Posts

July 17, 2014

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7:55 PM | Stop teaching calculus in high school
Math education needs a reboot. Kids today are growing up into a world awash in data, and they need new skills to make sense of it all. The list of high school math courses in the U.S. hasn’t changed for decades. My daughters are taking the same courses I took long ago: algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. These are all fine subjects, but they don’t serve the needs of the 21st century. What math courses do young people really need? Two subjects are head-smackingly […]
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6:42 PM | Check out this flying dinosaur
The discovery of  this non-avian dinosaur, Changyuraptor yangi, that lived 125 million years ago suggests that flight came before birds. The fossil was discovered in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China by Luis Chiappe from the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, CA. At nearly 4 feet long, it is the largest so-called 4-winged dinosaur discovered. The term “4-winged”…
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6:20 PM | Poll: how do you pay for your immunizations?
Until recently, I didn’t think there was much of an issue about patients or parents paying for vaccines. My perspective is certainly USA-based, but it would be interesting to see how people are paying for their vaccines.              Continue reading «Poll: how do you pay for your immunizations?»
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6:05 PM | What do a hummingbird and chicken have in common?
Brandy Velten (doctoral student) and Dr. Kenneth Welch (Comparative Physiologist) from the University of Toronto wanted to know whether birds with very different speeds at which they flaps their wings (i.e. wingbeat frequencies) had correspondingly varying types of myosin proteins in their muscles. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology last month.…
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5:43 PM | ECDC Epidemiological Update On Ebola – July 17th
MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) health staff in protective clothing constructing perimeter for isolation ward. Credit CDC Ebola Webpage     # 8843   While stressing that the risk to travelers visiting Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia remains very low – and that their previously published Risk Assessment for the EU remains unchanged – the ECDC today has published their latest epidemiological assessment of the ongoing Ebola Outbreak in Western […]
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5:37 PM | Registration Now Open for the Comer Children’s Hospital RBC Race for the Kids
This year's Comer RBC Race for the Kids will be held on Sunday, October 5, 2014.
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5:17 PM | To do your best, find a rival
A new study in runners shows rivalry is linked with a performance boost ScicuriousPsychology by Bethany Brookshire 4:00pm, July 17, 2014 While runners generally have friendly competition in a road race, a new paper shows that sometimes rivalry can help an athlete beat a friend to the finish.ptufts/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)I have been a runner for more than 10 years. For much of […]
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4:00 PM | A new link between obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance
Obesity-linked inflammation can lead to type 2 diabetes
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3:37 PM | A nuclear receptor that binds more than 5,000 sites in the genome—and promotes angiogenesis.
The nuclear receptor called RXR controls angiogenesis.
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2:49 PM | Why Are There No Drugs for Ebola Virus?
The deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa is the worst on record, with over 603 deaths reported as of July, 12, 2014 (according to the CDC Ebola outbreak update). The virus is confirmed in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone ─ and the crisis appears to be far from over. The geographical complexity of the [...]
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1:36 PM | 1 weird tip to not die of smallpox
Sawbones is a hilarious podcast about the ways medicine has, historically, gone wrong. On long drives with nerdy friends, I whip out my phone and we consider which episode to listen to and laugh at: Leprosy? Trepanation? Bloodletting? Plague? The …The post 1 weird tip to not die of smallpox appeared first on Public Health.
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1:19 PM | CID Journal: Under Utilization Of Antivirals For At Risk Flu Patients
  # 8842   Between the frequent hyperbolic demonization of  influenza antivirals (see Daily Mail: Ministers blew £650MILLION on useless anti-flu drugs) by media critics of `Big Pharma’,  spurred on by repeated Cochrane group analyses that have found insufficient evidence that the drug reduces influenza complications, it probably comes as little surprise that many doctors – particularly in outpatient settings – tend to underutilize antiviral […]
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12:16 PM | European Commission Human Brain Project Hubbub
In 2013 the European Commission awarded $1.3 billion to a project to simulate the human brain in a supercomputer. While everyone is excited about this prospect, and welcomes the infusion of cash, recently the project has come under public criticism. More than 180 neuroscientists signed an open letter criticizing the way the project is being [...]
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12:00 PM | Andrew Wakefield is still at it blaming vaccines for autism
Ever since I first became aware of the antivaccine movement more than ten years ago, I’ve had little choice but to periodically pay attention to one of the godfathers of the antivaccine movement, Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield is the quack whose dubious case series that The Lancet foolishly published in 1998 launched a million antivaccine quacks.…
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11:53 AM | Yesterday’s House Subcommittee Hearing on Biosafety
Credit Wikipedia   # 8841     If you missed yesterday’s 2 hour and 40 minute House subcommittee hearing on Biosafety lapses at the CDC and FDA labs, you have two excellent ways to catch up.   First, Lisa Schnirring at CIDRAP News has put together an excellent summary report, which you can read at:   Congress probes lapses at high-containment labs   And second, the video of the hearing – along with supporting documents - are now […]
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11:33 AM | APHL Statement Regarding Biosafety Incidents At Federal Labs
Credit CDC PHIL   # 8840     The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is a non-profit organization of long standing that represents local, territorial, county and state public health laboratories of all types, including medical, environmental, agricultural and veterinary with the goal of promoting the safety, training, and excellence of public health laboratories across the United States.   With the recent revelations of hundreds of improperly stored […]
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11:06 AM | Vaccine Memories: From Polio to Autism
“April 15 – Polio Vaccine Perfected!!!!” So wrote my mother in 1955, on the “Baby’s Health Record” page of my baby book. I unearthed it a few days ago while looking for some old writing clips. Just a day earlier, I’d just reported in Medscape on a study finding that adding injected Salk polio vaccine to the oral Sabin vaccine series can boost immunity in parts of the world where polio is still endemic, such as Nigeria, Pakistan, and […]
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11:00 AM | NuVet: Pet Supplement Snake Oil
I’m a dog person. I always wanted a dog as a child, and while my extended family all had dogs, we never had one in our home. I finally got my wish just over a decade ago. My wife and I were referred to a breeder with an excellent reputation for raising healthy, family-friendly Labrador […]

July 16, 2014

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10:44 PM | Rocket Fund supporters host “Mugstock”
Friends of the Institute came together on May 31 for a special fundraiser benefiting The Rocket Fund, a unique trust established at Sanford-Burnham dedicated to finding treatments for rare and neglected childhood diseases, such as congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG). CDG is actually a group of 50 or more rare diseases caused by inherited defectsRead More
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9:03 PM | FDA Statement On Additional 300 Vials Discovered At NIH Campus Lab
Transferring H7N9 Into Vials – Credit CDC   # 8839   Just hours after the House subcommittee hearing on lapses at the CDC labs involving anthrax and avian H5N1 influenza, the FDA has announced details on roughly 300 vials of improperly stored pathogens that were recovered from the same cold storage room on the NIH campus where 6 vials of smallpox were discovered a couple of weeks ago (see CDC Media Statement on Newly Discovered Smallpox Specimens).   Among […]
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5:57 PM | Tools of the Trade: Scanning Electron Microscope
The high-tech look of UAB's Scanning Electron Microscope facility makes it a popular spot on campus tours, but the machine's ability to image everything from exotic metals to living tissues makes it an invaluable research tool, says facility director William Stonewall Monroe (above).When you need to see something so tiny that light skips right over it—and you don't want it vacuum-sealed and messed with in the way that a transmission electron microscope requires—you're in the market […]
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4:58 PM | Experts Call for More Mental Health Treatment for People with Diabetes
In an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Louis Philipson, Director of the Kovler Diabetes Center, and colleagues call for better mental health screening and treatment for people coping with the daily challenges of diabetes.
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3:44 PM | Scholars Gather for MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics Intensive Summer Program
The five-week program of 90 seminars is taught by more than 30 faculty of UChicago's Biological Sciences Division.
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3:28 PM | Padre después de los 40
Me entrevistaron para esta nota del suplemento Domingo del El País.Padre después de los 40.
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3:26 PM | How to evaluate the quality of scientific research
One of the most tiresome discussions that a scientific skeptic has when debunking and refuting pseudoscience or junk science (slightly different variations of the same theme) is what constitutes real evidence. You’d think that would be easy, “scientific evidence” should be the gold standard, but really, there is a range of evidence from garbage to convincing. […]Continue reading «How to evaluate the quality of scientific research»
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2:56 PM | Expanding Guts in Pythons and People
Regular readers of this blog might remember a post I wrote a few months ago about weight-loss surgery. …
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2:51 PM | Baclofen in dialysis patients: Just say no!
At our hospital, we started noticing a pattern of admissions among some of our maintenance dialysis patients. In one case, an elderly woman with DM, peripheral arterial disease, and ESRD on thrice weekly hemodialysis was sent to the emergency department from her nursing facility for altered mental status. She was normal three days prior to admission, but when her nurse found her confused and difficult to arouse, they sent her to our ED. We got consulted to continue maintenance dialysis, but we […]
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2:15 PM | "Break" from Cancer a Turning Point for Patient
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines respite as “a short period of time when you are able to stop doing something that is difficult or unpleasant.” The trips that For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation provide for patients clearly fit that definition. The all-expense-paid vacation is a chance for the patient –– and...
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1:42 PM | Subcommittee Hearing On CDC Lab Incidents Today 10am EDT
BSL-4 Lab Worker - Photo Credit –USAMRIID     # 8838   Like just about everyone else with an interest in the recent lab biosafety lapses at the CDC and FDA, I’ll be tuned into the House House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, which begins at 10am EDT.    The hearing will be broadcast from room 2123 of the Rayburn building and viewable at:   http://energycommerce.house.gov/studio/webcasts   […]
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1:05 PM | mBio: The Remarkable Evolution Of Cryptococcus Gatti
Credit CDC   # 8837     Although we normally think of viral or bacterial pathogens when we talk about infectious diseases, mycotic (fungal) diseases exert a heavy burden on human health as well.   A little over a year ago, in MMWR: Coccidioidomycosis Rising, we looked at dramatic increase in the number of Valley Fever infections over the past 13 years (1998-2011).   Coccidioidomycosisis – perhaps the best known fungal infection in North […]
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