Pure Pedantry

Archives for November, 2007

I wrote earlier today about mercury and autism, and how I thought a criticism of an earlier paper on statistical grounds was fair. Some of the commentors including Orac took me to task saying that the original analysis was indeed better. After thinking about it for most of the day, I changed my mind. The…

I was struck by this paper that came out in the Journal of Child Neurology, looking back at previous study of mercury levels in autistic children. DeSoto and Hitlan looked back at Ip et al. 2004, a case control study that compared the blood and hair levels of mercury in children with autism to those…

Wang et al., publishing in PLoS Genetics, looked at the genetic diversity in Native American populations from Canada all the way down into South America. They wanted to see whether the genetic diversity observed in Native peoples correlated in any way with geography. If the genetic diversity did not correlate with geography this would suggest…

Would you like a ball pit?

Having a ball pit in your living room may be expensive, but it is still totally awesome. Comic from xkcd.

You look away from a field for two seconds, and they get all crazy on you… I used to do only molecular biology focusing primarily on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Since I moved to a lab that studies behavior, I haven’t been keeping up with the literature of Alzheimer’s as much as I should so…

Revere has spoken out in support of Michael Siegel at The Rest of the Story. Dr. Siegel is a public health specialist that focuses on among other things the effects of second-hand smoke. Siegel took Action for Smoking and Health — an anti-smoking group — to task for the following statement: 3. Even for people…

Prospective Coding and the Hippocampus

I wrote before about how there has been a bit of a debate about whether the hippocampus is involved in encoding spatial maps or is involved more generally in relational memory. Well, the argument for general relational memory just got a big boost. Johnson and Redish published a paper in the Journal of Neuroscience showing…

None of us are getting paid, ever

OK, so I am going to go on a tiny rant. Forgive me. I would just like to thank President Bush for vetoing the omnibus spending bill that includes the NIH budget. Because it is not like any of us need that money… For those of you who don’t know, NIH funding works like this.…

Yay us? More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States last year — the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday. “A new U.S. record,” said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More bad news: Gonorrhea rates…

Universal Coverage and Innovation

(I am going to try not to go on a big rant here; we’ll see how well that goes.) Jonathan Cohn wrote an article in The New Republic looking at one of the critiques of universal health care: that it might stifle innovation. He presents his case as a balanced one where the relative trade…