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Posts

April 16, 2014

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1:17 PM | Referral: Dr. Mackay Gets Graphic On MERS Trends & Developments
    # 8483   Dr. Ian Mackay brings not only the expertise of a Virologist to Flublogia, but the eye of a graphic artist as well, as evidenced by a pair of graphics he has posted in the past couple of hours on his VDU blog.  The graphic above, showing the steep climb in MERS cases this month,  comes from his latest blog:   MERS-CoV case accumulation chart continues to ascend steeply...   Earlier this morning (my time, late evening his time) Ian […]
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11:55 AM | GSK Investigated for Bribing Doctors
The BBC reports that 11 doctors and a GSK regional manager in Poland have been charged with alleged corruption. The apparent scheme was simple – GSK sales reps are given targets for new prescriptions for whatever drugs they are promoting. In order to meet those targets, it is alleged that one sales rep agreed to […]
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11:36 AM | WHO Updates The UAE MERS-CoV Cluster
Photo Credit WHO     # 8482   Earlier today, in Philippines Quarantines Imported Asymptomatic MERS Case & Contacts, we learned that a healthcare worker in UAE who had contact with their cluster of MERS cases had flown to the Philippines, and is now hospitalized.  Overnight, the World Health Organization updated that UAE Cluster, with the following GAR Disease Outbreak News (DON) report:   Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – […]
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11:17 AM | New agricultural trends to feed the world
The agriculture sector needs to double food production by 2050 to meet growing global populations – a tremendous feat considering the challenges posed by climate change, water shortage and how the increase in farming land is not catching up with demand. That’s why scientists are up to their ears looking for ways to sustainably increase production of crops capable of withstanding different environmental stresses.  Read more
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11:00 AM | Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported (Fatal) Case Of MERS-CoV
    # 8482   This story has been bouncing around twitter for a couple of hours, but now has linkable media reports and a press release from the Malaysian Ministry of Health to back it up.  First a media report from the Straits Times, and then a translation of the official statement from the MOH.   Johor man dies of Mers virus; first reported case of death in Asia PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Malaysian man who developed respiratory […]
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10:30 AM | Philippines Quarantines Imported Asymptomatic MERS Case & Contacts
      # 8481   The past two hours a report has been circulating on twitter regarding an (asymptomatic) imported case of MERS-CoV in the Philippines – that of a colleague of the paramedic who died last week in the UAE (see UAE Ministry Of Interior Announces 6 MERS-CoV Cases (1 Fatality)).    This cluster has reportedly since grown to at least 10 cases (see UAE Announces 3 More MERS-CoV Cases).   The story has now broken in multiple […]
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10:00 AM | CRTKL: Mercury in Vaccines
If you missed my talk entitled “CRTKL: The Critical Reasoning Tool Kit Lecture”, here’s a clip from it: Continue reading →
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10:00 AM | Sad news: A Burzynski success story is gone
I’m depressed as I write this, because I have some very sad news to relate to you. It appears that Laura Hymas died on Sunday morning. I learned this on Twitter yesterday from a source I trust, not to mention from mentions on Ben Hymas’s Facebook page, in which friends are commenting on how they…
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8:53 AM | Jeddah MERS Cluster Grows By 6 More Cases
  # 8480   Barely 12 hours after their last announcement (see Saudi MOH Announces 5 More MERS Cases In Jeddah (1 Fatality)), the Saudi MOH has announced an additional 6 cases in the Jeddah cluster – again including a fatality.   Since the Saudi MOH doesn’t provide us with onset dates, dates of discovery, or dates of lab confirmation - we don’t have a good handle on how `fresh’  these cases are; whether they are all newly discovered, or […]
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7:30 AM | Leptin
Andrew Gladman reflects upon the recent IACFS/ME conference and the buzz surrounding a small molecule, leptin. Leptin Molecule. Image by I, Vossman via Wikimedia Commons. It’s safe to say that the past couple of weeks, following the IACFS/ME 2014 conference, have been something of a whirlwind in terms of new ME/CFS research being unveiled. Now that the dust has had a chance to settle let’s take a step back and discuss a topic that many consider to be one of the most promising […]
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3:41 AM | Protein Overload May Kill Brain Cells as Parkinson’s Progresses
Scientists may have discovered how the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease destroys brain cells.

April 15, 2014

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10:54 PM | That beard is only hot because it’s not cool
A new study suggests that rarity increases the attractiveness of facial hair ScicuriousPsychology by Bethany Brookshire 7:01pm, April 15, 2014 James Harden of the Houston Rockets might earn some of his attractiveness from his beard as well as his ball-handling skills.Game Face/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)Every hipster knows that something is only cool before it becomes […]
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9:01 PM | Cable guys: Inside UAB's high-tech, custom-built approach to eye science
This machine, designed and built by UAB vision researcher Crawford Downs, is producing ultra-clear images of a key structure implicated in glaucoma, the world's second leading cause of blindness. The miracle of sight relies on a masterpiece of wiring. More than a million individual nerve cells scattered around the eye convert visual information into electricity. Then these individual cells are bundled together at the back of the eye into the optic nerve, which carries the signal to the […]
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8:41 PM | Highlights from the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells & Reprogramming
I recently attended the joint Keystone Symposium “Stem Cells & Reprogramming” and “Engineering Cell Fate & Function” at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek. In addition to gorgeous weather, there was an amazing lineup of talks demonstrating the power and promise of stem cells and cell/tissue engineering. Here are just a few of the highlights from the meetings:  … Read more
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8:40 PM | A Look Behind Low Vaccination Rates in Chicago-area Schools
Pediatric infectious disease expert Allison Bartlett talks to NBC 5 about the surprisingly low vaccination rates in Chicago-area schools.
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6:03 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 5 More MERS Cases In Jeddah (1 Fatality)
    # 8479   The Saudi Ministry of Health has announced another 5 MERS cases from Jeddah today, including one death.  Three of the cases are described as Health Care Workers, and of those, two are asymptomatic.    Today’s announcement moves the Jeddah cluster to more than 30 cases, and if local Arabic press reports are to believed, there may be more announcements coming.   Health: 5 registered cases of HIV (Corona) in Jeddah 06/15/1435 […]
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5:01 PM | Usefulness of my article alert…
Dear readers, I have a simple question for you today: Do you find my posts entitled “Cerebrovascular Physiology – Article alert” useful or should I relay this information on twitter ? Your feedback would be appreciated! Many thanks !Filed under: Uncategorized
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5:00 PM | Penicillin 2.0 – Reviving an Old Winner
Penicillin, it was one of the great feats of science and has saved countless lives. Antibiotics have been fighting the war on infections since before most of us were even […]

Zhang J., Chen Y.P., Miller K.P., Ganewatta M.S., Bam M., Yan Y., Nagarkatti M., Decho A.W. & Tang C. (2014). Antimicrobial Metallopolymers and Their Bioconjugates with Conventional Antibiotics against Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 (13) 4873-4876. DOI:

Citation
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3:43 PM | Religious Belief and Depression Resilience
Identifying risk factors for brain disorders is a key element in clinical research.Understanding protective or resilience factors for brain disorders is also important and receiving increased attention in clinical research.Factors that promote resilience to brain disorders may come from a variety of domains. Religious belief is one domain receiving attention as a potential resilience factor.Miller and colleagues recently published a longitudinal study of religious belief and risk for major […]
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3:07 PM | UAE Announces 3 More MERS-CoV Cases
@WHO Twitter feed this morning.   # 8478   The World Health Organization telegraphed this announcement  earlier this morning (see tweet graphic above), and I expect we’ll get more information from a GAR DON update in short order, but in the meantime we have this report from KUNA – the Kuwait News Agency.   All three cases are apparently asymptomatic contacts of a previous case, discovered during the epidemiological investigation. Hopefully […]
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1:13 PM | MERS And Loathing In The UAE
  Photo Credit http://www.24.ae/   # 8477   The headline in the photo above says quite clearly what is all-too-apparent when monitoring Arabic twitter feeds discussing the MERS coronavirus; regardless of government assurances that everything is `stable’, the level of anxiety in the UAE (and elsewhere in the Middle East) has been on the rise over the past week.    Parents are keeping their children out of school, masks are being worn in public (and are […]
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1:09 PM | Using the Penn High Performance Computing Cluster to Unravel the Spider’s Web
Uncovering the genomic architecture of spider silk genes wasn’t top of mind for Benjamin Voight, PhD, when he first came to Penn a few years ago. But he and postdoctoral researcher Paul Babb are now deep into sequencing the whole genomes of two spider species: a Golden Silk Orb Weaver and Darwin's Bark Spider.
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12:24 PM | Why We Need a Skeptical Movement
Skeptics tend (as they should) to question everything, even the need for a movement of self-identified skeptics. It is an interesting question – what is the net cultural effect of organized scientific skepticism? Of course, we can’t really ever know the answer to this question. There are too many moving parts. We could point to [...]
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12:00 PM | Videos: A (Very) Close Look Inside the Zebrafish Brain
About a year ago I wrote a story about the hottest new animal model in neuroscience: baby zebrafish. …
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10:30 AM | Dieting Deafness Away
I’m sure some of you have heard of London-based undertaker William Banting (1797-1878), who was the first to popularize a low-carb diet that formed the basis of modern-day diets (think Atkins). Banting was an upper middle-class funeral director whose family … Continue reading →
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10:28 AM | OpenSciLogs – A Glimpse of the Future of Science Blogging
Guest blog post by Paige Brown, SciLogs.com blogging manager and Ph.D. student in the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.  Read more
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10:02 AM | EID Journal: MERS Coronavirus In A Saudi Dromedary Herd
Photo Credit Wikipedia   # 8476   Over the past eight months we’ve seen a number of studies linking camels and the MERS virus, starting last August with Lancet: Camels Found With Antibodies To MERS-CoV-Like Virus, and continuing in December with The Lancet: Identification Of MERS Virus In Camels, and most recently with EID Journal: MERS Coronaviruses in Dromedary Camels, Egypt.   While the precise mechanism by which the MERS Coronavirus has come to infect […]
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10:00 AM | CRTKL: Homeopathy and Ritalin
If you missed my talk entitled “CRTKL: The Critical Reasoning Tool Kit Lecture”, here’s a clip from it: Continue reading →
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8:00 AM | Consciousness as Social Perception (BSP 108)
Michal Graziano and Kevin (click image to play interview) In his latest book Consciousness and the Social Brain  Princeton neuroscientist Michael Graziano proposes a unique and compelling theory of consciousness. He proposes that the same circuits that the human brain uses to attribute awareness to others are used to model self-awareness. He emphasizes that his attention schema theory is only tentative, but it is […]
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7:39 AM | Patients, doctors embracing alternative medicine in battle against cancer? Not so much.
In the well over nine years that I’ve been blogging, there’s one tried and true, completely reliable topic to blog about, one that I can almost always find. I’m referring, of course, to the credulous news story about pseudoscience. The pseudoscience can be quackery, creationism, anthropogenic global warming denialist arguments, or whatever; inevitably, there will…
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