Posts

August 18, 2014

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7:00 PM | The Misconception of the Homeless
By Milinda Houlette, M.A., L.S.W.Managing Editor: Juliana Zhu, Esq.In today’s society, the media and the overall public persona displayed when discussing homeless individuals is that of people who are addicted to a narcotic or alcohol, and who therefore could better themselves if they only tried. Would you consider a child capable of being part of this community? Or a woman with two children, who is employed as a nurse’s assistant at a nursing home? What about a newly discharged […]
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6:27 PM | Gardasil’s safety and effectiveness-Part 47. Long-Term Study
This is my 47th article on the HPV quadrivalent vaccine, also known as Gardasil (or Silgard in Europe), which can prevent infection by human papillomavirus, substantially reducing the risk of several types of cancers.* Forty-seven** articles about Gardasil and the HPV vaccine! You’d think I would be tiring of it by now, but I think that Gardasil (or Silgard) are critically important […]Continue reading «Gardasil's safety and […]
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6:13 PM | CDC Guidance: Donning & Removing PPEs
Surgical Facemask N-95 Respirator      # 8968   Although this information has been published as an update to the CDC’s Ebola Page, the techniques showing how to properly don and to remove PPEs illustrate critical infection control skills, and are valid regardless of the pathogen you are trying to avoid contact with.    Both graphics are part of a PDF File.   I’ll have a bit more after the the break.       […]
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4:55 PM | Iceland: Watching Bárðarbunga
Credit Icelandic Met Office   # 8967   Over the past 48 hours more than 1,000 (mostly small) earthquakes have been recorded very near Iceland’s largest active volcano and the Icelandic Met Office has raised the aviation alert status for Bárðarbunga  to Orange.   While an eruption is by no means certain, Bárðarbunga has an impressive geologic history, making this swarm worth keeping an eye on.     First the latest […]
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4:51 PM | UChicago Medicine ALS Clinic team takes the Ice Bucket Challenge
The team from our ALS clinic challenges their friends from UIC to do the same.
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3:58 PM | The Science of Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug – Reactions
The Science of Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug – Reactions It’s not just in coffee anymore. From drinks to jerky to gum, caffeine is everywhere. In our latest video, we take a look at the science behind the world’s most popular drug, including why that little molecule keeps you awake and reveal just howRead More »
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2:16 PM | Guidelines for Treatment of Problem Gambling
Despite the prevalence and impact of problem gambling, few summaries or guidelines address treatment.Searching the guideline.gov website shows no recent additions to the guideline literature.A guideline was published by the Singapore Ministry of Health in 2011. This guideline is still relevant and highlights some of the key elements of a problem gambling treatment program.I will summarize some of these key elements from this source titled: "Management of gambling disorders".  In their […]
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2:01 PM | Special edition of the CELSIUS quiz – the Ebola virus
Test your knowledge with this special Ebola virus edition of our Celsius quiz! The answers to last week’s questions: The Ebola virus is transmitted by body fluid - http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/qa.html The average human gene is 28kbp - http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/bionumber.aspx?s=n&id=105336&ver=2 Kary B. Mullis won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for the invention of the PCR technique – […]
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1:55 PM | WHO Update – Travel & Transport In Relation To Ebola Outbreak
# 8966   Last week the World Health Organization –  after seeing a number of air carriers refusing to service African nations – began to push back against the idea that air travel to Ebola-affected countries presented a high risk of infection to passengers and crew (see WHO: Ebola Poses `Low-Risk’ To Air Travelers).   The WHO has also consistently argued against the need for, or effectiveness of, of border closings or travel restrictions to affected […]
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1:28 PM | Baby on board–in a BSL4 lab
I’m happy to welcome Dr. Heather Lander to the blogosphere and Twitterverse. She’s a virologist who has done work with some of the world’s deadliest pathogens in a high-security biosafety level 4 laboratory. This is the type of lab where one must wear “space suits” to work with organisms. You’ve probably seen in dramatized in various movies and…
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1:26 PM | When To Think Less About Your Choices
Smart people have a tendency to think hard about the choices they make. Who are you going to marry? What house are you going to buy? What flavor of gelato should you get? Some make lists of pros and cons, some try to think about the most important features of the choices, and some make […]
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12:28 PM | Planned Obsolescence and Attribution Fallacy
There are multiple threads to this story, all revolving around how we make sense of the data before us. Regular readers will likely not be surprised to hear that we tend to labor under a host of cognitive biases that lead us from an accurate interpretation. This story starts with big data – a loose [...]
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12:00 PM | The 3 Dumbest Products Sold By Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods "Whole Body" products.I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods Market. On the one hand, I love their fresh produce, their baked goods, and many other food choices there. On the other hand, they seem to have embraced anti-science positions in the interest of keeping everything “natural.”Before describing what they do wrong, let’s start with some things they get right. Their seafood sustainability policy supports fishing practices that allow wild […]
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11:30 AM | WHO: Full Report Of Ethics Committee On Experimental Drugs For Ebola
# 8965   The extraordinary spread of Ebola in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – and the spillover into the highly populated country of Nigeria – has led to numerous calls for the use of untested, experimental drugs on humans in the region.   We’ve already seen one drug – ZMapp – used on a handful of patients.   Last week the World Health Organization convened an ethics committee to consider the idea (see […]
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11:00 AM | Medical marijuana and the new herbalism, part 2: The cult of “cannabis cures cancer”
About five weeks ago a month ago, I finally wrote the post I had been promising to write for months before about medical marijuana. At the time, I also promised that there would be follow-up posts. Like Dug the Dog seeing a squirrel, I kept running into other topics that kept me from revisiting the…
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10:55 AM | Wellcome Trust Research Round-Up: 18/08/14
Our fortnightly round-up up of news from the Wellcome Trust research community… Mind and body: link between immune system and mental health The immune system may have a role to play in mental illness, suggests research from the University of Cambridge, published in JAMA Psychiatry last week. With funding from the Trust, as well as the […]
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7:16 AM | “Atavistic oncology” revisited: Dr. Frank Arguello responds
The following post will be of a type that I like to refer to as “taking care of business.” That’s not to say that it won’t be, as my posts usually are, informative and entertaining, but it does say that I’m doing it instead of what I had originally had in mind because something came […]

August 17, 2014

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3:00 PM | The false dichotomies of CAM and “integrative medicine”
A lot of medical specialties have throwaway newspapers/magazines that are supported by advertising and somehow mysteriously managed to show up for free in the mailboxes of their practitioners. In my case, I’ve found myself on the subscription list for such papers about oncology, but, given that I trained as a general surgeon. I’m Board-certified as […]
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2:31 PM | The Secret to Intimacy | The Science of Love
The Secret to Intimacy | The Science of Love Love can be broken down into three categories; passion, intimacy and commitment. But what comes first and what leads to what? If you can’t choose to be intimate with someone, how can you make sure it sticks around? This week we meet real couples and investigateRead More »
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1:04 PM | Mackay On Ebola, Pigs, Primates and People
  Credit CDC PHIL     # 8964   Yesterday Dr. Ian Mackay et al. produced a terrific overview called Ebola virus may be spread by droplets, but not by an airborne route: what that means which I blogged about here.     Today Ian is back with another in-depth look at Ebola transmission, this time taking on the much-discussed laboratory experiments that some online pundits have claimed `proves’ airborne transmission.   Ian quite […]
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12:02 PM | UK: Updated Pandemic Response Plan & Exercise Cygnus
Credit ECDC – 125 years of  Pandemic  History   # 8963   Although it is not often front and center in the news, or in the daily threats messaging from most governments, an influenza pandemic is considered among the most likely high-impact global threats that we could face in the foreseeable future.    Earlier this year, in Influenza Pandemic As A National Security Threat,  we looked at a threats assessment by the Director Of National […]
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11:00 AM | Migraine and Stroke – What’s the Link?
On the surface, strokes and migraines do not seem to have much in common except that both of them can have serious psychological effects on the sufferers. But researchers say that a complex relationship exists between the two. Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by the occurrence of throbbing and recurring headaches that can be […]
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4:00 AM | How Ebola Kills
“That’s not Ebola!” I said to the vendor standing beside a display of boxer shorts festooned with pathogens, at a biology teachers conference a few years ago. “No, that’s Ebola. Read the tag.” “The tag’s wrong. It’s influenza. See the spokes on the surface? Ebola looks like a soup ladle.” He didn’t believe me, but the website was corrected a few months later. I still have my faux Ebola shorts somewhere. JUST 7 GENES The stark […]
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12:08 AM | Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress often come with an uncomfortable condition or a problem that anyone can find it difficult to deal with, but they usually go away when the individual manages the situation or solves... [[To read the full story, visit my website.]]

August 16, 2014

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6:18 PM | The Science of Snowflakes
The Science of Snowflakes You are a beautiful and curious snowflake. SUBSCRIBE, it’s FREE! http://bit.ly/iotbs_sub ↓ More below ↓ Snowflakes are infinitely beautiful, but are they infinitely unique? Here’s all the science behind Earth’s favorite cold crystal. More reading: Wilson Bentley, The Snowflake Man of Vermont http://publicdomainreview.org/2011/02/14/the-snowflake-man-of-vermont/ Kenneth Libbrecht’s SnowCrystals website (the definitive snow scienceRead […]
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4:34 PM | Ebola protection: How much is enough?
There's an excellent piece in today's New York Times that outlines the dilemma currently faced by hospital epidemiologists across the country: what are the appropriate infection control measures for patients infected with Ebola virus? We've blogged on this issue to some extent before (here and here). Are contact and droplet precautions enough (as recommended by CDC), or do we need Tychem suits, PAPRs, and fluid resistant booties, or maybe even something beyond that?What do we know about […]
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1:05 PM | VDU Blog: Droplets vs Airborne - Demystifying Ebola Transmission
Except from CDC Infographic     # 8962   Almost two weeks ago the CDC released a reassuring infographic (see above) that - among other things - stated that `You can’t get Ebola through Air’, which immediately set off an internet firestorm of disbelief and derision. I considered it a communications misstep at the time, and blogged about it in The Ebola Sound Bite & The Fury.   While I understand the need to reassure the public, and the desire to […]
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11:50 AM | Which prenatal vitamin is best?
Vitamin supplementation is unnecessary for the vast majority of people. You wouldn’t know this walking through a drug store, where you’ll usually find an entire aisle packed with supplements. Alternative health providers like naturopaths tend to be strong supporters of supplementation, but this advice seems to be based mainly on the belief that “vitamins are […]
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11:47 AM | Reminder: September Is National Preparedness Month
  # 8961   After a truly horrendous 2011 – a year that saw a record breaking 14 Billion-dollar-plus weather related disasters (see Weathering Heights: A Year For The Record Books) – we’ve experienced a welcome downturn in the number of major natural disasters in this country.    Credit FEMA as of 8/16/14   With several years of lower-than-normal hurricane activity, a dramatic drop in deadly tornadoes since 2011, and no major seismic […]
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8:00 AM | News digest – no to prostate cancer drug, obesity, salt injections and more
No to prostate cancer drug abiraterone, the link between obesity and cancer, plus why there’s no new treatment for cancer using salt - here’s the week’s news.
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