Effect Measure

Archives for March, 2007

[A series of posts explaining a paper on the mathematical modeling of the spread of antiviral resistance. Links to other posts in the series by clicking tags, "Math model series" or "Antiviral model series" under Categories, left sidebar. Preliminary post here. Table of contents at end of this post.] The use of antiviral drugs to…

Fooling Mother Nature

This is definitely a good news public health story. So why do I have that nagging feeling that in a year or two or a five we might be reporting it as one with unintended consequences? I hope not. Here it is: Mosquitoes genetically engineered to resist infection with a malaria parasite outbreed their normal…

Tomorrow we begin a blog experiment, one we already judge has failed. In January Marc Lipsitch and his team at the Harvard School of Public Health published a splendid paper using a mathematical model to investigate the spread of antiviral resistance in the control of pandemic influenza. When we read it our first thought was…

In the old days doctors traded clinical pearls and experience face to face at medical meetings. With the internet and online publication we sometimes forget how important those personal information exchanges can be and often still are. Canadian Press’s Helen Branswell (still the world’s best flu reporter) now tells us that about 100 doctors with…

Both ends of the rifle

Anniversaries may be artificial milestones marking a distance on a road from the past, but they also remind us of where we are now: enmired in the fifth year of a hideous and vicious war, a war whose disastrous consequences were foreseen by many but disregarded by a compliant press and credulous public. No one…

What to do if smallpox gets loose

Vaccine reactions are almost inevitable, and even when rare, if you are vaccinating hundreds of thousands or millions or tens of millions, you get them. Some are worse than others, and generalized vaccinia from a smallpox vaccination is one of the worst. Vaccinia is cowpox, not smallpox, but since Jenner first discovered that milkmaids who…

The big news in the world of atheism this week is the admission by northern California congressman Pete Stark that he was a nontheist. In officially making his declaration of non faith, Stark has breached what many think of as the last religious taboo in American politics.

Great headlines in Flu-dom

Flu pandemic could kill 63,700. Not 63,702?

The UK’s Health Protection Agency has a follow-up on their monitoring of people and places potentially contaminated with the extremely dangerous alpha-emitter, Polonium-210, the weapon used to kill Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko (see our posts here and here about Polonium-210, and here and here about the murder). Their spin is that tests “so far” show…

The federal Open Access bill

Even Republican jerks like Texas’s Senator John (“I never met a surge I didn’t like”) Cornyn can get it right sometimes. Law of Averages? I don’t know, but I certainly approve of his promise to re-introduce the Federal Research Public Access Act (S.2695) which would require tax-payer funded research to be freely available within 6…