Amia Srinivasan reviews ‘Other Minds’ by Peter Godfrey-Smith and ‘The Soul of an Octopus’ by Sy Montgomery · LRB 7 September 2017
> Octopuses encountering divers in the wild will frequently meet them with a probing arm or two, and sometimes lead them by the hand on a tour of the neighbourhood. Aristotle, mistaking curiosity for a lack of intelligence, called the octopus a ‘stupid creature’ because of its willingness to approach an extended human hand. Octopuses can recognise individual humans, and will respond differently to different people, greeting some with a caress of the arms, spraying others with their siphons. This is striking behaviour in an animal whose natural life cycle is deeply antisocial. Octopuses live solitary lives in single dens and die soon after their young hatch. Many male octopuses, to avoid being eaten during mating, will keep their bodies as far removed from the female as possible, extending a single arm with a sperm packet towards her siphon, a manoeuvre known as ‘the reach’.
octopus  neuroscience  consciousness 
19 hours ago
In cold blood: intraarteral cold infusions for selective brain cooling in stroke
Intra-arterial cold infusions as a way to treat stroke. > The idea of IACI as an emergency treatment in stroke patients is relatively new and current knowledge of effects and safety is only based on rodent experiments and computer simulations. However, many years of clinical and experimental experience with IACI during surgical procedures have shown the high effectiveness of IACI for the prevention of ischemic injury. In addition, IACI have already been successfully tested in large animals for hypothermia induction after CA. Clinical feasibility of IACI has also been shown in awake volunteers without acute brain damage.
stroke  hypothermia  endovascular 
21 hours ago
Huntingtin becomes the huntingted
> That’s why the new results for huntingtin are so exciting. The ASO tested in this clinical trial really needed to reach the brain (not so much the spinal cord) and what it needed to do in the brain was reduce huntingtin protein. It’s a very close analogy to what a drug in prion disease would need to do. And although we may not know for a few years yet whether the ASO was clinically effective (whether it improved the way patients feel or function), the information in this press release suggests that the drug did get to the brain, and it did reduce huntingtin. So: lowering a disease-causing protein in the brain appears to be possible.
huntingtons  neurology  neurodegeneration  ASO  2017 
23 hours ago
Overcoming Bias : Dragon Debris?
> One of the more interesting future filter scenarios is a high difficulty of traveling between the stars. As we can easily see across the universe, we know that photons have few problems traveling very long distances. And since stars drift about at great speeds, we know that stars can also travel freely suffering little harm. But we still can’t be sure of the ease of travel for humans, or for the sort of things that our descendants might try to send between the stars. We have collected a few grains of interstellar dust, but still know little about them, and so we don’t know how easy was their travel. We do know that most of the universe is made of dark matter and dark energy that we understand quite poorly. So perhaps “Here Be Dragons” lie in wait out there for our scale of interstellar travelers.
robin_hanson  future  travel  universe 
2 days ago
ApoE4 Promotes Amyloidosis, But Only in Plaque-Free Mice | ALZFORUM
Antisense oligonucleotide therapy against APOE e4 is apparently in the works.
apoe  antisense  amyloid  alzheimers 
2 days ago
What To Make Of New Positive NSI-189 Results? | Slate Star Codex
Lol. > Investors tripped over themselves to withdraw support from a corporation that apparently was unable to handle the absolute bread-and-butter most basic job of a pharma company – fudging clinical trial results so that nobody figures out they were negative until half the US population is on their drug.
pharma  psychiatry  antidepressant  SSRI  scott_alexander 
3 days ago
10th CTAD Conference: Finally, Alzheimer’s Field Is Serious About Prevention Trials | ALZFORUM
> To Paul Aisen, University of Southern California, the improving AD biomarker staging scheme, combined with tools to capture risk and biomarker status of people in standing trial cohorts, suggests a game plan for the future. “For primary prevention, we will use a BACE inhibitor. I think it will be a cure. For secondary prevention, we will use an antibody and a BACE inhibitor. For prodromal AD, we need a third drug of a different class, probably a tau drug. For mild to moderate AD, I don’t know yet what the combination will be. We need to learn more. But we will succeed,” Aisen told Alzforum.
amyloid  alzheimers 
4 days ago
The future is here – AlphaZero learns chess | ChessBase
Plays the Queen's gambit (was my favorite opening when I played more). Game 10 is amazing. > This is a game-changer, a term that is so often used and abused, and there is no other way of describing it. Deep Blue was a breakthrough moment, but its result was thanks to highly specialized hardware whose purpose was to play chess, nothing else. If one had tried to make it play Go, for example, it would have never worked. This completely open-ended AI able to learn from the least amount of information and take this to levels hitherto never imagined is not a threat to ‘beat’ us at any number of activities, it is a promise to analyze problems such as disease, famine, and other problems in ways that might conceivably lead to genuine solutions. Game 10 is amazing.
4 days ago
Moral Choices for Today’s Physician | Humanities | JAMA | The JAMA Network
> Hospitals today play the games afforded by an opaque and fragmented payment system and by the concentration of market share to near-monopoly levels that allow them to elevate costs and prices nearly at will, confiscating resources from other badly needed enterprises, both inside health (like prevention) and outside (like schools, housing, and jobs).
morality  medicine  hospital  capitalism 
4 days ago
Radical Liver Technique Idea of Wife - The New York Times
Total body washout, an interesting piece of medical history. > These Jackson doctors had shown that dogs could survive a bloodless state for 20 minutes without suffering permanent damage. ... When the liquid from the neck vein became clear, the doctors rapidly transfused him with 12 pints of fresh blood. The entire procedure took less than one hour. For about eight minutes the patient was bloodless.
anesthesia  medicine  transfusion  cryonics 
6 days ago
Shtetl-Optimized » Blog Archive » Quickies
The power of social shame: > At one of the dinners, my hosts asked me about the challenges of writing a blog when people on social media might vilify you for what you say. I remarked that it hasn’t been too bad lately—indeed that these days, to whatever extent I write anything ‘controversial,’ mostly it’s just inveighing against Trump. “But that is scary!” someone remarked. “You live in Texas now! What if someone with a gun got angry at you?” I replied that the prospect of enraging such a person doesn’t really keep me awake at night, because it seems like the worst they could do would be to shoot me. By contrast, if I write something that angers the leftist side, they could do something far scarier: they could make me feel guilty!
blogging  scott_aaronson  social_media 
7 days ago
How My Research Degree Taught Me I’m Not a Surgeon - Student Doctor Network
> I reflect on that as having been one of the biggest pieces of insight I gained from the research process. And when I eventually undertook my surgery rotation, I could see that surgeons loved the practical work. They loved being in the theatre. They loved working with their hands. They loved being able to fix something on the spot and institute a tangible, concrete impact then and there. I preferred to sit in the theatre staff lounge and read my USMLE books. Essentially, I drew a parallel between the lab and the operating theatre. Both were mechanical. Both were realms of significant hands-on skill. If one enjoys the physical process of working in the lab, then there is an increased probability he or she will enjoy working in the surgical theatre.
surgery  research  post_mdphd 
8 days ago
QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 20–64 Years With a Fasting Test in the Past 12 Months for High Blood Sugar or Diabetes, by Race/Ethnicity — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2011 and 2016 | MMWR
> The percentage of U.S. adults aged 20–64 years who had a fasting test for high blood sugar or diabetes in the past 12 months increased from 39.7% in 2011 to 45.7% in 2016. From 2011 to 2016, there was an increase in the percentage for all racial/ethnic groups examined: Hispanic (38.3% to 43.0%), non-Hispanic white (39.6% to 46.5%), non-Hispanic black (41.2% to 44.9%), and non-Hispanic Asian (41.5% to 49.6%) adults. In 2011, there was no statistically significant difference among the four groups examined, but in 2016, Hispanic adults were less likely than non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic Asian adults to have had a fasting test, and non-Hispanic Asian adults were more likely than non-Hispanic black adults to have had one.
race  DM2  glucose 
10 days ago
Pharmacotherapy for insomnia in children and adolescents: A rational approach - UpToDate
For sleep onset insomnia, typical recommendation is melatonin 30 mins before bedtime. > Dosing and administration – Optimal dosing of melatonin depends on the type of sleep problem:
•For circadian phase delay, starting doses of melatonin are 0.2 to 0.5 mg, given three to four hours prior to bedtime, and increased by 0.2 to 0.5 mg each week as needed to a maximum 3 mg for children or 5 mg for adolescents, as suggested in a consensus guideline [11]. These relatively small doses and advance administration are more effective for circadian phase delay than larger doses or those given closer to sleep onset [10].
•For sleep onset insomnia, typical doses are 1 mg in infants, 2.5 to 3 mg in older children, and 5 mg in adolescents, given 30 minutes before bedtime. Melatonin has mild hypnotic properties in these larger doses. Studies in children with autism have reported using doses of up to 10 mg.
10 days ago
Minimally Invasive “Stentrode” Shows Potential as Neural Interface for Brain
> Whereas traditional electrode arrays are implanted into the brain through a surgical procedure that requires opening the skull, the stentrode is delivered via catheter angiography, a much lower-risk procedure. The catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the neck. Researchers then use real-time imaging to guide the stentrode to a precise location in the brain, where the stentrode then expands and attaches to the walls of the blood vessel to read the activity of nearby neurons. The stentrode technology leverages well-established techniques from the field of endovascular surgery, which uses blood vessels as portals for accessing deep structures while greatly reducing trauma associated with open surgery. Endovascular techniques are routinely used for surgical repair of damaged blood vessels and for installation of devices such as stents and stimulation electrodes for cardiac pacemakers.
electrode  neurology  endovascular  neuroscience 
10 days ago
As bitcoin’s price passes $10,000, its rise seems unstoppable - A lot of zeros
> Some remember Nathan Rothschild’s remark about the secret of his wealth: “I always sold too soon.”
finance  2017  bitcoin 
10 days ago
Oh, the North Korean soldier whose daring escape was caught on video - The Washington Post
> Lee said he had never seen such an extreme case of parasitic infection. The soldier had worms not seen in South Korea since the 1970s, but they appeared to be somewhat common north of the border. In a 2014 study, South Korean doctors sampled 17 females who escaped North Korea and found that seven of them were infected with parasitic worms, according to the BBC. They also had higher rates of diseases such as hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

What was just as curious were the raw corn kernels found in Oh’s [the defector’s] stomach, which shocked many South Koreas. North Korean soldiers typically have a higher ranking on the food-rationing list, so it was alarming that the soldier had been eating uncooked corn.

Some reports claim that North Korean soldiers have been ordered to steal corn from farmers to fend off hunger.
korea  medicine  food 
13 days ago
A Grim Future? Here Are the Numbers. | In the Pipeline
Small molecule therapy is not looking bright.
> moving out of traditional small-molecule drug discovery looks like the only way out – cell-based therapies, immunotherapies, gene therapies, tissue engineering and so on are the current frontiers. And that doesn’t mean just scientific frontiers, although they are that, but business frontiers to continue to run drug companies as going concerns.
future  chemistry  pharma  genetics 
13 days ago
Nice website showing probability of diagnoses for different symptoms in different populations.
medicine  medtech  bayes 
15 days ago
Home - Unity Biotechnology
Company working to develop pharmaceuticals in the senolytic space. Probably the most promising medium-term anti-aging approach right now IMO.
aging  senolytics 
17 days ago
Speed of processing training results in lower risk of dementia - Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions
One "brain training" game that focuses on speed of processing actually seems to lower the risk of dementia in the long run. Could be statistical noise but hard to do a replication study if it takes 10+ years and thousands of patients to see an effect or not. Interesting stuff.
brain_training  video_games  dementia 
19 days ago
Inflammation in Midlife Portends Late-Life Brain Shrinkage | ALZFORUM
> Walker said. Walker used baseline measurements of systemic inflammation markers in plasma—fibrinogen, albumin, white blood cell count, von Willebrand factor, and Factor VIII—collected from 1,633 participants at a mean age of 53. He then calculated a composite score from these measurements for each person, and assessed its association with brain volume data from MRI scans done 24 years later. With every increase of one standard deviation in the midlife inflammation score, the combined volumes of Alzheimer’s signature regions—the parahippocampal, entorhinal, inferior parietal lobules, hippocampus, and precuneus areas—shrank by 532 mm3, with the hippocampus alone losing 110 mm3. Participants with three or more elevated markers on average had 5 percent smaller AD signature regions than people with normal inflammatory marker levels (image above). Their occipital lobes and hippocampi were 6 and 5 percent smaller, respectively, than those in people without systemic inflammation. The authors note that the estimated effect of an increase in one standard deviation of the inflammation score on occipital lobe, ventricular, and hippocampal volumes is similar to the effect associated with having one ApoE4 allele.
inflammation  alzheimers  obesity  VWF  hypertension 
19 days ago
Distinct Cognitive Fates in the Very Old | ALZFORUM
> Snitz’s study also highlighted Aβ’s role in fueling cognitive deterioration. Some postmortem studies suggested that after 80, Aβ plaques no longer correlate strongly with dementia (Savva et al., 2009; Haroutunian et al., 2008). “In this study you see a real impact of β-amyloid, even in old age,” noted Pieter Jelle Visser, VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, adding that the finding aligns with another recent study of subjects from the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (Donohue et al., 2017). 
alzheimers  abeta 
19 days ago
BigBlueBawls comments on ELI5 : Why do we wake up starving the morning after a night of binge eating?
Good explanation of why eating a lot of (sugary) food paradoxically makes you even hungrier hours later.
> Your body needs glucose for energy. Everything you eat is broken down into glucose.
Foods like "sugary" foods, starch or very simple carbohydrates like rice, bread, pasta, etc, are digested very fast and thus, broken down and turned into glucose very fast.
Now, when you eat lots of those foods, lots of glucose goes into your blood very fast.
And your pancrea produce little guys (hormones) called insulins who push that glucose into your cells.
When lots of glucose goes into your blood very fast, your organ pancrea freaks out and is like "OMFG! Too much glucose in the blood. Too much glucose wandering around in the blood = poison!! Guys!!, Insulins!!, go go go!!! Go push them into the muscle cells and fat cells to properly store them." and then Pancrea produce lots of fucking insulins. May be even too much insulins.
Those lots of little fuckers called insulines push all the glucose from your blood into the cells.
Then, very low level of glucose in your blood. So, your body thinks "Hey, my blood needs glucose. I need sugar(glucose). Feed me."
insulin  glucose  food  nutrition  hunger 
22 days ago
Was suicide a common issue in the Middle Age? : AskHistorians
> As laws and legal systems coalesced over the course of the Middle Ages, death by suicide came to have extensive legal consequences for one's heirs (and whatever a grudge against the dead, might not be good to antagonize the living). Laws permitted or mandated the "ravage" of the property of someone who committed suicide: that its, its seizure by the lord or city rather than passing down to one's heirs. This could extend all the way to the home that a house-owner's family was still living in, throwing them onto the street.

A 1280 case from England illustrates these laws in action. Upon the death of one of his tenants, a lord had claimed it was suicide and thus her property reverted to him. Her heirs had sued to get the property back, claiming his "presumptions" were (a) wrong and (b) even if they were right, presumptions weren't strong enough to be evidence of suicide. Notably, the judge ruled in the lord's favor because one of the 'presumptions' was the dead woman's threat to do something to shame her friends. Suicide was shameful for the immediate victim, but it also made victims of the survivors who had to deal with public shame and material loss in the midst of private grief.
suicide  middle_ages  history  religion 
22 days ago
The Loyalty Quandary: At what point would you turn your friend in? - Wait But Why
Interesting question from WBW. > As this topic goes, I feel the most authentic when operating according to my own set of moral principles, which are informed partly by culture and mostly by experience and reason. As such, my personal morality offers no inherent loyalty to authority or family, but it does give a great deal of support to civil liberties and to (what I believe is) an individual's right to live however he or she pleases as long as it does not cause direct and/or conscious physical or psychological harm to others. As a result, I would have to take some form of action if someone I knew and loved caused direct and/or conscious physical or psychological harm to someone else. That said, I do not as a general rule encourage blanket, blatant honesty. I believe that people have a right to their privacy and, with that, to their secrets and sins. I feel this is part of what makes us human. I also think there is a great deal of responsibility and respect which comes with the ability to sit with one's own indiscretions.
loyalty  morality 
23 days ago
'I see things differently': James Damore on his autism and the Google memo | Technology | The Guardian
> Despite authoring two acclaimed books on gender, Fine, a leading feminist science writer, feels “torn in many different directions” by Damore. She believes his memo made many dubious assumptions and ignored vast swaths of research that show pervasive discrimination against women. But his summary of the differences between the sexes, she says, was “more accurate and nuanced than what you sometimes find in the popular literature”. Some of Damore’s ideas, she adds, are “very familiar to me as part of my day-to-day research, and are not seen as especially controversial. So there was something quite extraordinary about someone losing their job for putting forward a view that is part of the scientific debate. And then to be so publicly shamed as well. I felt pretty sorry for him.”
autism  james_damore  2017  gender  shaming  google 
24 days ago
Shtetl-Optimized » Blog Archive » Review of “Inadequate Equilibria,” by Eliezer Yudkowsky
> Now for a still more pointed question: am I, personally, too conformist or status-conscious? I think even “conformist” choices I’ve made, like staying in academia, can be defended as the right ones for what I wanted to do with my life, just as Eliezer’s non-conformist choices (e.g., dropping out of high school) can be defended as the right ones for what he wanted to do with his. On the other hand, my acute awareness of social status, and when I lacked any—in contrast to what Eliezer calls his “status blindness,” something that I see as a tremendous gift—did indeed make my life unnecessarily miserable in all sorts of ways.
yudkowsky  scott_aaronson  status  education  life 
25 days ago
Trump Health Agency Challenges Consensus on Reducing Costs - The New York Times
Good take from a NYT commenter: > Nearly everyone who commented here has it right. It is complicated and this issue is necessarily part of a larger healthcare picture. I am a primary care physician with 30 years experience. i also have worked doing medical directorship for a non profit health plan.
Doctors are leaving medicine because they dislike being on computers (which has to do with getting paid--not taking care of patients). Quality measures are too much one size fits all-and it doesn't. And yet, we need to address the perverse incentive of over-utilization, and self-serving dealings of some specialists in particular. Multiple other countries have figured out how to do it more efficiently, with better outcomes and lower costs, and more patient satisfaction--and not all have gone to single-payer, which would be quite a political heavy lift all at once.
But putting orthopedic surgeons and cardiologists back in charge of the gravy train just as the baby boomers hit their 70s?...a recipe for continuing out of control costs.
medicine  healthcare  2017  insurance 
28 days ago
Banner Ads Considered Harmful (Here) - Gwern.net
> Power analysis of historical gwern.net traffic data demonstrates that the high autocorrelation yields very low statistical power with standard tests & regressions but acceptable power with ARIMA models. I design a long-term time-series approach in which a A/B-test running January-October 2017 in 2-day blocks of ads/no-ads uses client-local JS to determine whether to load & display ads. The final results yields a strong estimate of 14% traffic loss if all traffic were exposed to ads (95% credible interval: -13-16%) and an expected traffic loss of ~9.7%, far exceeding the decision threshold for disabling ads and rendering profitless further experimentation. Thus, banner ads on gwern.net appear to be quite harmful and AdSense has been removed.
gwern  statistics 
29 days ago
Jeff Bezos’ guide to life – TechCrunch
> On raising kids: Jeff and his wife let their kids use sharp knives since they were four and soon had them wielding power tools, because if they hurt themselves, they’d learn. Jeff says his wife’s perspective is “I’d much rather have a kid with nine fingers than a resourceless kid.” On choosing a romantic partner: When Jeff decided he was ready to settle down, his friends set him up on tons of blind dates. He eventually knew he’d found his wife when he met someone truly resourceful. “I wanted a woman who could get me out of a third-world prison” Jeff said. ... “We all get to choose our life stories. It’s our choices that define us, not our gifts. You can only be proud of your choices” Jeff says. You either choose a life of “ease and comfort”, or of “service and adventure”, and when you’re 80, you’ll be more proud of the latter.
bezos  children  relationships  choices  life 
4 weeks ago
MRI-assessed atrophy subtypes in Alzheimer's disease and the cognitive reserve hypothesis. - PubMed - NCBI
> Typical AD was found in 59 patients (48%); 29 (24%) patients had limbic-predominant AD; 19 (15%) had hippocampal-sparing AD; and 16 (13%) belonged to the group with minimal atrophy. No differences were found regarding cognitive test results or progression rates between the different subtypes. Using adjusted logistic regression analysis, we found that the patients in the minimal-atrophy group were less educated, had a lower baseline CDR sum of boxes score, and had higher levels of amyloid β in the cerebrospinal fluid.
mri  alzheimers  cognitive_reserve  amyloid 
4 weeks ago
Scientists grow bullish on pig-to-human transplants | Science | AAAS
> today, a group of researchers headed by Bruno Reichart at the University of Munich in Germany announced they had nearly doubled the previous survival record for a life-sustaining pig heart transplant in a baboon, to 90 days. The study’s experimental design required that the group stop the experiment at 3 months, though the baboon was still “in very good condition,” University of Munich cardiac surgeon Paolo Brenner said after the presentation. It is the first animal to hit a milestone, set nearly 20 years ago by the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, for determining whether a xenotransplantation approach is safe enough to try in humans, Brenner notes. The society’s guidelines are that 60% of animals in a study should survive at least 3 months. Brenner’s team is now working to repeat the results in more baboons, and they hope to launch a clinical trial in 2 or 3 years.
4 weeks ago
Book Post for October | Thing of Things
> One of the most striking points was the comparison between drunk driving and smoking crack cocaine, both of which were criminalized at about the same time. Drunk driving literally kills people, while smoking crack only rarely harms people other than yourself. The vast majority of people who drive drunk are white men, while crack is usually smoked by black people. Naturally, drunk driving is punished with a misdemeanor conviction, a week or two in jail, mandatory alcohol treatment, maybe your license getting suspended. Smoking crack, conversely, is punished with literally years in prison.
prison  race  law 
4 weeks ago
Overcoming Bias : How Big Future Change?
> how sure can we be that these big swing parameters encompass a large fraction of what matters within what can change? And notice a big selection effect: even when rates of change are constant overall, the particular parameters that happened to change the most in the recent past will in general not be the ones that change the most in the near future. So for those big past changing params future change will be less, even though overall rates of change stay steady. Maybe we spend so much time focusing on the parameters that have recently changed most, that we forget how many other parameters remain which are available to change in the future.
robin_hanson  future 
5 weeks ago
Relax, You Don’t Need to ‘Eat Clean’ - The New York Times
Comments are not happy about the pro-GMO bit lol. > Many people still wrongly believe that MSG is poison. We certainly don’t need MSG in our diet, but we also don’t need to waste effort avoiding it. Our aversion to it shows how susceptible we are to misinterpreting scientific research and how slow we are to update our thinking when better research becomes available. There’s no evidence that people suffer disproportionately from the afflictions — now ranging from headaches to asthma — that MSG-averse cultures commonly associate with this ingredient. In studies all over the world, the case against MSG just doesn’t hold up.
food  nutrition  MSG  science  GMO 
5 weeks ago
Medicare covers the majority of FDA-approved devices and Part B drugs, but restrictions and discrepancies remain. - PubMed - NCBI
> The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Medicare use different standards to determine, first, whether a new drug or medical device can be marketed to the public and, second, if the federal health insurance program will pay for use of the drug or device. This discrepancy creates hurdles and uncertainty for drug and device manufacturers. We analyzed discrepancies between FDA approval and Medicare national coverage determinations for sixty-nine devices and Part B drugs approved during 1999-2011. We found that Medicare covered FDA-approved drugs or devices 80 percent of the time. However, Medicare often added conditions beyond FDA approval, particularly for devices and most often restricting coverage to patients with the most severe disease. In some instances, Medicare was less restrictive than the FDA.
fda  medicare  insurance 
5 weeks ago
Inseparable: Ten Years Joined At The Head: BC’s Hogan Twins Share A Brain And See Out Of Each Other’s Eyes
> The structure of the twins’ brains makes them unique in the world. Their brains are connected by a thalamic bridge, connecting the thalamus of one with that of the other. The thalamus acts like a switchboard relaying sensory and motor signals and regulating consciousness. ... The twins say they know one another’s thoughts without having to speak. “Talking in our heads” is how they describe it.
neurology  thalamus 
5 weeks ago
drug and vaccine resistance | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences
> First, vaccines tend to work prophylactically while drugs tend to work therapeutically. Second, vaccines tend to induce immune responses against multiple targets on a pathogen while drugs tend to target very few. Consequently, pathogen populations generate less variation for vaccine resistance than they do for drug resistance, and selection has fewer opportunities to act on that variation. When vaccine resistance has evolved, these generalities have been violated
antibiotics  vaccine  resistance  microbiology 
5 weeks ago
Psycho-Conservatism: What it Is, When to Doubt It | Otium
Another banger. > If you used evolved tacit knowledge, the verdict of history, and only the strongest empirical evidence, and were skeptical of everything else, you’d correctly conclude that in general, things shaped like airplanes don’t fly. The reason airplanes do fly is that if you shape their wings just right, you hit a tiny part of the parameter space where lift can outbalance the force of gravity. “Things roughly like airplanes” don’t fly, as a rule; it’s airplanes in particular that fly.
sarah_constantin  conservatism  psychology  evolution 
5 weeks ago
A Lesson From the Biggest Losers: Exercise Keeps Off the Weight - The New York Times
Interesting, although not that much data. > The food eaten “is the key determinant of initial weight loss. And physical activity is the key to maintenance,” she said.
exercise  weight_loss 
5 weeks ago
Effects of Spaceflight on Astronaut Brain Structure as Indicated on MRI — NEJM
> Narrowing of the central sulcus, upward shift of the brain, and narrowing of CSF spaces at the vertex occurred frequently and predominantly in astronauts after long-duration flights.
csf  space  brain  mri 
5 weeks ago
Persistent reservations against the premedical and medical curriculum
> I have argued [2] that the first 2 years of medical school (biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience, physiology) are unnecessary for the second 2 years, and encourage a dangerous cognitive bias: subordinating evidence-based medicine to pathophysiological reasoning. This bias has been shown to play a key role in popularizing unproven medical practices [3], many of which are later overturned, a phenomenon called medical reversal [3]. Other critics have concluded rather bluntly that basic science education in the first 2 years of medical school is ‘a waste of time’ [4].
medical_school  stories  pathology  education  bias 
5 weeks ago
Seeds, sponges and spinal surgery : Nature News & Comment
> Physicians at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston now operate on fetuses with spina bifida while they are still in the womb using a new, experimental technique. This technique involves lifting the mother’s uterus out of her body to operate on the spine of the baby inside it.
photo  surgery 
5 weeks ago
JME-Comparison of the Impact of Wikipedia, UpToDate, and a Digital Textbook on Short-Term Knowledge Acquisition Among Medical Students: Randomized Controlled Trial of Three Web-Based Resources | Scaffidi | JMIR Medical Education
> Medical students who used Wikipedia had superior short-term knowledge acquisition compared with those who used a digital textbook. Additionally, the Wikipedia group trended toward better posttest performance compared with the UpToDate group, though this difference was not significant. There were no significant differences between the UpToDate group and the digital textbook group.
wikipedia  medical_school 
5 weeks ago
When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy - The New York Times
> I was surprised to find that some of the leaders in the replication movement were not Cuddy’s harshest critics but spoke of her right to defend her work in more measured tones. “Why does everyone care so much about what Amy says?” Brian Nosek says. “Science isn’t about consensus.” Cuddy was entitled to her position; the evidence in favor or against power posing would speak for itself. Leif Nelson, one of the three pioneers of the movement, says Cuddy is no different from most other scientists in her loyalty to her data. “Authors love their findings,” he says. “And you can defend almost anything — that’s the norm of science, not just in psychology.” He still considers Cuddy a “very serious psychologist”; he also believes the 2010 paper “is a bunch of nonsense.” But he says, “It does not strike me as at all notable that Amy would defend her work. Most people do.”
science  social_media  replication  stories 
6 weeks ago
A critical review of chronic traumatic encephalopathy - ScienceDirect
Skeptical review of CTE... basically saying that the pathological findings are actually somewhat common, especially in aging.
trauma  aging  neurology  CTE  brain 
6 weeks ago
To stay young, kill zombie cells : Nature News & Comment
> At Mayo, one clinical trial has opened, pitting dasatinib and quercetin in combination against chronic kidney disease. Kirkland plans to try other senolytics against different age-related diseases. “We want to use more than one set of agents across the trials and look at more than one condition,” he says.
aging  senolytic  mayo 
6 weeks ago
Evolution experiment has now followed 68,000 generations of bacteria | Ars Technica
> The pivotal piece of technology enabling this experiment is the -80ºC freezer. It acts essentially, Lenski says, as a time machine. The freezer holds the bacterial cultures in a state of suspended animation; when they are thawed, they are completely viable and their fitness can be compared to that of their more highly evolved descendants shaking in their flasks. As an analogy, imagine if we could challenge a hominin from 50,000 years ago to a hackathon. (Which she would probably win, because the paleo diet.)
bacteria  evolution  genomics 
7 weeks ago
Decompression Sickness — NEJM
> The skin mottling, also known as cutis marmorata, is a recognized dermatologic manifestation of decompression sickness. Air in the portal venous system can also be a complication of decompression sickness. Its incidence is unknown, since abdominal imaging is not routinely performed for this diagnosis. The air in the portal system is thought to arise when a diver ascends too quickly and air expands rapidly, which damages the surrounding tissue. The patient underwent treatment with hyperbaric oxygen. The skin mottling and abdominal pneumatosis resolved after two sessions in the hyperbaric chamber.
diving  scuba  liver 
7 weeks ago
Hypothalamic stem cells control ageing speed partly through exosomal miRNAs | Nature
Injecting stem cells into the hypothalamus significantly slows down aging. > ageing retardation and lifespan extension were achieved in mid-aged mice that were locally implanted with healthy hypothalamic stem/progenitor cells that had been genetically engineered to survive in the ageing-related hypothalamic inflammatory microenvironment
hypothalamus  aging  neurosurgery 
8 weeks ago
North Sentinel Island - Wikipedia
> North Sentinel Island is one of the Andaman Islands, which includes South Sentinel Island, in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to the Sentinelese who, often violently, reject any contact with the outside world, and are among the last people worldwide to remain virtually untouched by modern civilization. As such, only limited information about the island is known.
civilization  anthropology 
8 weeks ago
Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa California fires: 36 dead, hundreds missing - The Washington Post
> Taken together, the disastrous blazes — more than 20 in all since Sunday, including at least six in Sonoma County — have killed more people than any other California wildfire on record. Hundreds are still missing on Friday. Statewide, an estimated 5,700 structures have been destroyed, including whole neighborhoods reduced to smoldering rubble. About 90,000 people have been displaced by the fires, officials say.
fire  california  disaster  santa_rosa 
8 weeks ago
Dietary Carbohydrates Impair Healthspan and Promote Mortality: Cell Metabolism
> The prospective cohort study, named PURE, found that in >135,000 participants from 18 countries, nutritive carbohydrates increase human mortality, whereas dietary fat reduces it, requesting a fundamental change of current nutritional guidelines. Experimental evidence from animal models provides synergizing mechanistic concepts as well as pharmacological options to mimic low-carb or ketogenic diets.
sugar  carbohydrates  diet  mortality 
8 weeks ago
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