July 24, 2014

4:15 PM | Why Mendel tells you not to drink alcohol when you are conceiving an Einstein
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is generally considered as not a very good idea. For one, it can cause fetal alcohol syndrome if you are serious about your drinking (reference). It has been associated with smaller babies. And smaller babies is not good (for the babies themselves, presumably for their mothers it is a benefit during […]

July 22, 2014

6:29 PM | The World Health Organization Wants to Legalize Sex Work and Drugs
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidelines for helping to prevent the spread of HIV in key populations. The group, which also monitors the globe for pandemic outbreaks, says we have to decriminalize sex work and drugs if we want to stop HIV.Read more...

July 21, 2014

1:00 PM | “Oh no! What happened?” “W220.2XD: Walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter.”
Last week, I ran across this very entertaining piece over in Healthcare Dive about the new ICD-10 codes. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is an incredibly useful tool in public health that basically can reduce an injury to …The post “Oh no! What happened?” “W220.2XD: Walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter.” appeared first on Public Health.

July 20, 2014

6:42 PM | Bullet Points: This article has no waiting period
In December of 2012, I was asked my thoughts on the Sandy Hook shooting on Twitter, and if I was going to write about it through a public health lens. I said no – I didn’t want to weigh in so soon, and I didn’t really know where to start. Sandy Hook capped off a […]

July 18, 2014

6:31 PM | iLabs: PANDEMIC!!!! (The class)
This past week we hosted the CSI Epidemic summer camp group in the Micro World Investigate Lab on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and Walt Gurley hosted them once on Friday in the Visual World Investigate Lab. I taught the general introduction to epidemiology on Tuesday, and Walt ended the week this morning with a class […]

July 16, 2014

6:30 AM | Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders
This new study concludes that approximately one-third of the Danish population will receive treatment in secondary care for a mental disorder across their lifetime. Should we be talking about 1 in 3, rather than 1 in 4? The post Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 11, 2014

7:32 PM | The U.S.
The U.S. Centers for Disease control have shut down their flu and anthrax labs, citing "accidents." Over the past month, hundreds of C.D.C. employees have been exposed to potentially deadly anthrax and H1N1 flu strains due to flubbed safety measures and sample contamination. Read more...

July 10, 2014

10:35 PM | What Is Causing the Kidney Stone Epidemic?
The number of people suffering from kidney stones has grown over the past thirty years, and a new study shows it's likely to get worse. Here's why.Read more...

July 09, 2014

9:20 PM | Smallpox Virus Samples Found In Unprotected Government Fridge
While preparing for move to a new location, researchers at the US National Institutes of Health discovered a cardboard box inside a storage room refrigerator. To their horror, the vials inside were labeled "variola" — the name of the virus that causes smallpox. Read more...
12:00 PM | What’s So Repelling About Repellents?
Biology concepts – thermosensing, repellent, odor receptors, gustatory receptors, semiochemcialsScience explains our world, and then technology and engineering build a model of that for our use. The better we know how our universe works, the better we can make use of it. In the 1985 film Real Genius, this difference is stated when the scientist students ask what a 6 megawatt laser might be for, one student says, “Let the engineers figure out a use for it.” In this case, they […]

DeGennaro M, McBride CS, Seeholzer L, Nakagawa T, Dennis EJ, Goldman C, Jasinskiene N, James AA & Vosshall LB (2013). orco mutant mosquitoes lose strong preference for humans and are not repelled by volatile DEET., Nature, 498 (7455) 487-91. PMID:

Stanczyk NM, Brookfield JF, Field LM & Logan JG (2013). Aedes aegypti mosquitoes exhibit decreased repellency by DEET following previous exposure., PloS one, 8 (2) PMID:

Klun JA, Kramer M & Debboun M (2013). Four simple stimuli that induce host-seeking and blood-feeding behaviors in two mosquito species, with a clue to DEET's mode of action., Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology, 38 (1) 143-53. PMID:


July 08, 2014

9:00 AM | Have we reached peak longevity?
The July 4 episode of the excellent BBC Radio 4 program, More or Less, addressed a question that demographers and public health researchers have been pondering in recent years: Will upcoming generations be the first to die at younger ages than their parents?  It has been accepted wisdom for a long time that each generation is healthier than the previous one, and life expectancies have risen for generations.  This was largely the result of declining infant and childhood mortality […]

July 07, 2014

2:50 PM | The Geography of Traumatic Brain Injury Death in U.S.
In the last post, I examined some recent research in the epidemiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI).Two studies showed the top two causes of TBI to be motor vehicle crashes and falls.In this post, I will review some recent data on the geographic variability of TBI in the United States.The Centers for Disease Control provides an online tool called WISQARS that allows users to search for a variety of statistics related to unintentional injury by state in the U.S.They have recently added a iPad […]
12:00 PM | The worm turns no more…
Public Health Perspectives is pleased to welcome Charles Ebikeme to the blog this week. For more information about Charles, see the end of this post. John Stavely, age 24 and unassuming, arrived at Cape Coast Castle on the coast of …The post The worm turns no more… appeared first on Public Health.
12:00 PM | The worm turns no more…
Public Health Perspectives is pleased to welcome Charles Ebikeme to the blog this week. For more information about Charles, see the end of this post. John Stavely, age 24 and unassuming, arrived at Cape Coast Castle on the coast of …The post The worm turns no more… appeared first on Public Health.

July 06, 2014

10:14 PM | ABC [almost] in the front news
My friend and Warwick colleague Gareth Roberts just published a paper in Nature with Ellen Brooks-Pollock and Matt Keeling from the University of Warwick on the modelling of bovine tuberculosis dynamics in Britain and on the impact of control measures. The data comes from the Cattle Tracing System and the VetNet national testing database. The mathematical […]
4:39 PM | Ebola Outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are in the midst of an outbreak of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. The numbers that have been provided by the respective ministries of health and sanitation and the World Health Organization, which has been summarized in a CDC factsheet show frightening trends. Before proceeding further, let us take a look at…

July 03, 2014

3:50 PM | Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes significantly to mortality and long-term disability.In the U.S. there are an estimated 52,000 deaths yearly due to TBI with over 1,000,000 emergency room (ER) visits.Understanding the epidemiology of TBI can provides clues to designing prevention programs.Four relevant recent research studies provide insight about the epidemiology of TBI.TBI in hospitalized patients in Scotland Tara Shivaji and colleagues in Scotland examined the prevalence and […]

July 02, 2014

12:00 PM | How Do Mosquitoes Find You?
Biology concepts – semiochemicals, hematophagy, proboscis, thermosensing, TRPA1Sure, mosquitoes suck blood and pass along malaria that kill more humans than any other infectious disease. But would it be good to get rid of them. They provide food for birds – one scientist suggests that elimination of Arctic mosquitoes could reduce northern bird populations by 50%. And mosquitoes pollinate flowers too, like blueberries and cranberries. See, they’re not all bad.We can start our […]

Maekawa E, Aonuma H, Nelson B, Yoshimura A, Tokunaga F, Fukumoto S & Kanuka H (2011). The role of proboscis of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi in host-seeking behavior., Parasites & vectors, 4 10. PMID:

Albeny-Simões D, Murrell EG, Elliot SL, Andrade MR, Lima E, Juliano SA & Vilela EF (2014). Attracted to the enemy: Aedes aegypti prefers oviposition sites with predator-killed conspecifics., Oecologia, 175 (2) 481-92. PMID:

Olanga EA, Okal MN, Mbadi PA, Kokwaro ED & Mukabana WR (2010). Attraction of Anopheles gambiae to odour baits augmented with heat and moisture., Malaria journal, 9 6. PMID:

Liu C & Zwiebel LJ (2013). Molecular characterization of larval peripheral thermosensory responses of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae., PloS one, 8 (8) PMID:

4:21 AM | Yersinia pestis found in human fleas, Madagascar 2013
Madagascar is consistently one of the top two countries in Africa (and usually the world) in cases of plague, caused by Yersinia pestis. For five years prior to January 2013, Madagascar registered 312 to 648 cases per year, with a majority being laboratory confirmed of which >80% were bubonic plague. Of the multiple reservoir species in […]

June 27, 2014

8:20 PM | Is Congress About to Reduce Funding for Bioterrorism Vaccines?
In 2004, Congress passed the Project BioShield Act—a ten-year, $5.6 billion fund for purchasing vaccines to use in the event of a bioterrorist attack. But, faced with budget constraints and perceptions of a decreased terrorist threat, Congress is having second thoughts about how it funds the program.Read more...

June 25, 2014

10:25 PM | Study claims evidence of a link between pesticide use and autism
But small numbers and lots of tests raise questions about significance.
21 Results