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Molecules to Medicine

Quarantines: Chaos and Confusion

Will history repeat? The Plague Doctor

There has been a quantum change in the past few days as to how healthcare workers (HCW) returning from the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are being treated. This was prompted by two cases. First, Dr. Craig Spencer, a physician with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, aka Doctors Without Borders) developed a [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola in the U.S.—Politics and Public Health Don’t Mix

CDC Public Health Preparedness Funding

“Against stupidity, even the gods strive in vain.” — Fredirich Schiller I’ve been glued to the Ebola news, riding the roller coaster of emotions. While  very impressed with CDC’s director, Dr. Tom Frieden’s, initial press conference (10/2/14), I became infuriated at the subsequent statements from Lisa Monaco, Homeland Security Advisor, and the tragicomedy of the [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Rare Diseases – in Honor of Sam Berns

Sam Berns with Dr. Francis Collins at TEDMED2012

Two cases this week highlight some of the difficulties surrounding rare and orphan diseases. First, Sam Berns, age 17, just died from his progressive genetic disease, progeria, which causes very rapid and premature aging. Progeria affects 1 in 4 – 8 million newborns; less than 250 kids in the world are alive, making research very [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Clinical Trial and Suicide Leave Many Questions: Part 6: The Run-Around, or Why I Now Call for an Independent Investigation of University of Minnesota

Drink me!

  This series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues of [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Clinical Trial and Suicide Leave Many Questions: Part 5: The Case of the Mysteriously Appearing Documents

This series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotics at the University of Minnesota, his ultimate suicide while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, we’ve looked at issues of “good clinical [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Clinical Trial and Suicide Leave Many Questions: Part 4: The University of Minnesota’s Response

Bowl of antidepressants

In earlier posts, we’ve looked at issues of consent, investigator responsibilities, and conflicts of interest on the case of Dan Markingson’s suicide while participating in a clinical trial of anti-psychotics at the University of Minnesota. This time, we turn to the University’s response. Not surprisingly, the University has claimed it has no responsibility for any [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Medicine in the Media: Debunking journal reports and news at #NIHMiM12

Medicine in the Media header

Until recently, my formal education in statistics was largely Darryl Huff’s “How to Lie with Statistics” and, more recently, Marya Zilberberg’s “Between the Lines” (reviewed here). I find that stats, with difficult concepts to retain, requires repetition. The difficulty is compounded by the overwhelming amount of information and difficulty keeping up with medical literature, let [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

The NIH Superbug Story—a Missing Piece

Considerable attention has been given to this week’s news about hospital (healthcare) acquired infections (HAI) at NIH with a “superbug.” * There has been probably misplaced criticism of NIH for not making its finding of transmission of a bacteria between patients public, as well as wonder at the high-tech tools that enabled NIH to track [...]

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