international experts to discuss potential Ebola therapies and vaccines.   Given the extent of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a little over three weeks ago (see Ethical Use Of Experimental Drugs In Ebola Outbreak ) the WHO […]
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12:40 PM | Doubt and Confusion over Global Warming
Global warming (or global climate change) continues to be a contentious issue because of the political ramifications of the science. When I talk to those who doubt human-caused (anthropogenic) global warming inevitably they express a strong political opinion about the implications of AGW – that it is being used to justify government take-over of private [...]
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11:19 AM | NPM14: Create A Family Communications Plan
  # 9036     September is National Preparedness Month, and this year the theme for Week 1 is: How to Reconnect With Family after a Disaster, where FEMA and Ready.gov  urge that all families create an emergency communications plan. Disasters can strike with little or no warning, and some family members may be at school, work, or simply away from home.  In the event of a sudden evacuation or displacement, you’ll want to have a meeting place already […]
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9:28 AM | Getting passionate about primary science
One of the key priorities for the Wellcome Trust Education and Learning team is reinvigorating primary school science. We know that early encounters with science and discovery help to shape children’s understanding of the world and develop important skills. A recent Wellcome Trust study showed that some schools were missing out on access to specialist […]
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7:29 AM | Can Men and Women Be Just Friends? | The Science of Love
Can Men and Women Be Just Friends? | The Science of Love Is it actually possible? What if there’s some attraction there? Have you ever found yourself trapped in the, “friend zone?” This week on The Science of Love we’re investigating attraction in friendships – talking to real friends to find out how and ifRead More »
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5:00 AM | Chiropractic “pediatrics” firmly in the anti-vaccination camp
Who would you invite to speak at your conference if you wanted to show the world you are firmly in the anti-vaccination camp?  Barbara Loe Fisher, head of the National Vaccine (Mis) Information Center (NVIC)?  How about Andrew Wakefield, the thoroughly disgraced British physician who, having been stripped of his medical license, continues his despicable […]
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4:00 AM | Medical Success Stories: From Cystic Fibrosis to Diabetes
A skinny little boy, with mocha skin and curly black hair, lived in the apartment building next door when I was growing up in Brooklyn in the 1960s. He didn’t live long enough to go to kindergarten. He had cystic fibrosis. Today’s tots with CF face a far brighter future. A recent report in the Annals of Internal Medicine applied trends in survival from 2000 to 2010 to project life expectancy for children diagnosed in 2010: 37 years for girls and 40 years for boys. (The difference […]
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4:00 AM | “These go to eleven”, Laboratory Edition
We’ve covered some of the controversial issues around Ebola planning in US hospitals (recognizing that planning meetings in places where Ebola isn’t seem trivial compared with the disaster unfolding where Ebola is). A couple more opinion pieces have come out in the past week, one from The Lancet and one from Annals of Internal Medicine. Despite ongoing disagreements regarding transmissibility, I think most US hospitals will take a similar approach: to ensure that patients […]

September 03, 2014

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8:28 PM | A Visionary Dean, 44 Years Before Health Care Reform
Compare these two quotations. First: “Medical want in the midst of medical riches is an unconscionable inequity, and it could be socially explosive. Good medical care for some of the people some of the time is no longer acceptable; competent medical care for all of the people all of the...
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8:18 PM | Nature Communications: Respiratory Transmission of Avian H3N8 In Ferrets
Photo Credit Wikipedia   # 9035   For those who aren’t completely overwhelmed by the plethora of zoonotic pathogens that have been coming out of the woodwork over the past few years, we’ve a new study today on an avian influenza virus – first isolated in New England seals back in 2011 (see New England Seal Deaths Tied to H3N8 Flu Virus)  –  that finds it is not only well adapted to mammalian hosts, that it can also be easily transmitted between […]
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6:54 PM | Fecal transplantation: Not just for medical journals anymore
A new piece in the Atlantic by science writer Amanda Schaffer is the best article in the mainstream media on fecal transplantation that I have seen (and I think I've seen them all). She tackles a complex topic, makes it understandable without losing the nuance, and covers both the medical and regulatory aspects.
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6:35 PM | Are Viruses Causing Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is triggered by the body's autoimmune response to the protein gluten, but do viruses contribute to this reaction too? UChicago Celiac Disease Center research Dr. Valentina Discepolo writes about how understanding the body's response could lead to better treatment.
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5:21 PM | WHO: Port Harcourt (Nigeria) Ebola Update
  # 9034   We’ve an update from the World Health Organization today on the chain of events that led to the infection, and death, of a Port Harcourt physician from the Ebola virus. While parts of this story have been reported in the media over the past few days - this is the most complete, and worrisome – account  to date.   After being exposed to a patient who fled Lagos, the doctor developed symptoms of his own on August 11th. Regrettably, he […]
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3:18 PM | The Celsius Quiz this week – did you choose the right career?
This week's Celsius quiz will help you answer the question if you picked the right career.
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2:54 PM | How to Succeed at Open Innovation
Today we launch “Shaping the Future of Open Innovation: A practical guide for life sciences organisations”, a new resource created by a collaboration led by the Wellcome Trust, the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI) and Kinapse. Rosie Pigott from CASMI, a Wellcome Trust seed funded initiative to accelerate the process of […]
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2:43 PM | Tackling fear and fatalism – our Talk Cancer workshops
We discuss the results of a recently published evaluation of our Talk Cancer workshops, which aim to educate health workers in the issues around cancer.
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2:17 PM | Why ICART, a New Research Center in the D.R.Congo, is Needed
An International Center for Advanced Research and Training (ICART) has been launched in Panzi, Bukavu, in the South-Kivu Province of the DR Congo. This province has suffered many wars over decades and is trying to recover. ICART is organizing its …The post Why ICART, a New Research Center in the D.R.Congo, is Needed appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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2:01 PM | PLoS Currents: Calculating An R0 For Ebola
R0 (pronounced R-nought) or Basic Reproductive Number. Essentially, the number of new cases in a susceptible population likely to arise from a single infection. With an R0 below 1.0, a virus (as an outbreak) begins to sputter and dies out. Above 1.0, and an outbreak can have `legs’.   # 9033   One of the crucial pieces of information epidemiologists and statisticians seek on infectious diseases is just how contagious is it?   Some viruses – like measles […]
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2:00 PM | Nuance versus certainty: The disadvantage scientists and physicians have in communicating risk
This post, although it is about an interview with a CDC scientist named William W. Thompson that resulted from the whole “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy that’s been flogged relentlessly for the last two weeks, since antivaccine “heros” Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker released a despicable race-bating video flogging Hooker’s utterly incompetent reanalysis of a ten year…
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