Effect Measure

Archives for February, 2009

Baxter bird flu botch

In a post the other day on some kind of flu vaccine mishap in Austria we called it a colossal screw-up. It turns out we may have understated the case. Maybe. Because while more details are leaking out, the company responsible for it, Baxter International, isn’t saying exactly what happened on the grounds that it…

When the FBI said that they had conclusive scientific evidence that biodefense scientists Bruce Ivins of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was the 2001 anthrax attacker, many people asked to see the evidence. Don’t worry, we were told. It will be published for all to see in the peer reviewed…

As I write this the story is still hazy [see Addendum] but it sounds like the kind of colossal screw-up we had four years ago when the American College of Pathology sent a pandemic flu strain (H2N2) to thousands of clinical and hospital laboratories as part of routine competency testing (see here, here, here). That…

A just released report on world wide vaccine production capacity says . . . if you don’t have access to the report (and I don’t, as yet), what it says depends on which news source you want to read. For example you can read Reuters (the glass half full wire service stroy) or Agence France…

I’m not sure what to make of the report that scientists in Boston, California and the CDC in Atlanta have made monoclonal antibodies that protect mice against many different flu subtypes. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies made by the descendants of a single immune cell (that is a single clone, hence monoclonal). Thus unlike natural antibodies,…

Children’s health and tobacco

DemFromCT continues his public health series over at DailyKos, thus also continuing to make my early week blogging easier. This week is a brief look at this year’s flu season, already in full swing, including what is happening in pediatric deaths from flu. He follows this with another interview, this time the American Lung Association’s…

Fire in the operating room

I’ve seen surgeons blow up in the operating room but never saw an operating room blow up. But according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s not that rare for them to catch fire and sometimes worse. Operating rooms are full of flammable gases and materials and oxygen. Moreover it isn’t just a matter of taking…

I’ve never read a column by Dan Gardner in the Ottawa Citizen before, but I think I’ve been missing something, at least judging by his recent observations on how three Ottawa city councillors (by name: Marianne Wilkinson, Rainer Bloess, and Doug Thompson) have done so much to advance the cause of atheism in the city.…

Computer rage

The good news (for me) is I’ve been doing a lot of science lately. The bad news is that I have had to use some research software written in C# that uses Microsoft’s .Net framework. Said another way, I, a long time Mac user, have been forced to use the Windoz operating system. It’s not…

Nothing like a massive food contamination outbreak from a plant in your state to concentrate the minds of state legislators (more here and links therein). Especially when an important industry is involved. We’re talking Georgia peanuts, of course. Peanuts employ an estimated 50,000 workers in Georgia, accounting for some $2.5 billion in the state’s economy.…