Effect Measure

Archives for November, 2006

Scaffold spam

Like most computer users I hate spam. But I’ve gradually gotten used to it. You can get used to anything, I was once told, even a stone in your shoe. Apparently I’ve gotten used to more than I thought. In a terrific piece in New York Press, Lindsay Beyerstein (aka Majikthise) calls our attention to…

A Canadian bird flu non-case

Helen Branswell had an interesting piece about a rumor there was a human case of H5N1 in Canada, in a child. Branswell’s pieces are the occasion for frequent posts here, although this is a bit awkward as it turns out she quotes us. Accurately. Which is characteristic of all her reporting and also why she…

Dogs killed in Korean bird flu cull

There’s been a lot of notice that the South Koreans are responding to two outbreaks of bird flu (H5N1) not only with the culling of poultry by the hundreds of thousands, something that has become quite routine, now, but also the slaughter of neighboring dogs and pigs. Pigs are a well known host for influenza…

Cholera, bird flu and humility in science

The “father” of epidemiology is a nineteenth century doctor, John Snow. He had more than one disciplinary child, since he is also considered the “father” of anesthesiology, having popularized the use of chloroform in obstetrics by using it on Queen Victoria in the 1850s. That distinction aside, Snow is famous for his pioneering studies showing…

Overwhelmed in Australia

Misery doesn’t love company. Misery loves hope. Unfortunately, those of us in the beleaguered northern hemisphere won’t find it in the Land of Oz, where Bush clone John Howard apes the chimp. Via the sometimes hopeful, sometimes despairing but always excellent blog, The ImpactED Nurse (Canberra, Australia), comes an exasperated groan. It’s all in the…

Polonium-210, Part II.

[This is Part II of our explanation of some of the science behind the Polonium-210 poisoning case of Alexander Litvinenko. Part I. is here.] In Part I. we sketched the physical background to understand radioisotopes like Polonium-210, the agent in the Litvinenko poisoning, but have yet to explain its connection to the biology. That’s today’s…

Back to benzene in soda

It’s been a while since we visited the FDA’s benzene-in-soft-drinks failure (see here, here, here and here). No time like the present.

Polonium-210, Part I.

It’s bigger news in the UK than elsewhere but it’s still big news. Apparently Russian dissident and former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko was fatally poisoned with Polonium 210. Time for some science.

This weekend is Effect Measure’s Second Blogiversary and it coincides with two other events: the new Flu Wiki Forum and the incipient debut of a new progressive public health blog, The Pump Handle, to which The Reveres will be occasional contributors (some original posts, some cross posts). We are semi-thrilled to still be around after…

I’m no fan of WalMart’s. Too much disruption of the retail world at the expense of the global environment and workers around the world and too little attention to the needs of its own workers. My side of the political fence is not friendly WalMart territory, to be sure. It turns out that right wing…