Effect Measure

Archives for November, 2007

Small concerns about nanotechnology

If you are like most people you probably aren’t alarmed about the dangers of nanotechnology. In fact if you are like most people you probably don’t even know what nanotechnology is. I’ll resist the temptation to say general knowledge of the emerging technology of the very small is even smaller. Despite the fact most of…

Another report, another story: the world is not ready for a pandemic. Before you click away (you’ve heard it before) I’ll be saying something more about it than just reiterating the dire prognosis if we don’t shape up. But first the message, from the UN and the World Bank:

TB to go doesn’t go anywhere

It is not news that the Atlanta lawyer who had/didn’t have Extremely Drug Resistant TB early in the year didn’t infect anyone when he flew — against advice or was it against orders? — from Europe back to the US via Canada and through New York despite a no fly (or not?) order from CDC…

Mask, gloves, gowns for a pandemic. Again.

Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are in the news again. Yesterday was the dust up over Howard Markel and colleagues’ JAMA article from last August that appeared in CIDRAP News calling into question some of the historical data on the effectiveness of isolation and quarantine and now it’s an article in British Medical Journal that purports to…

Energy’s pot and kettle

China’s insatiable energy needs have made headlines. One of its worst consequences is an increase in the burning of dirty coal. (This is not to imply there is clean coal; there isn’t. Clean coal is just a coal industry marketing term.). Coal is said to supply 70% of China’s energy needs compared to 25% in…

A Commentary by John Barry (author of The Great Influenza) in CIDRAP News and accompanying meta-commentary by CIDRAP Director Mike Osterholm highlight an interesting controversy about a JAMA article by Michigan’s Howard Markel and colleagues. Markel’s article was a detailed compilation of public health responses to the 1918 influenza pandemic in 43 cities in the…

Manholes return

Three times we have posted on the arcane topic of manhole covers. On the first it was to ask why manhole covers are round. On the second it was to elaborate on the theme of the first post, with reader assistance, and exhibit a stunning examples of manhole cover art with links to others. On…

Second hand smoke is bad for you

A week ago we defended a colleague against attacks from overzealous anti-smoking crusaders when he criticized their patently absurd claim that breathing 30 minutes of second hand smoke in a public place was equivalent heart attack risk to that of a smoker. Some interpreted this as our saying second hand smoke was not as bad…

What’s the big deal about putting a few bad guys into “stressful” positions (assuming you know for sure they really are bad guys)? You call that torture? Waterboarding maybe is torture (we aren’t sure about that yet; requires some study***), but stressful positions and a love tap or two? Give me a break:

Indonesia’s health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, has answered the question whether the recently concluded Geneva summit on sharing of influenza viruses had produced sufficient agreement to induce that country to begin sharing again. Her answer seems to be “no”: