Category Archive: Medicine

May 09 2013

For the ambitious budding cancer biologist

I’m teaching cancer biology in the fall, and if you want to get a head start over the summer, here are the texts we’re going to be using: Biol 4103: Cancer Biology Introduction to Cancer Biology, by Robin Heskith Cambridge University Press, 1st ed. ISBN 978-1107601482 The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, …

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May 07 2013

Did a bat land on you at the Kelso Depot in the Mojave Desert?

Boosting signal on this, because it’s potentially very urgent and the person at risk could be anywhere in the world at this point. A week ago, on April 30, a visitor to the Kelso Depot in the Mojave National Preserve had a bat land on his neck. The bat — a Myotis lucifugus a.k.a. little …

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Apr 22 2013

PSA: Don’t take the Cinnamon Challenge

Oh, it’s good to be past the stupid kid phase, but it’s too bad many are not. One bit of painful excess I’ve heard about for many years is the Cinnamon Challenge, in which you try to gulp down a teaspoon of cinnamon without water. I’ve never been tempted in the slightest — see what …

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Apr 04 2013


Worrisome news from China: A person who had close contact with a dead H7N9 bird flu patient in Shanghai has been under treatment in quarantine after developing symptoms of fever, running nose and throat itching, local authorities said late Thursday. So far, China has confirmed 14 H7N9 cases — six in Shanghai, four in Jiangsu, …

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Mar 14 2013

Call for an accounting

I have my doubts about the efficacy of the growing welter of petitions for every possible cause, but at least we can express our concerns. There is now a petition to nvestigate psychiatric research misconduct at the University of Minnesota, my place of work, so I feel an obligation to bring it up. Dan Markingson …

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Feb 24 2013

Don’t let Catholics run hospitals

Imagine if you lived in a town where the only hospital was owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and you were in a car accident — you’ve got a ruptured spleen, you’re bleeding internally, and your life is at risk. The surgeon is going to go in and stitch up and cauterize everything, but you’re warned …

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Jan 25 2013

An important warning regarding your household recreational drug use

I  try not to abuse my soapbox here by proselytizing too often, given that this is a topic on which hordelings have deeply divided points of view. But sometimes a warning is just far too important not to share. I’m not moralizing here. What you do with your own body is between you, your conscience, and …

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Jan 20 2013

Hah! I must be smarter than Stephen Darksyde!

Two years ago, I took a walk and felt a very mild twinge…and chose to go straight to the local clinic to have it checked out. You don’t fool around with a family history of heart disease! As it turns out, I didn’t have a heart attack, but was at risk and did get some …

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Dec 09 2012

Rabies vaccinations: now without agony.

Salon writer Irin Carmon was bitten by a strange dog in Brooklyn this weekend, and though the wound itself wasn’t too bad the call is out for people who might know the dog: Hours later, I found a small actual wound and went to the ER, where they told me I have ten days to …

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Dec 05 2012

How anti-vaxxers see the world


That Evil Mr Vaccine. Doesn’t he understand that if there is no polio or smallpox making bad children suffer, the good children won’t have anything to gloat about?

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