Posts

December 08, 2014

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8:29 AM | Old wine in a new skin: The Society for Integrative Oncology promotes integrating pseudoscience into oncology
Last week, I discussed a monograph published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs entitled Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Use of Integrative Therapies as Supportive Care in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer. As you might remember, I was completely unimpressed. However, those guidelines were not the only thing in that particular JNCI…
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8:00 AM | Vani Hari, a.k.a. “The Food Babe,” finally responds to critics
It’s no secret that we here at Science-Based Medicine (and many scientists and skeptics with a knowledge of basic chemistry and biology) have been very critical of Vani Hari, better known to her fans as The Food Babe. The reasons for our criticisms of her are legion. Basically, she is a seemingly-never-ending font of misinformation […]
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12:57 AM | Your Liver: The Ultimate Dextox
'Tis the holiday season and I'm happily imbibing in seasonally appropriate gustatory delights. Is this healthy you ask? To which I reply, I have to eat and drink every day to maintain homeostasis, I may as well ingest pumpkin-spice, peppermint-chocolate, and apple-cinnamon flavored sustenance while I can. With carrots on the side, of course.Though my "everything in moderation" dietary school of thought keeps me from suffering much angst when confronted with the holiday smorgasbord, I'd say I'm […]

December 07, 2014

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9:35 PM | Infectious Diseases and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Match
Here we go again. Another internal medicine subspecialty “match day” and another record (bad) day for ID. How bad? The previous record (set last year) for unfilled ID programs was 54. This year 70 programs went unfilled, meaning that for the first time ever there were more programs that didn’t fill than that did. Almost 100 funded ID training positions unfilled in a single year!We’ve blogged about this trend before, here and here, and discussed some of the reasons […]
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5:44 PM | Anthrax in Odisha: Time for One Health in India?
An outbreak of anthrax in Koraput, Odisha, and the lack of public health information around it prompts advocacy on the adoption of the One Health framework in India as well.
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4:58 PM | Trichinella Outbreak in Belgium: How Infections Cross International Borders
Pork, infected with larvae of Trichinella, imported from Spain, has led to an outbreak of Trichinellosis in parts of Belgium. Though the outbreak focus has been identified and preventative measures adopted, this goes to show we have very poor control over how infections spread.
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4:08 PM | Novel Psittacine Adenovirus Responsible for Potentiating Zoonotic Psittacosis Outbreak: Emerging Co-Infections
A novel adenovirus potentiates the species jump of Chlamydophila psittaci from birds to man, causing atypical pneumonia (psittacosis). Viruses, in addition to jumping the species barrier themselves, now are helping other bacteria to do the same: is this the beginning of the age of microbes?
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3:53 PM | The Year Of Spreading Dangerously
  # 9420 In addition to providing the usual scourges of malaria, dengue, seasonal influenza, antibiotic resistant bacteria and pneumonia, 2014 has provided us with a number of new, or sometimes simply transplanted, disease threats around the world.     A reminder that in our highly mobile and interconnected world, a disease threat anywhere can easily become a disease threat everywhere.    The tone for the new year was set during the opening days […]
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2:00 PM | Unrepentant Homeopaths Still Selling Sugar Pills to Prevent Infectious Disease
Alternative medicine is ascendant in Canada. From the dubious remedies that are now stocked by nearly every pharmacy, to the questionable “integrative” medicine at universities, there’s a serious move to embrace treatments and practices that are not backed by credible evidence. Canada’s support for alternative medicine, and for its “integration” into conventional health care is […]
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12:00 PM | Is Anxiety Really a Gift?
Anxiety is most known as a “thinking” disorder which can be evidenced through symptoms such as chronic worrying. Science now shows that human beings have on average between 60,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day and according to author Joe Dispenza, roughly “70% of those thoughts are negative in nature.” Negative thoughts create negative emotions which […]
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11:39 AM | Guangdong, China Reports 1 (Fatal) H7N9 Case
Credit Wikipedia   #  9419   For the second time in less than 9 days we are alerted to an H7N9 infection in China’s Guangdong province (see Nov 28’s H7N9 Case In Guangdong Province), this time involving a 66 year old male who died on December 3rd, and diagnosis was only made post mortem via routine testing for the virus among severe respiratory cases.   This brings to 111 the number of cases reported by Guangdong province since the virus first […]
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8:19 AM | AVIVA Semi-Finals: National ME/FM Action Network is competing for $100,000
The National ME/FM Action Network in Canada is competing for $100,000 for biomedical research of ME and FM in the Aviva Community Fund contest. With thanks to all who helped, they made it through the first round of voting into the Semi-Finals. The Semi-Finals are now underway and require casting a daily vote through Dec 10th. Voting ends at 4pm EST on December 10th. The top 20 from the large prize division will become Finalists in the judging phase to determine how much each project will […]
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5:01 AM | No, the CDC did not just “admit” that this year’s flu vaccine doesn’t work
Since the press release was originally issued on Thursday by now surely most of you have seen the news stories that popped up beginning yesterday morning with headlines like “CDC Warning: Flu Viruses Mutate and Evade Current Vaccine“, or “Flu vaccine protects against wrong strain, US health officials warn“, or “Flu shots may not be […]
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5:00 AM | Using the Genetic Code for Passwords
Many years ago, a friend was helping me set up a desktop computer. When the time came to choose a password, he said it should be: • Alphanumeric • More than 7 numbers or letters • Obvious to me, but not to anyone else The genetic code popped into my mind, and has remained an endless source of diverse passwords, valuable because they may seem nonsensical to non-biologists.

December 06, 2014

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11:00 PM | Debunking the vaccine denier myths of the Argument by Package Insert
Revised 6 December 2014 to clarify a few points, improve readability and include a new logical fallacy. One of the cherished strategies of vaccine deniers is to quote the package insert (called a Patient Information Leaflet in EU countries and Instructions for Use in the case of medical devices) to “prove” that vaccines are dangerous. Vaccine […]Continue reading «Debunking the vaccine denier myths of the Argument by Package Insert»
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10:27 PM | The Trouble with Jim
Colleagues, writers, readers, hear me for my cause…I come not to bury Watson, but to historicize him. James Watson has not been in the news much in recent years. In fact, he has been lying low since 2007, when he said he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa,” because “all our social policies […]
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2:48 PM | Shanghai Reports H7N9 Case
Credit Wikipedia # 9418     A brief announcement today from the Shanghai Department of Health and Family Planning gives us the bare-bones details on what is their first reported case of H7N9 case of this fall. During the first two waves (spring 2013, winter-spring 2014), Shanghai was the fourth most active region in China, reporting 41 human infections. With more than 24 million people, Shanghai is China’s most populous city, and was one of the first regions […]
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2:35 PM | #beggaraccess: Nature, Dark Social, Free to View and the Open Access Debate
Nature has recently opened up its vast treasure trove to all those who know someone with access to them. Here I wonder at the irony of the fact that they are raising more barriers in the name of access!
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2:21 PM | Egypt: Media Reports 15th H5N1 Case – Toddler In Sohag
Credit Wikipedia   # 9417 There are a number of media stories regarding the testing of  `suspected’ H5N1 cases in Gharbia, and Minya Egypt this morning, and this time of year – with winter’s predictable rise in respiratory viruses – that isn’t unexpected.     No doubt dozens are tested every day during the winter in Egypt, but most end up not being avian flu.    But in the past hour numerous Egyptian media […]
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12:26 PM | ECDC Rapid Risk Assessment: Plague In Madagascar
  # 9416   A couple of weeks ago, in WHO: Plague Returns To Madagascar, we looked at what has become an annual occurrence – a spike in plague cases on that island country of 22 million people.  Plague (Yersinia Pestis) is a bacterial infection transmitted by fleas, carried by infected rats.    The most common presentation is Bubonic plague, however in rare cases, Pneumonic Plague may develop, where the victim develops severe pneumonia and may spread […]
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12:00 PM | Psychosis – A Dream-Like State Of Mind?
Have you ever thought of psychosis as a dream-like state of mind? Dreaming does actually bear strong similarities with the psychotic state of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Psychotic states are characterized by hallucinations, loosening of associations, incongruity of personal experience, and a loss of self-reflective capacity. Dreams can also be seen as a kind […]
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9:00 AM | News digest – the Autumn Statement and cancer, surgery in older people, broccoli and more
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and what it means for cancer, new report on surgery in older patients, and is there such a thing as a ‘broccoli pill'?
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5:32 AM | Killed by an Abundance Of Caution?
Back in August, I wrote:“most patients returning from the outbreak area with febrile illness (those meeting the Person Under Investigation (PUI) definition) will not have Ebola, but they may be very sick. If an overly stringent lab protocol prohibits or delays laboratory testing, substandard medical care may lead to adverse outcomes.”In September, I wrote:“the overwhelming majority of those with febrile illness upon return from the outbreak areas will not have Ebola—but […]
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2:00 AM | MSG-myth versus science
Updated 5 December 2014 Food additives are one of the most passionate issues amongst people who eat (which would be everyone). Aspartame. High fructose corn syrup. GMO‘s. Salt. Sugar. Trans fats. Polysorbate 80. Some of the angst caused by these additives is that they have scary chemical names. Obviously the “low fructose corn syrup” has got to be […]Continue reading «MSG-myth versus science»

December 05, 2014

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11:37 PM | The physics of dogs drinking water
I have to be honest. I have always wondered whether my dog actually got any water in his mouth. It always seemed to me that the majority of water ends up on my floor. High speed video collected and analyzed by a team of researchers from Virginia Tech (Sean Gart, Jake Socha and Sunghwan Jung)…
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9:55 PM | Ebola Virus Disease: Platform for North-South Collaboration Urgently Needed
Solomon Nwaka and colleagues summarize the outcomes of the September meeting of the Board, and Scientific and Advisory Committee (STAC) of the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI) on Ebola, and outline the next steps for combating EVD. … Continue reading »The post Ebola Virus Disease: Platform for North-South Collaboration Urgently Needed appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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8:23 PM | Grossman Institute Opens House
John Maunsell, PhD, inaugural director of the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior, hosts an Open House for the Institute’s new laboratory and office space.
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7:48 PM | LabBook December 5, 2014
Eleanor Roosevelt, metformin and teaching CPR at a baseball game, all in this week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians.
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7:17 PM | Cerebrovascular physiology – article alert #90
Orthostatic tolerance and the brain 462- Impact of hypocapnia and cerebral perfusion on orthostatic tolerance – Lewis et al. 463- Phenylephrine Alteration of Cerebral Blood Flow During Orthostasis; Effect on N-Back Performance in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Medow et al. Cerebral autoregulation 464- Does the static cerebral autoregulatory plateau have a finite slope in healthy […]
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5:56 PM | The Trend: More than a Twitter Sidebar
I've always found one of the most fascinating aspects of social media to be its Hemingway-like quest to pack as much information into as small a space as possible. What started with Xanga and LiveJournal — two of the many longform blogging platforms us angsty teenagers of the early 2000s...
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