Posts

September 26, 2014

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10:52 PM | Thank you to our Sanford-Burnham Cheerleaders
On Sunday, Sept. 21 over 40 volunteers came out to support Pedal the Cause San Diego at the Sanford-Burnham cheer tent located at the top of the Torrey Pines mesa.
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10:44 PM | Excerpt from an "Open Letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping"
Re:  Open Letter to President Xi Jinping, 34th Anniversay of China’s One Child PolicyBy Reggie LittleJohnPosted on September 25th, 2014 To President Xi Jinping:Today is the 34th anniversary of the official institution of China’s barbaric One Child Policy, which has caused incalculable suffering to hundreds of millions of women and families of China. It is time for this policy to end.  It will not work to replace it by a ‘two-child policy’ as some […]
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10:41 PM | Why big animals do not have higher cancer risks
I read an interesting article in Scientific American that discussed the so-called Peto’s Paradox. Dr. Richard Peto (University of Oxford) came up with the idea that if every cell has an equal probability of becoming cancerous, then larger animals would be predicted to develop cancer at higher rates than smaller animals. As it turns out,…
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9:57 PM | Cardboard Darwinism
My recent review in Nature of Nicholas Wade‘s, Michael Yudell‘s, and Robert Sussman‘s new books criticizes all three. The first comes out of the political right wing and is slyly allied with the racist, Pioneer-Funded scientific camp; the latter two identify with the Left’s argument that race is purely a cultural construct. Wade’s argument is far more dangerous than Yudell’s […]
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8:38 PM | First City of American Medicine
Fifty years ago this month, The Philadelphia Bulletin devoted almost its entire Sunday issue to a look at Philadelphia’s place in the history of medicine. The cover featured a Penn doctor who was already an iconic figure -- I. S. Ravdin, former chair of Surgery. When the issue appeared, Ravdin...
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6:52 PM | LabBook September 26, 2014
Second cancers, US News rankings and more in this week's rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians.
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3:15 PM | FDA Takes On Essential Snake Oils
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tasked with ensuring quality and transparency in the foods and drugs that are sold to consumers. This is a daunting task, and by all accounts the FDA is commonly understaffed, without the resources to thoroughly do its job. Further, politics often hamstrings the agency, so they don’t have [...]
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3:00 PM | Using parental guilt to sell dubious supplements
The supplement industry wants you to buy their products, and they’re not above using a little parental guilt to make you into a customer. In the photo above, the promoter is my local pharmacy, where the large window display caught my eye: Give your Child The Tools to SUCCEED in School! Who doesn’t want their […]
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2:53 PM | Image of the Week: Artificial Knee Joint
Perhaps you see vessels or worm-like structures when looking at our image this week. Or perhaps it looks more like synthetic fibres or metal wires. There’s something quite beautiful about it but also something a little bit unsettling. Is this a photo of something man-made or organic? You could say it is both! It is […]
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12:58 PM | MMWR: Updated Preparedness and Response Framework for Influenza Pandemics
Hypothetical Influenza Outbreak Curve   # 9016   Last year the World Health Organization Unveiled New Pandemic Guidance, replacing their old pandemic phase system (3 pre-pandemic phases+ 3 pandemic phases+2 post-pandemic phases) with a more streamlined 4-phase system.   As you’ll note, this system utilizes `soft’ transitions from one phase to the next, indicating that changes may happen slowly, or at different rates in different regions, rather than […]
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12:30 PM | The Food Babe and Rob Schneider: When companies choose poorly
It’s been a bad week for celebrity quacks; that is, after starting out looking as though it would be a good week. For example, as I discussed a couple of days ago, contender for the title of world’s most brain dead antivaccine conspiracy theorist, washed up comedian Rob Schneider, having somehow managed to land a…
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12:26 PM | Classifying leukaemia: one size doesn’t fit all
A landmark research paper in 1977 changed the way children with acute leukaemia are diagnosed and treated. We look at the story of a research milestone.
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12:00 PM | Hiccups: From Acupuncture to Quantum Touch
nOne of the most common questions I get in the newborn nursery, especially from first time parents, involves hiccups. Babies hiccup in the womb and most, if not all of them, will have periodic bouts of hiccups in the neonatal period. But many new parents are surprised by their baby’s first spasmodic contractions of the […]
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11:57 AM | CDC Update On EV-D68 – Sept 25th
  # 9115   We’ve been following the EV-D68 outbreak now for over a month (see Kansas City Outbreak Identified As HEV 68 & Enterovirus D-68 (HEV-D68) Update), and as of last night’s update, 38 states have now confirmed cases of this rarely (at least, until now) seen enterovirus.   While some adults may be infected, this virus seems to mainly affect younger children, probably due to a lack of previous exposure to similar viruses. Most will endure only […]
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11:36 AM | South Korea Reports New H5N8 Outbreak
Credit FAO     # 9115   Last January South Korea reported the emergence of a new highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza called H5N8, which proceeded to march across that nation infecting scores of farms, and resulted in the culling of more than 10 million birds (see South Korea: 30 Days Into Their H5N8 Outbreak).   Although previously seen in other parts of the world in a low pathogenic form (see CIDRAP 2008 Low-pathogenic avian flu hits Idaho game farm), […]
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11:35 AM | Enterovirus 68 in 38 States
Yesterday, CDC released updated statistics that describe the emergence of EV-D68 in the US. Last month the virus appeared in Missouri and Illinois but quickly spread with 226 confirmed cases now in 38 states. Clearly these numbers underestimate the extent of EV-D68 illness since most hospitals are unable to test for this virus and once it's confirmed in a region, additional testing provides few benefits.The NY Times reported that the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s […]
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11:30 AM | Under threat of class action lawsuit, maker of “homeopathic” medicine settles, and exits North America
I’ve written more times that I want to about homeopathy, the elaborate placebo system of “remedies”. It looks like medicine, and pharmacies stock it on shelves alongside products that contain medicine. But with homeopathy the common “strengths” or “potencies” of products are usually so dilute there’s no possibility of a single molecule of the original […]
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10:38 AM | WHO Ebola Situation Assessment: Investigating Convalescent Therapies
Credit Wikipedia # 9114   Three weeks ago, in WHO Statement: Consultation On Potential Use of Ebola Therapies & Vaccines, we looked at the recommendations of an expert committee who had met to discuss potential experimental therapies and preventatives for the Ebola epidemic. Topping their list of recommendations:   There was consensus that the use of whole blood therapies and convalescent blood serums needs to be considered as a matter of priority. Although […]
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1:35 AM | HIV denial: alive and well in 2014 [UPDATED]
Everything old is new again. For years on this blog, I wrote about HIV denial and the few fringe scientists and journalists who espoused it. I attracted a host of trolls, some of whom repeatedly attacked my credibility, my appearance, even showed up at my academic office. One of the most prolific of these was…

September 25, 2014

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10:09 PM | Referral: How Ebola Started, Spread & Spiralled Out Of Control
    # 9114   From Ian Mackay, Katherine Arden  & science writer Heather Lander we’ve a terrific overview of how the Ebola outbreak evolved in West Africa, published today in The Conversation.   With a line up like that, there’s nothing for me to do but step aside and invite you to follow the link below to read:   25 September 2014, 5.41am BST How Ebola started, spread and spiralled out of control Too slow. Too little, too […]
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9:55 PM | Saudi MOH Reports 1 New MERS Case, 1 Death
  # 9113     The Saudi MOH has added an additional MERS case in the capital city Riyadh, and has announced the death of a 76 year-old man who was reported as infected on September 15th in Najran, near the Yemen border.   The latest case is listed as a 60 year-old Saudi Male, who is in the ICU.   With the Hajj now just two weeks away, and more pilgrims arriving in the Kingdom every day, the recent uptick in cases (9 over the past 12 days) has renewed […]
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9:08 PM | Eyeless Mexican cavefish lost metabolic circadian rhythm
The metabolism of most animals follows a circadian rhythm that differs between the day and night. Mexican cavefish living in constant darkness, lost this circadian rhythm some time ago. In a newly published study in PLOS ONE, researchers compared the metabolic rate of both cave- and surface-dwelling Mexican tetra fish (Astyanax mexicanus). They hypothesized that…
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8:31 PM | Your one stop shop for real science and myth debunking about Gardasil
This past week, I read a new article published in Pediatrics that described how educating either teenagers or their parents about HPV vaccinations had little effect on the overall vaccination rate for the vaccine. Essentially, the researchers found that it was a 50:50 probability that any teen would get the vaccine, regardless of their knowledge of […]Continue reading «Your one stop shop for real science and myth debunking about Gardasil»
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7:25 PM | From Debi’s Desk – Autumn Updates
Welcome to the September issue of At the Forefront: Nursing Edition. During the last few weeks, our team continued to advance the professional practice of nursing across a number of fronts at University of Chicago Medicine.
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7:20 PM | UChicago Medicine Nursing Takes International Stage at July Conference
Two UChicago Medicine nurses traveled to Hong Kong in July to present at the 25th Inter- national Nursing Research Congress. The conference, organized by the Sigma Theta Tau International nursing honor society, brought together more than 1,000 people to learn about evidence-based research.
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7:15 PM | Flu season underway with new helpful prompts, on-unit vaccine supply
UChicago Medicine nurses are leading the charge to ensure all eligible inpatients are protected against influenza.
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7:10 PM | Women’s Health Services Expand to UChicago
UChicago Medicine invites female UChicago Medicine employees — as well as staff members’ wives, partners and adolescent daughters — to join its new Women’s Health Friends & Family Program.
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7:05 PM | Daisy Award Program Returns to UChicago Medicine
The University of Chicago Medicine has re-launched the DAISY Award program, a monthly recognition for nurses who provide extraordinary care.
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7:00 PM | Nursing News In Brief – September 2014
A round up of news, presentations and awards from across the UChicago Medicine nursing community.
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6:00 PM | How To Rid the World of Rabies
It wouldn't be difficult to rid the world of rabies. So why haven't we done it? …
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