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Molecules to Medicine

Molecules to Medicine

Demystifying drug development, clinical research, medicine, and the role ethics plays
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    Judy Stone Judy Stone, MD is an infectious disease specialist, experienced in conducting clinical research. She is the author of Conducting Clinical Research, the essential guide to the topic. She survived 25 years in solo practice in rural Cumberland, Maryland, and is now broadening her horizons. She particularly loves writing about ethical issues, and tilting at windmills in her advocacy for social justice. As part of her overall desire to save the world when she grows up, she has become especially interested in neglected tropical diseases. When not slaving over hot patients, she can be found playing with photography, friends’ dogs, or in her garden. Follow on Twitter @drjudystone or on her website. Follow on Twitter @drjudystone.
  • Ebola Quarantines: Can we stop the charade now?

    Pribilstan Quarantine Sign

    “I’m a believer in an abundance of caution but I’m not a believer of an abundance of idiocy.” Ashish Jha, MD Quarantine craziness has continued since my last post, with more states joining in the fray. The sudden silence since Election Day has been quite striking, but since the irrational hodgepodge of regulations persists, here [...]

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    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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    Why Ebola Is a Wake Up for Infection Control


    Just as the CDC’s and other experts’ thoughts on Ebola and infection control have evolved with experience, mine have taken a slight twist as well. Given the missteps at Dallas’s Texas Presbyterian Hospital, which could have occurred in any community, I now agree with the current recommendations to centralize care in specialty centers. My perspective [...]

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    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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    Superbugs should scare you more than Ebola in US

    Stay calm...

    The first case of Ebola in the United States was announced today, with a patient in Dallas who traveled to the US from Liberia. The resultant hysteria and xenophobia prompts this reminder. There is NO need to panic. Ebola is NOT transmitted before a patient develops symptoms. Ebola is transmitted by contact with infectious secretions [...]

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    Ebola – the World’s Katrina

    A staff member at the MSF's Ebola management center in Monrovia - Caroline Van Nespen/MSF

    To anyone who follows infectious disease outbreaks, it is no great surprise that the most immediate, looming threat, Ebola, has received scant attention until recently. Even now, the world’s response has been incomprehensibly and seemingly irresponsibly slow. Why is this the case? Likely because of disparities in the power and wealth of people affected by [...]

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    Covert Operations vs. Public Health: What is the Government Thinking?

    Graffiti on USAID poster - David Lisbona/flickr

    My attention having been riveted by Ebola, I missed this startling news last week: U.S. Agency for International Development sent young people undercover to Cuba to incite anti-government activism. Their cover was an HIV prevention workshop. This short-sighted idiocy was apparently aimed at making Cuba more “democratic,” by overthrowing Raul Castro, though that small nation [...]

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    Ebola and Priorities in Drug Development

    Ebola in Guinea (flickr Euro Comm DG ECHO)

    News is rapidly changing regarding Ebola. Even as I’ve been writing this post, we’ve gone from “There is no treatment except supportive care” to NIH’s Dr. Fauci saying a potential vaccine “could be given to health workers in affected African countries sometime in 2015.”⁠ This optimistic projection was a surprise to me, as normally it [...]

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    UMN: How many deaths have occurred during your clinical trials?

    Angel of Grief

    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 in 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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    Muddled about MERS? Here’s A Quick Guide

    MERS coronavirus

    While I was working on the “H1N-What?” post, I also knew there would soon be questions about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), just as there were about SARS. So here are the essentials of what we know and don’t know about MERS—which has just been reported in the U.S.—as well as intriguing tidbits that remain [...]

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