Posts

April 20, 2015

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2:54 PM | FAO Reports 6 More Egyptian H5N1 Cases
  # 9960   While the Egyptian MOH has pretty much abandoned even mentioning H5N1 on their website, and the local media tries not to stray too far from the `official’ line, we continue to see evidence ongoing human infections, although the rate of new case reports seems to have slowed somewhat over the past few  weeks. The thoroughness of surveillance, testing, and reporting are issues that plague all disease outbreaks, and so it is impossible to state with […]
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1:14 PM | Book Review: Dr Henry Marsh "Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery"
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh is one of the best books I've ever read, the last time a book made me cry I was a kid. I was in tears several times, including on a flight from London to Helsinki, no holding back, pure emotional roller-coaster.As a cancer research scientist (genomics core facility head in a cancer research institute) I rarely see or talk to cancer patients; we do have tours a few times a year and speaking to people living, and dying, with […]
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12:20 PM | Saudi MOH Reports 2 MERS Cases
# 9959 The number of MERS cases reported by the Saudi MOH remains far lower than expected, with just 8 cases reported thus far in April.   
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12:12 PM | Naturopathy Leaks
In a recent editorial David Brooks makes the point that privacy is important and we should not relinquish it lightly. Among other benefits of privacy, he states: There has to be a zone where half-formed thoughts and delicate emotions can grow and evolve, without being exposed to the harsh glare of public judgment. There has [...]
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12:10 PM | Media Report: HPAI H5 Bird Flu In Manipur Poultry
Credit Wikipedia   # 9958   Reports of avian flu (likely H5N1) in and around India continue this winter, with the far Northeastern state of Manipur reporting an outbreak in poultry that according to one source (see Bird flu in Manipur :: Govt takes action; Cullings to start from today) began roughly two weeks ago, and that has just now been confirmed by laboratory analysis. Bird flu in Manipur, culling of fowl starts IANS  |  Imphal April 20, 2015 […]
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12:00 PM | World Week to Speak Up About Animal Research
Each April a group of people committed to ending all use of animals for any purpose, including medical and scientific research, orchestrate events for a week they designate World Week for Animals in Laboratories (WWAIL). Among the primary objectives of … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | How Would You Like Your Reality Augmented?
With devices such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift just around the corner, the stage is set for game-changing technological interfaces between ourselves and the world to shake up how we interact with and perceive our environment. Technology such as Pranav Mistry’s SixthSense device which he showcased on a recent TED talk looks set to […]
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11:02 AM | Wellcome Trust Research Round-up: 20.04.15
Our fortnightly round-up of news from the Wellcome Trust community… A bright future for the mountain gorilla The first project to sequence the whole genomes of mountain gorillas has left scientists feeling more optimistic about the future of this critically endangered species, according to research published in Science. Scientists have been concerned about the dwindling […]
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10:31 AM | WHO Statement On Ebola Response & Needed Reforms
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9958   Overnight the World Health Organization published – and sent out to journalists – a statement on this past year’s Ebola response in Western Africa, the lessons learned, and the changes that must be made to ensure a better response the next time a major disease outbreak occurs.     WHO leadership statement on the Ebola response and WHO reforms 16 April 2015 The Ebola outbreak that started in December 2013 […]
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7:34 AM | A publicity stunt against Dr. Oz threatens to backfire spectacularly
I didn’t think I would be writing about this, but, then again, I seem to say that fairly frequently. Be that as it may, on Friday I wrote about a letter sent to Lee Goldman, MD, the Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University complaining about Dr. Mehmet Oz’s promotion…
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7:00 AM | Stem cells versus Gordie Howe’s stroke, part 3
Here I am in Philadelphia attending the 2015 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting to imbibe the latest basic and translational science about oncology. So what am I doing in my non-conference time? I’m holed up in my hotel room near Rittenhouse Square writing a DoD Grant and this post. Fortunately, I am nearly […]
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3:24 AM | Prevalence of alcohol use disorders in mainland China: a systematic review
  Alcohol use disorder is an urgent public health problem in China, especially among males. When using high-quality studies, current and life-time prevalence estimates of alcohol dependence in China measure 2.2% and 3.7%, respectively, approaching those of the Netherlands, United States and other western countries. Read the full article here. The post Prevalence of alcohol use disorders in mainland China: a systematic review appeared first on Wiley Asia Blog.

April 19, 2015

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9:16 PM | Antivaccine cult resorts to ad hominem attacks
The Skeptical Raptor, stalking pseudoscience in the internet jungle. I get a lot of email about this blog. Most of it is nice, many asking questions or recommending future topics. I do enjoy the recommendations, because it sometimes leads to some interesting areas of research. Occasionally, I get critical emails, some civil, and some not quite as civil. And I got one of those … Continue reading Antivaccine cult resorts to ad hominem attacks →Continue reading «Antivaccine cult […]
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4:17 PM | Things That Make You Think
On my way to the hospital today, I heard the Top 40 Hits of this week in 1973. For you youngsters, the Top 40 involved the sales of small vinyl records with 1 song you wanted on one side and something completely random on the other. These small discs turned at 45 revolutions per minute […]
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11:53 AM | Updating The Nigerian `Mystery Illness’ Story
  # 9957   Four days ago, in Reports Of An Unidentified, Rapidly Fatal Illness In Ondo, Nigeria, we looked at reports of a horrific disease outbreak in Nigeria - propelled by Twitter and social media accounts, often accompanied by dubious photos of purported `victims’ -  which induced the local MOH to activate their emergency situation room in Response To `Mystery Illness’ In Ondo, Nigeria. Although testing for bacterial and viral causes (including Ebola) […]
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10:47 AM | HPAI H5: 2nd Outbreak In Ontario, Changes In APHIS Reporting
HPAI H5 Detections In North America   # 9956 From Canada’s CFIA we get word this weekend that a second farm in Oxford County, Ontario has tested positive for HPAI H5 (sub-typing pending) – roughly 11 days after the first farm in the county seat Woodstock was reported infected (see CFIA: H5 Avian Flu Found On Ontario Turkey Farm). These two southern Ontario detections represent the farthest eastward expansion of the H5 virus we’ve seen this year, […]

April 18, 2015

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5:54 PM | Thinking More about Cognitive Aging
The subject of aging is something I’ve thought about a great deal this week, having just celebrated a milestone birthday. But the thing that gets me upset much more than my own aging, is the aging of my parents and older relatives. This week, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an...
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3:08 PM | Value: The physician perspective
This week I was asked to give a very brief talk on value from the physician perspective as part of a panel discussion at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine's Annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Symposium. My remarks are below.As we have heard today, value is defined as quality per unit cost. And I've been asked to address value from a physician perspective. Importantly, value and population health go hand in hand. Clinically, I work as an infectious disease physician, […]
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11:49 AM | Early Signs Of Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria In Africa
Plasmodium falciparum in human blood – credit Wikipedia     # 9955   One of the realities of our never-ending battle against infectious diseases is that these organisms are able to evolve, and adapt, at an amazing rate, and that the antivirals, antibiotics, and other drugs in our arsenal of therapeutic drugs can – over time – lose some or all of their effectiveness.   Antibiotic resistance has been the greatest concern, and in recent years […]
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8:00 AM | News digest – cancer’s family tree, a melanoma ‘safe haven’, misleading reports about a blood test and more
Our scientists are penning the first pages of the evolutionary rule book of cancer, in fascinating new research published this week. Here’s our press release, and this blog post digs deeper into the study and what the research could lead to for patients. We jointly launched a new £5m project with the Medical Research Council, […]

April 17, 2015

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8:04 PM | Biotech Tweets of the Week (April 13-17, 2015)
What seemed like a quiet week on Monday really picked up steam and we had quite a helter-skelter Thursday and Friday. As always, @23aloha has collected the best of the biotech / pharma Twitterverse for you in the Tweets of the Week feature.Featuring:  $GWPH $SAGE $BIIB $ADXS $ADRO $ATHX $BLUE $GLPG $SSH $MNTA $BMY $CLVS $XBI $IBB [...]
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6:03 PM | Minnesota DNR Asks Turkey Hunters To Help With Bird Flu Surveillance
Credit Wikipedia     # 9954     Mid-April in Minnesota means the start of the spring  turkey season for hunters, and this year, with HPAI H5 viruses having been detected in at least 16 states, local authorities are both warning hunters of the risks of (see Minnesota DNR Offers Bird Flu Safety Advice To Hunters)  – and enlisting their aid in monitoring – these avian flu viruses.   With 26 farms hit in Minnesota alone (as of 4/16), and […]
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6:00 PM | Cancer Genomics: Data, Data and more Data
PLOS Medicine’s Senior Research Editor, Clare Garvey, recently caught up with Francis Ouellette, the Associate Director of Informatics and Biocomputing at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to find out about progress in cancer genomics, the issues surrounding the … Continue reading »The post Cancer Genomics: Data, Data and more Data appeared first on Speaking of Medicine.
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3:27 PM | Another one of those ‘simple blood tests’ you’re always reading about
Headlines today are heralding a new “simple blood test”, claiming it can predict if a woman will develop breast cancer - but it's too good to be true.
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3:17 PM | Twin Studies in ADHD: Research Links
Twin studies provide a strong research study design in understanding the genetics of a variety of brain conditions.This is true for understanding the genetics of ADHD.Here are a few selected recent twin studies in ADHD that I think are important and noteworthy.Readers can access the abstract and in some cases the free full-text manuscript by clicking on the title.Shared Features of ADHD and AutismThis study featured results of an analysis of over 17000 adult twins from Sweden. The authors […]
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2:32 PM | MOH Statement: Response To `Mystery Illness’ In Ondo, Nigeria
Ondo State – Credit Wikipedia   # 9953   In response to reports of a `Mystery Illness’ in Ondo State, Nigeria  (see yesterday’s  Reports Of An Unidentified, Rapidly Fatal Illness In Ondo, Nigeria), the Ondo State Ministry of Health has activated an Emergency Situation Room.    Depending on which media report you read, anywhere between 12 and 28 people have died suddenly over the past 72 hours, all within hours of experiencing sudden […]
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2:28 PM | Election 2015: what are the parties saying about cancer?
We open up the various political party manifestos and see what they are saying about cancer and research.
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1:54 PM | Scott County HIV Epidemic Reaches 130 Cases
Scott County – Credit Wikipedia   # 9952   We’ve an update to a story we began to follow last March (see Indiana Gov To Declare HIV Health Emergency In Scott County and Temporary Needle Exchange Program Begins In Scott County, Indiana), where a small rural region in southeastern Indiana has reported a growing outbreak of IV drug-abuse related HIV.   Since our last update twelve days ago, the number of new HIV cases in (mostly from Scott County) has […]
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12:55 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 MERS Case
  # 9951  
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12:12 PM | Grab Your Torch and Pitchforks
I always find it disturbing to see people, especially in large crowds, apparently acting according to primitive emotions rather than enlightened thinking. It makes it seem like the veneer of civilization is paper thin, and we are not far removed from apes huddled around the monolith and hitting each other over the head with bones. [...]
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