Posts

October 10, 2014

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12:00 PM | 10 facts you should know about breast cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
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11:29 AM | WHO Marburg Update – Uganda
  # 9175 Five days ago, in Uganda Reporting Apparent Marburg Outbreak, we learned of what appeared to be the first case of Marburg virus infection since 2012, involving 1 `confirmed’ case in Kampala, Uganda, along with a number of contacts under observation. Marburg hemorrhagic fever (Marburg HF) is normally found in parts of eastern and central Africa, and is less commonly reported than its more famous Ebola cousins.   Today we’ve an update from […]
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11:09 AM | UK Statement On Airport Screening For Ebola
Credit UK.gov   # 9174   Three days ago the UK government was still openly resisting the idea of screening inbound passengers for Ebola symptoms  (see Ebola surveillance and contingency planning ongoing in UK) - but between public and media pressures to `do something’, and seeing the United States and Canada announce targeted enhanced screening (see Airport Screening Fact Sheet) – the decision to go ahead has finally been made.   While airport […]
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10:45 AM | Sh*t naturopaths say, part 2: Naturopathic education and science
Well, Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014 (or, as I like to refer to it, Quackery Week) is fast drawing to a close; so I figured I’d end it with one last post. Since several of you liked my post a couple of days ago Sh*t naturopaths say and agreed with me when I suggested at the…
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10:07 AM | A Blogger’s Dilemma – What To Do About `Suspect’ Ebola Cases
  # 9173   Over the past 48 hours I’m aware of perhaps a dozen suspected Ebola `scares’ around the world (outside of Western Africa) where one or more persons has displayed symptoms consistent with the disease – resulting in hospitalization and/or testing.   Recent locations have included Paris, Macedonia, Texas,  Brazil, and  Prague.   I’ve not blogged any of these cases because: Most, I believe, will turn out to be false […]
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10:00 AM | Image of the Week: Florence Nightingale’s Moccasins
This week we’ve discovered some footwear which may have helped keep some very famous feet warm! These moccasins from the Science Museum are purported to have belonged to Florence Nightingale while she worked in Scutari military hospital, in what is now Istanbul, Turkey. The “lady with the lamp” is commonly known for reducing the death rates on the wards […]
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10:00 AM | Farewell #Sciox
Science Online announced its dissolution yesterday. This makes me sad; I learned a lot from this conference. However, I am not surprised at this outcome. Science Online 2014 failed to attract a number of professional writers that attended earlier versions of the unconference. I learned a lot from these people, especially about the craft and […]
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9:42 AM | Improving the health of pre-adolescent children: The latest update to the Pediatric Medicine Collection
In celebration of PLOS Medicine’s 10th birthday, we announce an exciting update to the Pediatric Medicine Collection, highlighting new articles focusing on the health needs of 5 to 10 year old children globally. In January 2014 PLOS Medicine launched a … Continue reading »The post Improving the health of pre-adolescent children: The latest update to the Pediatric Medicine Collection appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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4:00 AM | No Ice Buckets or Pink Ribbons for Very Rare Genetic Diseases
As enthusiasm for dumping ice on one another fades with autumn and October brings pervasive pink, I wish that attention would turn to families confronting diseases not as well known as ALS and breast cancer. HOW RARE IS RARE? According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, “rare disease” in the U.S. means affecting fewer than 200,000 people. These conditions number about 6,800, collectively affecting nearly 30 million Americans or 1 in 10 people. Many are single-gene […]
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1:39 AM | Naturopathy, Paternalism and Infertility Treatments
This is another post in the naturopathy versus science series, where a naturopath’s advice is assessed against the scientific literature. It’s Naturopathic Medicine Week in the United States, so it’s time for another look at the alternative medicine practice that blogger Orac likes to call the One Quackery to Rule them All. Naturopathy is an […]

October 09, 2014

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9:09 PM | Traveling With Ebola Is Not Traveling With Influenza
With everyone away at IDWeek, I've had time to think about Ebola and things like airport screening programs. I'm not supportive of outright travel bans. As many have eloquently said, bans will do more economic harm than good and hinder efforts in West Africa. What I do have trouble with is equating Ebola with Influenza. Many of the discussions concerning travel restrictions and Ebola spread have centered around models and estimates derived from respiratory viruses epidemics like the 2009 […]
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8:35 PM | The Future of Telemedicine is Here
Over the past 20 years, advancements in research and the understanding of genetics have created a boom in patient demand for genetic tests. According to the National Library of Medicine, less than 300 genetic tests were available in the 1990s; in contrast, at the end of 2012, almost 3,000 genetic...
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8:31 PM | Twitterbots for NGS
I've been inspired to create three Twitterbots for NGS papers on @RNA-seq, @ChIP-seq and @Exome-seq by Casey Bergman at the University of Manchester. I'd not come across Caseys twitter account (I don't actually use Twitter that much) or his lab website and blog; but I was directed there by a piece on the Nature website...How to tame the flood of literature.What Casey has done is pretty simple and it is very well explained in his blog post, or by Rob Lanfear who has posted instructions on […]
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7:47 PM | COCA Call Transcript & Audio On Neurological Illness In Children Now Online
  #9172   The transcripts & audio from last week’s very important COCA Call on recent cases of  Neurologic Illness with Limb Weakness in Children that has appeared coincident to the recent EV-D68 outbreaks around the nation are now available online.    If you are a clinician – and you haven’t heard this hour-long presentation – now is your opportunity.   I blogged the latest information from the CDC this morning on these […]
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7:35 PM | HHS: An Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals
    # 9171   In order to help it get the greatest possible exposure I’ve reprinted the following letter from the HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response Dr. Nicole Lurie to all US healthcare professionals regarding Ebola preparedness.   An Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals Dear Colleague, As a frontline healthcare provider, you play an essential role in protecting the health and […]
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7:26 PM | UChicago Medicine wins CDC grant to lead unique hepatitis C alliance
The Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes Chicago (ECHO-Chicago) program at the University of Chicago Medicine has received a $1.55 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lead an unprecedented public health collaboration to reduce hepatitis C (HCV) infections in Chicago.
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6:00 PM | Lung cancer evolution – a journey through space and time
Two new studies reveal the processes in our cells that cause lung cancers develop - a process that can take more than twenty years.
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5:11 PM | SCID-X1 Gene Therapy, Take 2
Beneath all the bad news about viruses this week lies a good virus: the one that underlies gene therapy for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1). Altered viruses are the vehicles that transfer healthy human genes into the cells of people … Continue reading »The post SCID-X1 Gene Therapy, Take 2 appeared first on DNA Science Blog.
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5:01 PM | ECDC Comment & WHO Update On Spain’s Ebola Case
    # 9170   Given that Spain’s locally-acquired Ebola case was considered a `low risk’ contact, and transmission occurred in a modern hospital facility that was aware they were treating an Ebola patient, and actually had previous experience doing so,  there is intense interest in just how she came to be infected.   While theories abound, it is possible we’ll never know for sure.   This nosocomial transmission has prompted […]
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4:48 PM | University of Chicago establishes national center to study genetics of drug abuse in rats
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has awarded the University of Chicago a $12 million, five year grant to establish a national Center of Excellence to study drug abuse-associated behaviors by conducting research with rats.
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4:45 PM | Fear vs. apathy as Ebola expands beyond Africa
Should you be afraid? How afraid? While it’s tough to report well on any public health issue, it’s especially tough in the case of Ebola, where the essential messages seem to be contradictory: First, that Ebola is dangerous and devastating; … Continue reading »The post Fear vs. apathy as Ebola expands beyond Africa appeared first on Public Health.
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3:54 PM | My New Baby
Hard copies arrived! My new book, The Promotion Game, arrived in a big box. I never realized how proud I would feel to see my work in print and hold it in my hands. It's almost like giving birth to something, except without the blood. If you are interested in succeeding in academic medicine, this […]
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1:50 PM | From Einstein Medical Student to Einstein’s Associate Dean of Diversity
It was the fall of 1984 when I interviewed at Einstein to become a medical student. I can still remember the jitters I felt. I was the first person in my Puerto Rican family who was born in the U.S., the first to pursue a graduate degree, the first to attempt to become a physician. [...]
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1:33 PM | ID Week Comes to Philadelphia
The annual infection diseases conference known as ID Week kicked off in Philadelphia yesterday, and it couldn’t be more timely. And it’s not just because of Ebola. A slew of other outbreaks have been in the public eye as of late: enterovirus, MERS, dengue fever. The program organizers have shifted...
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1:31 PM | EID Journal: Human Co-Infection with Avian and Seasonal Influenza Viruses, China
Credit AFD   # 9169   One of the concerns we have with novel influenza viruses – those that primarily infect non-human species – is that when they do jump to humans, they may occasionally encounter and interact with human influenza viruses, and produce a more `humanized’ hybrid virus.    A reassortant virus, with genes from both parental subtypes. We know this can happen in the wild, as reassortment is the route by which many new subtypes […]
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12:23 PM | AWARE Results Finally Published – No Evidence of NDE
Back in May I participated in a debate for Intelligence Squared regarding “Death is not Final.” At the time I was updating myself on the published literature regarding alleged near death experiences or NDEs, and noticed that the AWARE study (AWAreness during REsuscitation) had been completed but the data not yet published. I was disappointed that [...]
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11:35 AM | Airport Screening Fact Sheet
  # 9168   Although it won’t detect asymptomatic carriers of Ebola (the incubation period runs up to 21 days) or those less than forthright about their previous Ebola exposures, the US has announced limited targeted screening of visitors with recent travel history to Liberia, Guinea, or Sierra Leone (see CDC Statement On Airport Screening Of Arrivals From West Africa).   While there are some benefits to this type of screening, no one should be overly reassured […]
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11:30 AM | Naturopathy vs. Science: Infertility Edition
This is another post in the naturopathy versus science series, where a naturopath’s advice is assessed against the scientific literature. It’s Naturopathic Medicine Week in the United States, so it’s time for another look at the alternative medicine practice that a friend of the blog likes to call the One Quackery to Rule them All.  Naturopathy […]
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11:00 AM | Brain Trickery – Seeing in Slow Motion
The brain is capable of endless thoughts, visions, and perceptions. It’s a complex but perfectly tuned system that operates smoothly most of the time. But sometimes things can get strange. Not necessarily abnormal, but strange nonetheless. Seeing events in a slow motion is a rare phenomenon that certainly belongs to this category of rather unusual […]
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10:37 AM | CDC Update On Investigation Into Acute Neurological Illness Of Unknown Etiology In Kids
Credit CDC   # 9167   The audio and transcript from last Friday’s CDC COCA Call on  Neurologic Illness with Limb Weakness in Children have yet to be uploaded to the COCA site, but we do have a brief update on the ongoing investigation into recent reports of neurological illness and limb weakness which began around August 1st of this year (see Unexplained Paralysis Hospitalizes Children).   Almost two weeks ago the CDC released a HAN: Acute Neurologic […]
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