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Posts

April 21, 2014

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9:02 PM | Passing Down Healthy Paternal Genes, One Green Leafy Vegetable At A Time
Every woman dreams about giving birth to a healthy baby. A new study shows men who eat their green leafy vegetables can make those dreams come true. In the study published in Nature Communications, researchers from McGill University in Montreal … Continue reading →
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8:41 PM | It’s “lift off” for space-bound flies
FalxonX Rocket launches Bodmer's flies for cardiovascular research.
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8:28 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 17 More MERS Cases
    # 8507   Although the title of the update says `12’ cases, to that are added 5 `asymptomatic contacts’ who tested positive for the virus, giving us a total of 17.   Only one case is listed as a healthcare worker (45, in intensive care).  Two fatalities are cited, one of a previously announced case, and one from this new batch of cases.   Today’s cases come from Jeddah (7), Riyadh (6), Medina (4). and Tabuk (1).  Four […]
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8:21 PM | Urine Trouble
You may heard about the teenager in Portland, Oregon who urinated in a water reservoir last week. The act wasn't really newsworthy, but the response sure was. Officials in Portland decided to drain the reservoir, which holds 38 million gallons of water. Could there be any reason from an infectious diseases standpoint that this would be necessary?Let's assume that the young man had to pee really badly. That would probably amount to a 500 mL void. Converting gallons to liters, the reservoir holds […]
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6:11 PM | Monica Vela, MD, wins national award for work in health care disparities
Monica Vela, MD, associate dean for multicultural affairs at the University Of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, will receive the 2014 Herbert W. Nickens Minority Health and Representation in Medicine Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine at the group's annual meeting this week.
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5:12 PM | The ongoing debate about the definition of CKD in the elderly
In NDT this month, there is a nice series of articles outlining the ongoing debate about whether or not an eGFR<60 should be considered a disease, particularly in the elderly. The pro side was argued by Giuseppe Conte and the anti by Richard Glassock. Finally, there was a moderator's opinion written by Stein Hallan and Ron Gansevoort.Dr. Glassock makes the familiar argument that age-related decline in GFR is ubiquitous and should not be considered a disease (with the associated anxiety and […]
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4:31 PM | Saudi Minister Of Health Replaced
Former Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah   # 8506     Saudi Arabian Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah – who up until a couple of days ago was issuing daily assurances that the MERS virus situation was `stable’ – has apparently been transferred from his post, and will be replaced – at least in the interim – by the Saudi Minister of Labor Adel Faqi.   The embattled MOH has been dealing not only with an expanding number of […]
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4:15 PM | Marshall Chin new president-elect of Society of General Internal Medicine
Marshall Chin, the Richard Parrillo Family Professor of Healthcare Ethics in the Department of Medicine, has been named the new president-elect of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) for the 2014-2015 year.
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3:24 PM | Swimmers Honor A Former Team Member While Raising Funds For Cancer Research
This weekend's Hour of Power relay honors the memory of swimmer Ted Mullin and helps raise funds for sarcoma research.
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1:03 PM | The Tragic Story of How Einstein’s Brain Was Stolen and Wasn’t Even Special
My headline may be a bit misleading. Albert Einstein, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who gave the world the …
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12:37 PM | Not Looking Good for Biofuels
I have yet to be convinced that biofuels will be a significant benefit in our attempts to achieve sustainable energy production. Ideally we would run our civilization on energy that does not burn a limited resource or contribute CO2 or other compounds into the atmosphere. Any limited resource will eventually run out, by definition. Further, [...]
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12:12 PM | Away from home: Of ‘small’ things & big
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
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12:03 PM | MERS, HCWs, And Infection Control
Credit CDC   # 8505     Although there is a good deal we don’t know about the current outbreaks of MERS-CoV in healthcare settings in both Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and in the UAE, one thing is glaringly obvious:    Healthcare workers are being infected at a disturbing rate.   Somewhere between 20%-25% of all known cases have reportedly been HCWS.   A fact that has apparently unnerved some medical staff, as over the past week […]
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12:00 PM | Award-Worthy Renal Abstracts at #xBio
Pre- and post-doctoral researchers run the world of science. Sure, Principal Investigators get the credit, but our students and fellows actually perform the experiments and make the magic happen. At Experimental Biology each year (#xBio is the official hashtag), abstracts from trainees get considered for possible awards, with finalists judged on their presentations at the […]
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7:00 AM | Gluten-free skin and beauty products: Extracting cash from the gullible
Even though yesterday was Easter, and, as unreligious as I am, I was still thinking of taking it easy, there was one target that popped up that I just couldn’t resist. My wife and I were sitting around yesterday reading the Sunday papers and perusing the Internet (as is frequently our wont on Sunday mornings), […]
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7:00 AM | Bill and Hillary Clinton embrace the quackery that is functional medicine
This might look somewhat familiar to people, but I have a good excuse. Yesterday was Easter, and, although by no stretch of the imagination can I be accused of being particularly religious, we still did have family to visit. Add to that the fact that I have a two talks to give today that as…

April 20, 2014

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7:50 PM | Saudi MOH Statement On 13 New MERS Cases (3 Fatal)
      # 8505   Although the following update was telegraphed several hours ago in a press conference held by the Saudi MOH, we now have a line listing of the 13 new cases.    Three new fatalities are reported, 1 in Jeddah, 1 in Medina, and 1 in Riyadh.    Two healthcare workers are also listed as infected  (one in Jeddah, one in Riyadh) both are listed as stable. I case in Jeddah is listed as asymptomatic.     Record […]
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6:33 PM | Saudi Health Minister Announces 13 New MERS-CoV Cases
  Photo Credit Saudi MOH     # 8504   It’s been several hours since the Saudi Arabian Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabiah announced during a televised press conference that the number of MERS detections in their country had risen to 244, but so far, there has been no update posted on the MOH website..    I’ll post another blog post with the MOH press release when it becomes available, but until then we have pretty extensive media report […]
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5:00 PM | How to make graphene in a kitchen blender
Don’t try this at home. No really, don’t: it almost certainly won’t work and you won’t be able to use your kitchen blender for food afterwards. But buried in the supplementary information of a research paper published today is a domestic recipe for producing large quantities of clean flakes of graphene.  Read more
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4:10 PM | WHO MERS-CoV Update – Greece
  # 8503   On Friday night we learned of the first imported case of MERS to Greece (see Greece: MOH On 1st Imported Case Of MERS-CoV).  Today the World Health Organization  has released a DON (Disease Outbreak News) update.   While we knew this patient had traveled from Jeddah – the scene of Saudi Arabia’s largest hospital-related MERS outbreak – today we learn this patient had repeated visits to a local hospital (visiting his wife) before […]
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2:18 PM | Deliberately Forgetting Memories – Easy for Some
We have all had memories that, at some point in time, we wished we could forget. Many newly published studies highlight the neurological and molecular mechanisms behind choosing to forget and suggest why disrupting this process may lead to unhealthy aging and serious mental disorders. It seems, that to some degree, one does find eternal […]
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2:02 PM | Medicare data reveals that U.S. wastes half a billion dollars per year on chiropractic
Hold on, you're about to get "adjusted."Ten days ago, the federal government released a huge data set detailing how it spent $77 billion in Medicare funds in 2012 to over 880,000 health care providers. The release of this data is part of a new transparency effort by the government, which many of us applaud.The data reveal some troubling things.Most news organizations focused on who the biggest beneficiaries are: the New York Times described how just 100 doctors received $610 million. […]
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1:14 PM | Obstacles To A MERS Vaccine
  # 8502 As generally a `pro-vaccine’ kind of guy, it pains me to admit that a vaccine solution to the MERS coronavirus is likely several years away – assuming one can be created at all.  Scientists have, after all, been working on a SARS vaccine for more than a decade and have yet to declare success.   But in the face of mounting criticism, and rising case counts, the Saudi Government has begun to actively promote the idea that a MERS vaccine could be […]
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11:02 AM | Egyptian MOH Statement On MERS Threat
  Photo Credit Wikipedia     # 8501   Nearly two months ago we saw a study (see EID Journal: MERS Coronaviruses in Dromedary Camels, Egypt) that found in Egyptian camels what had already been found in camels from other Middle Eastern nations; evidence of exposure to  and infection with the MERS coronavirus.     While just 4 (3.6%) of nasal swabs (out of 110 tested) were positive for the MERS-CoV virus (via RT-PCR testing) – suggesting […]
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9:54 AM | VDU Blog: Charting The Mounting MERS Outbreak
Credit Dr. Ian Mackay   # 8500   With the MERS coronavirus numbers changing literally by the hour (yesterday we saw 19 new cases announced, and media hints of several others), keeping track has become a full time job. Since I can’t even keep track of where I left my reading glasses, I’m thankful that this onerous task has been taken up by two of Flublogia’s more organized individuals.   Sharon Sanders on Flutrackers began keeping a detailed (and […]

April 19, 2014

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6:51 PM | UAE Media Report: 12 New (Asymptomatic?) MERS Cases Detected
UAE’s Proximity to Saudi Arabia   UPDATED: See bottom # 8499   With case reports coming to us piecemeal, and with rarely enough information provided to differentiate one case from another, it becomes a real challenge to know whether a media report is about a new group of cases or is simply a re-hashing of already released information.    That’s the situation we find ourselves in again today, with a press statement appearing on the […]
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11:43 AM | Saudi MOH Announces 7 More MERS Cases In Jeddah (2 Fatal)
  # 8498   Case reports coming out of Jeddah continue to rise, with the Saudi MOH announcing 7 more cases this morning, two of which proved fatal.  Two others are listed in intensive care, while a third is listed as stable. Additionally, two healthcare workers are listed as being asymptomatic.   This brings to roughly 60, the number of cases reported out of Jeddah in the past 3 weeks (see FluTracker’s MERS Case Line Listing).   For more […]
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10:37 AM | Saudi MOH Statement On Rise In Asymptomatic/Mild MERS Cases
  # 8497   With the understanding that whenever any government agency issues a statement, they do so with the intent of presenting their case in the best possible light, we get a report this morning from Sabq.org on a press conference held earlier today by the Saudi MOH.   One with a slightly different tone than we’ve seen before. .  Perhaps feeling the sting of some of the recent commentary appearing in the International (see WaPo Editorial)  and […]
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9:03 AM | Referrals: VDU Blog & Branswell On MERS-CoV
Credit VDU Blog    # 8496       The earliest known human infections with the MERS coronavirus occurred just over two years ago at a hospital in Jordan, and over the first year produced barely a handful of confirmed cases across the Arabian peninsula.  Just over a year ago (March 26th, 2013) the World Health Organization was only reporting a total of 17 cases (11 Fatalities).   An average of 1.5 cases reported per month during the first year. […]
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8:00 AM | News digest – lung cancer ‘Matrix’ trial, tumour goggles, 3D-printed cancer cells and more
This week's news featured our ambitious new clinical trial aiming to advance treatment for lung cancer, plus goggles for surgery and 3D-printed cancer cells.
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