Effect Measure

Archives for October, 2006

Vaccine bedtime stories

Another vaccine “story” makes the wires, this time from Dynavax, a Berkeley biotech company. The story is pretty typical of the genre:

Influenza virus, science background, II

[This is the second installment from the archives of a series of posts giving some scientific background on the influenza virus, in this case the terminology basics on viral receptors. Technical but not beyond the range of most well educated readers. Links to all four posts: part I, part II, part III, part IV] In…

No one home

It sounds reasonable at first. If hospitals and clinics are going to be overwhelmed in a flu pandemic, prepare to care for sick family members at home. But what if there’s no one to care for you at home? That’s the position of the one in four Americans who live alone. Even for those that…

Influenza virus, science background, I.

[Back in January we did a series of posts on the old site giving some background science on the influenza virus for the general reader. The Reveres are traveling (for a change) and so we thought it was an appropriate time to dig around in the old archives and update some of the posts thought…

If you lie down with dogs . . .

The US midterm elections have a nasty side, but so does another, less visible election, that for Director General of the World Health Organization. Thirteen candidates are vying for the position left vacant by the untimely death of Lee Jong-Wook in May. And the politicking is said to be fierce.

Atheism is certainly a phenomenon in the book market. I can’t remember when books about godlessness made so much news and sold so well, although of course I wasn’t around when The Great Agnostic Robert Green Ingersoll lectured to huge audiences in the late nineteenth century. Whatever. I’m happy to have the likes of Richard…

I’m guessing few of you have heard of the physician, Robert Mayer. After all, he lived more than 150 years ago. Yet he is a discoverer of one of Nature’s great laws, the First Law of Thermodynamics (otherwise known as Conservation of Energy). A strange topic for this site? My attention was drawn to it…

“First they came for the Socialists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Socialist… Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me.” (Martin Niemoller) The trial of the Tripoli…

Pregnancy and influenza planning

A letter from Philip Mortimer of the UK’s Health Protection Agency to the CDC journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, calls attention to an apparent increased risk for death from influenza among a subpopulation, pregnant women. Mortimer alerts us to the fact that most (all?) national contingency plans for pandemics do not take this into account. Mortimer…

Cell phone use and sperm counts

A paper delivered at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is being reported to say that there is an apparent dose response relationship between cell phone and sperm counts, i.e., the more hours spent on the phone each day the lower sperm count levels.