Posts

April 29, 2015

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4:43 PM | Two CDC Updates: HPAI H5 & H3N2 Canine Flu
CDC HPAI Risk Assessment   # 9992   Although neither of these viruses have shown the ability to infect humans, they are nevertheless newly arrived pathogens in North America, are spreading with impressive speed, and are capable of further evolution.     All of which means that – while they currently pose little threat to human health -  they need to be carefully watched. The CDC has updated their HPAI H5 webpage, and has published an […]
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4:05 PM | FEMA: 60% Of Americans Not Practicing For Disasters
# 9992   As I’ve mentioned a couple of times this month (see here, and here), tomorrow is America’s PrepareAthon Day, and FEMA has released the disappointing results of a recent survey showing that the majority of Americans have not practiced for a disaster in the past year, or even developed a family emergency plan.   I’m sure part of the problem has been that we are now nearly 10 years without seeing a major (Category 3+) hurricane strike the United States […]
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1:59 PM | SGU 10 Hour Live Streaming Event
This Saturday, May 2nd, from noon to 10pm Eastern time, the SGU will be having a live video streaming event. This will be a 10 hour marathon to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the SGU. You can watch the live video feed here. We are planning on recording the stream for later use as [...]
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1:59 PM | Advice on being active should be routine in bowel cancer care
Dr Abi Fisher from our UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre blogs about her recent paper looking at physical activity rates in people with bowel cancer
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1:48 PM | Waiting For The Next Flu To Drop
  My 2012  Influenza Timeline Graphic   # 9991   Three years ago, with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic behind us, I wrote a blog called An Increasingly Complex Flu Field, where we looked at the growing number of novel flu threats that were beginning to appear on our radar.    In addition to the venerable H5N1 virus, low path H9N2 and several LPAI H7 strains, I listed three up and coming `swine variant’ strains (H1N1v, H1N2v, H3N2v) that had recently jumped […]
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12:06 PM | Pepsi Removing Aspartame
Pepsi has announced that it will remove aspartame from its formulation of diet Pepsi products in the US this year. Apparently this is a reaction to a 5% drop in the sales of Pepsi. Seth Kaufman, vice-president of Pepsi, said “Aspartame is the number one reason consumers are dropping diet soda.” This move comes in […]
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11:19 AM | WHO: Survey & Analysis On Global Response To Antimicrobial Resistance
  # 9990   In early 2012 World Health Director-General Margaret Chan expressed a dire warning about our dwindling antibiotic arsenal (see Chan: World Faces A `Post-Antibiotic Era’) – a sentiment echoed a year later by CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden during the release of a major US report on the threat (see McKenna On CDC Antibiotic Resistance Report).   Inevitable conclusions backed up by a long list studies showing the inexorable erosion of our current cache […]
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11:00 AM | Maya’s Marvelous Acupuncture?
As hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when I didn’t think that acupuncture was quackery, an ancient “Eastern” treatment that “evolved” from bloodletting not unlike bloodletting in ancient “Western” bloodletting. This time was, hard as it is to believe, less than eight years ago, right around the time just before…
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9:06 AM | Cochrane & Evidence Aid: resources for earthquakes
This Cochrane Special Collection, developed in collaboration with Evidence Aid, includes Cochrane Reviews of healthcare topics that are important in the aftermath of a major earthquake. The reviews’ conclusions are presented, along with signposts to systematic reviews that might be helpful to decision-makers. Topics covered: diarrhoea prevention and treatment; wound management; fracture management; physical trauma […] The post Cochrane & Evidence Aid: resources for earthquakes […]
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4:50 AM | Branded by Pimps But Rebranded by New Life
By: Sara KimHuman trafficking may be closer to our lives than many of us assume. Although many people in the United States picture poor areas of hunger-stricken countries when it comes to the phrase “human trafficking,” it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of women and children in the U.S. are sold for sexual exploitation. Much of this trade is carried out by gang members, and has become a significant problem in areas such as Chicago, Miami, and Ohio, contributing to the $9.5 […]
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3:59 AM | Story of a Human Trafficking Survivor
Jen Spry, a human trafficking survivor. (Photo: Russ DeSantis)By: Janice TjengJen Spry, a 42-year-old registered nurse, was once a victim of child trafficking. When she was 8, her neighbor caught her and the other children at her neighborhood, Norristown, Pennsylvania. She was tortured and sexually assaulted for two years as part of her daily routine from 3-6pm. At that time, no one noticed that something was wrong because she had never gone missing. She was forced to keep it a secret from her […]

April 28, 2015

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9:08 PM | Troubleshooting DNA ligation in NGS library prep
We're currently testing some new methods in the lab to find an optimal exome library prep, not the capture just the prep. The ideal would be a PCR-free exome, however we want to work with limited material and so maximising library prep efficiency is key, and we'll still use some PCR. The two main factors we're considering are ligation temperature/time, and DNA:adapter molar ratio. The major impact of increasing ligation efficiency is to maximise library diversity, and this applies whatever your […]
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7:51 PM | Puentes de Salud – Providing “Bridges of Health” in a New Home Base
“This is a tremendous day for the community…” “What an honor and pleasure it is to see this dream come true…” “This has been a labor of love…” Positive emotions were running high when these heartfelt remarks were heard at an open house for the nonprofit health and wellness organization...
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7:48 PM | APHIS: USDA Confirms HPAI H5N2 In Two Wild Birds From Kentucky
    # 9989   My thanks to Lisa Schnirring of CIDRAP for forwarding the news that another state (#17 if you are keeping track) has reported finding the HPAI H5 virus – this time in wild birds.     Credit Wikipedia   McCracken County is located on the southern shore of the  Ohio river, bordered to the north by Illinois and very near the Missouri line.  It’s county seat is Paducah.    This marks the furthest east […]
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6:35 PM | Review of 10 years of GMO research – they’re safe
The Skeptical Raptor, stalking pseudoscience in the internet jungle. Updated 28 April 2015. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs or GMs) are one of the most well studied areas of biological and agricultural research. However, one of the tactics of the GMO refusers is that “there’s no proof that GMOs are safe.” Typically, in a debate, the side making the assertion (those that say GMOs are unsafe) … Continue reading Review of 10 years of GMO research – […]
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6:26 PM | North Dakota BAH Limits Poultry Movements
  Credit Wikipedia   # 9988   Although migratory birds are viewed as being behind the spread of HPAI H5 across the Western half of the nation, experience has shown that once a commercial operation becomes infected, it is all too easy to spread the virus via the movement of personnel, equipment or poultry products.    While less affected than many of its Midwestern neighbors (only 2 outbreaks so far), North Dakota is imposing some strict rules on the movement […]
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6:10 PM | Cells on the run: researchers discover a protein required for cell motility
Researchers have found that a protein called WISp39 is critical for cell motililty. Mutations in the protein cause abnormal cell exstensions called lamellipodia--the "feet" that cells use to move. The findings may lead to treatments for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and other neurological disorders that are associated with mutations in these cell extensions.
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6:10 PM | Dr. Diane Harper and HPV vaccines–the tin foil hat version
The Skeptical Raptor, stalking pseudoscience in the internet jungle. Updated 28 April 2015 Recently, I wrote about Dr. Diane Harper, a former Merck & Co. researcher who apparently had some management role in the clinical trials of the HPV quadrivalent vaccine, also known as Gardasil (or Silgard in Europe). The HPV vaccine, a vitally important part of the war against infectious diseases, prevents the transmission of certain types (pdf), specifically […]
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6:03 PM | Designing a hospital to become part of the treatment itself
The Hospital Microbiome Project is tracking how bacteria grow in a health care environment to see how the building itself can prevent infections.
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2:29 PM | Teaching Einstein Medical Students Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
Editors’ Note: This blog post is part of a series of posts on a new longitudinal-theme medical education program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine: the Population Health and the Practice of Medicine (PHPM) curriculum. A faculty working group developed a map distinguishing where PHPM topics were already covered in our current curriculum. In other [...]
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12:58 PM | The CDC Recaps The 2014-15 Flu Season
P&I Mortality the past 5 Flu Seasons – Credit FluView     # 9987   With this year’s flu season essentially over in the Northern Hemisphere, it is time once again for the CDC to assess the damage, and as many already know – it was a tough flu year.   Between having an H3 dominated year, and a `drifted’ H3N2 virus that largely evaded this year’s vaccine, the impact was particularly hard on those over the age of 65.   […]
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12:22 PM | World Malaria Day 2015: A Conversation between Allan Schapira and Lorenz von Seidlein
On World Malaria Day 2015, Allan Schapira and Lorenz von Seidlein discussed the accomplishments and challenges of the fight against malaria. Lorenz: Is there much to celebrate on World Malaria Day 2015? Allan: Well, in 2000 we estimated there were … Continue reading »The post World Malaria Day 2015: A Conversation between Allan Schapira and Lorenz von Seidlein appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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12:21 PM | Iowa Adds Another Big Poultry Farm To Their HPAI List
  # 9987   Late yesterday afternoon the Iowa Department of Agriculture released a statement (see Iowa: Four `Probable’ HPAI H5 Farms Quarantined),  announcing `probable’ infections at four farms, encompassing 2.3 million birds.    A few hours later, they revised that statement to five farms, with the addition of a second farm in Sioux County, involving another 3.8 million birds.   While having only a fraction of the number of infected […]
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12:03 PM | Audi’s E-Diesel
Audi has been working on a synthetic diesel fuel and is currently producing test samples, with plans for industrial production. This is potentially a useful technology (depending on the details) but, as is almost always the case, is widely misreported. For example, Gizmag states: “Audi just created diesel fuel from air and water.” Farther down [...]
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11:32 AM | Reminder: America’s PrepareAthon! On Thursday April 30th
  # 9986   Last week’s devastating M7.8 Earthquake in Nepal, and its many aftershocks, are a grim reminder of just quickly disaster can strike anywhere in the world.    One minute everything is normal, and the next . . .   lives are altered, and normalcy and stability may be months or even years away.    For years the American Red Cross, FEMA, Ready.gov, and just about everyone else in emergency services has urged that individuals and […]
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11:30 AM | For the blind, hearing the way forward can be a tradeoff
Enhanced localization abilities in one plane may come at the expense of another ScicuriousNeuroscience by Bethany Brookshire 7:41am, April 28, 2015 People who have been blind since childhood sometimes have better hearing than sighted people, but a new study finds that enhanced hearing in one direction may come at the expense of another.hilmi_m/iStockPhotoThere’s a […]
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10:00 AM | An antivaccine-sympathetic legislator right in my own back yard!
I’ve written on multiple occasions of what I like to refer to as “antivaccine dog whistles.” In politics, the term “dog whistle” refers to things politicians can say to certain groups, usually groups with odious views, that they are with them without actually echoing the views for which the group at which the dog whistle…
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7:00 AM | The “Healing Codes” of Alex Lloyd: Energy Healing with Words and Finger Exercises
Alex Lloyd’s concept of “Healing Codes” is one of the most bizarre, ridiculous offshoots of so-called energy medicine. Lloyd is a naturopath who has been criticized by “Dr. Joe” Schwarcz for recycling old bunk for profit. He claims that illness is due to disturbances in the human energy field and that the cells of our […]
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2:50 AM | 23andMe Aims to Use Genetic Data to Develop Drugs
23andMe recently announced the creation of a new therapeutics group with the intention of developing drugs.
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2:41 AM | Fat Finding
A novel study from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore has found a way to target brown fat regulation to reduce obesity....
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