Effect Measure

Archives for August, 2009

Raccoon latrines? Not in my backyard!

If you are a paranoid hypochondriacal person with young children who lives in a suburb, you’ve come to the right/wrong place (take your pick). Because now you get to hear about Baylisascaris procyonis. What’s that, you ask? The procyon part should be the tip-off, but I suppose not that many people know that Procyon is…

“Science-Based Medicine 101″: FAIL

Science Based Medicine is a site we highly recommend with experienced scientists and practitioners in charge. In other words, it’s run by adults. But scientists often disagree about things. This is apparently a secret to non-scientists and many reporters who assume that when two scientists disagree, one is lying or wrong. But it’s true nonetheless.…

Blog driftwood from the beach

The Reveres are at the beach. It’s not our natural habitat, but the generic Mrs. R. loves the beach so here we are. We often write in the morning (after emerging from our small flat in Hilbert space) but today we were otherwise occupied and then went to the beach and baked our brains out.…

Yesterday (today as I am writing this) the British Medical Journal published another Cochrane meta-analysis on the efficacy of neurimminidase inhibitor antivirals (the only two in use now, being oseltamivir [Tamiflu] and zanimivir [Relenza]). Their conclusions have made the news, so I guess I should cast my baleful eye on their handiwork. I think there…

CDC happenings

Things have been quiet at CDC but apparently they have been changing. First, Dr. Richard Besser, who acquitted himself ably as Acting Director after January 20 until early June when Obama’s new appointment, Dr. Thomas Frieden took over, has decided to leave CDC for television. Yes, television. Many at CDC will be sorry to see…

The other day we did something we don’t like to do when talking about flu, we made a prediction. We predicted a bad swine flu season in the fall in the northern hemisphere. The history of flu epidemiology is that making predictions is dangerous. Flu has the ability to make fools out of anyone, regardless…

Sadako Sasaki was 2 years old on August 6, 1945 when an atomic bomb destroyed her city, Hiroshima. Three days later, 64 years ago today, a second atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki. The radiation exposure from the Hiroshima bomb initiated a malignant transformation of Sadako’s blood cells and ten years later she developed leukemia: During her…

We’re communicating through the marvel of the internet, you and I. Obama figured out how to use it to advantage and McCain didn’t. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, at this moment in history, any party that doesn’t learn from history is bound to be history. Any Party like the Republican Party. Their…

Chuck Grassley’s feet of clay

We’ve been rather kind to Senator Charles (Chuck) Grassley in the past. Yes, he’s a right wing Republican with some really odious ideas, ideas for which he deserves to be criticized. But he’s also been a champion of the Federal False Claims Act which has encouraged and protected whistleblowers to reveal how corporations have taken…

Swine flu this fall: turbulence ahead

Making predictions about something as unpredictable as flu is foolhardy. I rarely (if ever) do it, but I’m going to do it now. I am predicting a bad and early H1N1 swine flu season in the northern hemisphere next fall and winter. The reasons for this departure from our usual custom is a paper in…