Effect Measure

Archives for March, 2010

Rationality as innovation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano is asking academics to work with her agency to develop “innovative initiatives” to protect the nation from terrorist threats. This is what I would call a faith-based initiative, in this case, faith in the technological fix. DHS could certainly use some help. It’s one of the…

Flu: the gift that keeps on giving

There is a good Canadian Press by Michael Macdonald about the often long time it takes to make a full recovery from flu. A full blown case of classical influenza can really lay you low for days or weeks. People often report never having felt so sick. But once you are “recovered” and back to…

Flu: Georgia on CDC’s mind

A day or two after CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR) released a report about risks to pregnant women from pandemic 2009 flu, CDC held a suddenly announced press briefing about the current H1N1 situation (I listened in but a transcript should be up on the site by the time you read this; check…

The monster in the rawbar

If you eat raw shellfish you are asking for trouble. I know, I know. There are people who love rawbars and think nothing is better than letting a raw oyster slide down their gullet. The FDA is warning consumers and retailers nationwide, though, that they might love nothing less that what could happen if they…

I’m an epidemiologist, not an immunologist or a virologist but I like reading immunology and virology. It’s interesting, in some ways for me it’s more interesting than reading epidemiology. In an epidemiological paper I can see pretty quickly where things are going (or going wrong) and there isn’t much mystery. But the sheer number of…

Orac at Respectful Insolence hates “woo” (for some reason I dislike that term; I prefer to call it quackery). He’s a surgeon and has seen cases where that kind of stuff killed people through delay or refusal of treatment. Fair enough. But I am fascinated by this example where it didn’t kill someone:

Nose rape?

I’ve written a couple of times here about TV commercials that drive me crazy or just perplex me (that post on what the Cialis bathtubs are all about continues to get a couple of views a week even though it was over a year ago). In general, though, I don’t get too exercised about TV…

Immunity and the 1918 and 2009 pandemics

We continue to learn a great deal about influenza infection as researchers harvest information from the recent swine flu pandemic. The pork producers don’t like to call it “swine flu” but it may well be that its long sojourn in that animal since 1918 (did we give Spanish flu to pigs or did pigs give…

Robby, while you’re up, get me a Grant

The Robby in the title refers to Robby the Robot in the 1956 movie, Forbidden Planet, and what follows was a tag line in an ad for Grant’s whiskey: “While you’re up, get me a Grant’s.” That’s in case you’ve forgotten or never knew. I’m still working on the grant, doing things it feels like…

Hand sanitizer just right for doctors

I had to laugh when I saw FDA was warning consumers in Puerto Rico that some hand sanitizers had high levels of bacteria (Burkholderia cepacia) that can cause serious infections. It’s not really funny of course, except that one of the hand sanitizers was called ?MD Quality Hand Sanitizer? (the other one was “Bee-Shield Hand…