Effect Measure

Archives for April, 2010

On the surface the story in Wired made perfect sense: Twin Study Deepens Multiple Sclerosis Mystery. It is about a new study from the National Center for Genome Resources that compared the genetic endowments of three sets of identical twins, one each of which contracted multiple sclerosis (MS), the other didn’t. This was a full…

I’m all for scientific — and statistical — literacy, but sometimes the calls for it exasperate me. Just a little. Not significantly. If you know what I mean. Or you think you know what I mean. Anyway. Yesterday Wired carried a piece by Clive Thompson, Why We Should Learn the Language of Data. It’s a…

Dispassionate kisses

Self medicating for mood disorders is well known. It is often quite harmful, with the chief culprits being ethyl alcohol and nicotine. But there are others. One that comes up often is chocolate as an antidote to feelings of depression. Not everyone who eats chocolate is depressed, of course. Probably most of us who do…

Once, long ago, I used to be in a radiology department in a famous hospital. I liked radiology quite a bit and even before becoming a doctor I worked in them. Later I did research on the kinds of errors radiologists make when they read x-rays. One of the errors that was extremely well known…

What are we to make of the swine flu pandemic? The only thing I feel confident about is that it will be some time before we really know. A great deal of data and experience was gained in the year since the pandemic H1N1 took everyone by surprise but it will be a while before…

The zombie anthrax case

It’s been a couple of months since we posted on the anthrax story, the story that refuses to die despite the fact the FBI has done its best to close the case out. But here we are again, our 11th post on the subject, this time because a colleague of the conveniently deceased alleged anthrax…

Got this in my email. For all I know the whole country got it. That’s how these campaigns go these days. I’m not sure its origin [Source, author Rick Chertof in Tikkun; thanks to reader LeeH], but I suspect it’s a fake. No one with this guy’s reputation could be confirmed, even if he walks…

I know things are better when I read really weird stories like this one: Earlier today, we told you about a Pennsylvania legislator who accused her primary opponent of pretending to be bisexual in order to get votes from the large LGBT community in her Philadelphia district. At a fundraiser a week ago, state Rep.…

Everyone knows that people commonly use the internet for health information. “Commonly” means almost half (45.6%) of adults over 18 who were interviewed by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) during the first 9 months of 2009. The estimate is made from household interviews of a national sample of adults who don’t live in institutions,…

A year ago on the blog

It was a year ago today we put up our first post about swine flu: “The California swine flu cases.” I think we were the first blog to notice it, and it began this way: