Posts

February 27, 2015

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12:00 PM | Living with Schizoaffective Disorder – A Personal Story
Being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder was a real blow. I felt alone. I felt helpless. I felt my life had ended. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in a bathtub staring at the vein in my arm, wondering how much it would hurt to cut through the skin, or how frightened I’d […]
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11:35 AM | The Wellness Warrior, Jess Ainscough, has passed away
Two months ago, I took note of a somewhat cryptic blog post by a young woman named Jess Ainscough. In Australia and much of the world, Ainscough was known as the Wellness Warrior. She was a young woman who developed an epithelioid sarcoma in 2008 and ended up choosing “natural healing” to treat her cancer.…
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10:23 AM | A look back at Peter Medawar
Peter Medawar, Nobel Laureate and Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in the 1960s, was born 100 years ago on 28 February. Here Frank Norman, Head of […]
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8:00 AM | Image of the Week: The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
This unsettling image of a doll meeting her untimely end, carries a deadly serious purpose. It is a close up portrait of one the twenty miniature crime scenes created by American heiress and criminologist Frances Glessner Lee in the 1940s and 50s. Termed ‘The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’, each of these macabre dollhouse scenes […]
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6:21 AM | Penguins have poor taste
Researchers sequencing the five different taste receptors in penguins were surprised to discover that the animals do not have genes that encode for receptors that are specific for savory meaty flavors (like fish!), sweet or bitter tastes. Instead, the data suggest that penguins are only able to taste the saltiness or sourness of their foods…
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5:01 AM | The Straw Protocol: A Chiropractor’s Aggressively Promoted Neuropathy Treatment
Full-page ads promoting free dinner seminars addressing the topic of “Non-surgical, drug-free approach to relief from Peripheral [sic] Neuropathy [sic]” appeared last year on at least nine Sundays in the main news section of the print edition of The Los Angeles Times. The seminars were scheduled at various restaurants in Orange County, Los Angeles County, […]
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1:46 AM | Stabilizing Atherosclerosis with Nanoparticles
Scientists from Columbia University and Harvard Medical School have found a possible new solution for atherosclerosis. ...
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12:19 AM | WHO Warns On Evolving Influenza Threat
Credit NIAID     # 9762   The World Health Organization has issued a lengthy and strong statement on the emergence and proliferation of new subtypes of novel influenza around the world, and the potential risks they pose to global health.  Themes that are familiar to regular readers of this blog.   Helen Branswell has a report this evening summarizing the statement, and I’ve posted a link to it and a few excerpts.  I’ll have more to say […]

February 26, 2015

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11:57 PM | And the Skeptical Raptor has returned from internet hell
For fans, haters, and those looking for information, you probably knew that this website and blog wasn’t working for the last 7 days. Obviously, we’re back. I won’t give you the long story, but the short one was that I was stressing out the servers for the old web host, because so many people were […]Continue reading «And the Skeptical Raptor has returned from internet hell»
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10:08 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 3 New MERS Cases & 3 Deaths
  # 9761   We’ve an unusually late update today from the Saudi MOH, where they cite 3 new cases and three recent fatalities. But disappointingly, and without explanation, their English version doesn’t carry the usual line listing.   The Arabic version (see below) has a line listing, but as it is a graphic format, doesn’t lend itself to our normal translation tools. However, we can piece together that one case is from Al-Jawaf, another from Riyadh, […]
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7:32 PM | Aspirin underutilized as pre-hospital care for heart attack patients
Giving heart attack patients aspirin as soon as possible can save lives, but as many as half of patients in the US do not receive it on their way to the hospital, reports UChicago Medicine's Katie Tataris in a new study.
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6:17 PM | #NephMadness 2015: It’s almost here
It’s almost March, time to fill out your bracket. No not college hoops, it’s time for the annual Nephrology SoMed educational phenomenon that is NephMadness. The brainchild of Matt Sparks and Joel Topf has grown legs in its 3 years of existence and now represents a highlight of the Nephrology #FOAM calendar.NephMadness is a homage to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, March Madness, but instead of matching up college basketball teams, NephMadness throws some of the most important […]
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5:54 PM | ECDC: Rapid Risk Assessment On Novel Bornavirus Detected In EU
Variegated Squirrel – Credit Wikipedia    # 9760   As it’s been nearly a week since I’ve written about a newly discovered, deadly zoonotic pathogen affecting humans (see CDC & EID Journal On The Recently Discovered Bourbon Virus), allow me to introduce you to a recently identified bornavirus that appears to be behind a cluster of acute fatal encephalitis in three squirrel breeders in Europe.   Variegated squirrel breeders may have died as a […]
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5:52 PM | Why Do So Many Psychologists Write So Badly?
As this blog has evolved, I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy looking at psychological research, exploring some of the best the field has to offer and examining how poorly conducted or communicated research can leave us misinformed. This job has been made much more time-consuming than necessary by the fact that [...]
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5:47 PM | Politics is an Eight-Letter Word
A number of years ago, the librarians at Lamar Soutter Library, UMass Medical School, received the directive, “Get Out!” Our Library Director wanted us out of our cubicles and away from our desks. She wanted us to go to the people that we served. If people didn’t need to come to the Library anymore, the Library needed […]
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5:38 PM | A Unified Front in Penn Neuroscience
There’s a lot of construction going on around here. While this is not unusual, there seems to be an avalanche of new buildings opening lately, from Penn Medicine University City to the Pavilion for Advanced Care to the Henry Jordan Center for Medical Education. Now, add to the list the...
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4:40 PM | Is Medicine Right for Me? A First-Year Einstein Medical Student Reflects
My route to medical school was fraught with arguments against going: “You won’t have time to enjoy life,” “You’ll be in debt” and, possibly the most alarming, “You know that 50 percent of physicians are burned out, right?” Bombarded with such discouraging thoughts and potentially bleak prospects, I have often questioned what drove me to [...]
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4:38 PM | WHO: Recommended Composition Of 2015-16 Northern Hemisphere Flu Vaccine
Credit NIAID   # 9759   Twice each year influenza experts gather to discuss recent developments in human and animal influenza viruses around the world, and to decide on the composition of the next influenza season’s flu vaccine. Due to the time it takes to manufacture and distribute a vaccine, decisions on which strains to include must be made six months in advance.   Which means the composition of the northern hemisphere’s vaccine must be decided upon in […]
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4:05 PM | WHO Releases Updated Egyptian H5N1 Numbers
  # 9758   Yesterday, in Egypt’s Uncertain H5N1 Case Count, we looked at the efforts of Sharon Sanders to maintain FluTracker’s  Egypt - 2015 WHO/MoH/Provincial Health Depts H5N1 Confirmed Case List, which today shows 74 cases for the year, and 20 deaths for the year.    Today I was pleased to stumble upon a new report, issued by the World Health Organization, that closely matches Sharon’s totals, indicating that since September 24th Egypt has […]
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3:37 PM | Pushing ‘unstable’ pancreatic cancers over the edge
We look at fascinating new research from our scientists showing that pancreatic cancer can be split into four different types.
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3:01 PM | Common Food Additives Linked to Obesity and IBD
ByThe Toombst Common food additives linked to obesity and IBD: New research finds that food additives used as preservatives and emulsifiers can cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and obesity in mice. Emulsifiers are food additives used to suspend two different fluids, like fat and water, preventing them from separating. These additives also improve shelf life of food acting as a preservative. New research finds these common food additives linked to obesity and IBD by changing the population […]
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2:43 PM | Deconstructing the 90% Of Camels Have MERS Meme
Credit FAO   # 9757   Earlier this week a big story hit the Arabic press – and has caused heavy (and very concerned)  traffic on Arabic Twitter – stating that 90% of Saudi Camels have the MERS virus.  I mentioned it briefly two days ago in Postcards From The MERS Twitterverse, but have been unable to find any paper, or study to back up this assertion.    First a media report on this story, after which I’ll be back with reasons why I […]
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2:09 PM | Clinical trials not immune from poor quality drugs
There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that significant quantities of medicines and medical products, especially in low and middle-income countries, are of poor quality. Malaria researcher and drug quality expert Professor Paul Newton, of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit in Laos, explains the latest research findings and explores some of the […]
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1:44 PM | Fighting Canavan: Honoring Rare Disease Week
During Rare Disease Week, I turn over DNA Science to a family battling a rare inherited disease. I’ve been following Max Randell, who has Canavan disease, in my human genetics textbook since he was a preschooler – he’s now 17, thanks … Continue reading »The post Fighting Canavan: Honoring Rare Disease Week appeared first on DNA Science Blog.
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1:00 PM | Liberals and Conservatives Both Resist Science, But Differently
There have been a number of studies looking at how ideological belief influence attitudes toward science. It is no surprise that in general people, of whatever ideological bent, engage in motivated reasoning to deny science that appears to contradict their religious or political beliefs. There are different views, however, regarding whether or not the two [...]
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1:00 PM | Pseudoscience North: What’s happening to the University of Toronto?
  Today’s post is a reluctant challenge. I’m nominating my own alma mater, the University of Toronto, as the new pseudoscience leader among large universities – not just in Canada, but all of North America. If you can identify a large university promoting or embracing more scientifically questionable activities, I’ll happily buy you a coffee. […]
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12:51 PM | Do You Still Have A CPO?
125 Years of Pandemics – Credit ECDC    # 9756   Although the next pandemic may not arrive for years, or even decades, the next big global health crisis could just as easily emerge this year or next. While many think we’ve `already had our pandemic’,  there is no mandated minimum `time out’ period between these global events.   We’ve seen 6 influenza pandemics over the past 120 years (plus several `close calls’ in 1951, […]
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12:00 PM | Collective Memory – Without WWIII Could Obama Be Forgotten?
Washington, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon, I hate to shamefully admit, are the only American presidents from before the 1980s for whom I could recall their rough chronological place in American history. Considering that I am from Scotland, and have never studied American history, I guess that’s not too bad, right? Well, to […]
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11:30 AM | Poor, poor pitiful Andy (Wakefield): Dissed again, this time by the Oregon Senate Committee on Health Care
Poor Andy Wakefield. Beginning in the late 1990s until around six years ago, Andy was the premiere “vaccine skeptic” in the world. His 1998 case series published in The Lancet linking bowel problems in autistic children to the measles vaccine, the one where in the paper itself he was careful not to blame the MMR…
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11:15 AM | Myanmar Reports H5N1 Outbreak
  # 9755   It’s been several years since we last heard about H5N1 in  Myanmar (aka `Burma’), although like other low-resource, developing, and/or secretive areas of the world we don’t exactly enjoy a reliable stream of news and disease outbreak information from there.    Many areas are remote, and exotic disease surveillance – if it exists at all – is often very patchy.   Myanmar first reported H5N1 in 2006, but the […]
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