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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.
  • 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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    Need a Hand? Now You Can Print One

    Shea - heart

    “Every 4 1/2 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect.” That translates to 1 of just 33 babies being born with a defect in the U.S. Of these, about 1,500 babies, or 4 out of every 10,000 babies are born missing a hand or arm (“upper limb reduction”). While crude replacements have been [...]

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    Have Pain? Are You Crazy? Rare Diseases Pt. 2

    Wretched - Piers Nye

    “It’s all in your head,” patients with unexplained pain or unexpected symptoms often hear. My recent post on rare diseases and pediatric pain clearly resonated with a number of people, prompting my immersion in the medical literature and speaking with some experts and patients about these topics and about the difficulties patients with atypical symptoms [...]

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    Germs, Microbes Compete With Athletes in Sochi Olympics

    Ski Jump

    This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Science at the Sochi Olympics The Olympics are not just a chance for countries to bring home the gold. They also provide a perfect chance to spread infections all over the world. The Olympics are likely surpassed only by the annual Hajj Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in the [...]

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    H1N-What? Wading Through the Alphabet Soup of Flu Names

    "Influ-venn-za"

    Muddled about all the new flu viruses? It’s hard to keep up with the changing names in the news. H1Nwhat? Bird flu. Pig flu. MERS. SARS. Here is a quick overview of this dizzying, dyslexia inducing array, with what you need to worry about, even if some aren’t yet in your backyard. Acronym soup I [...]

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    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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    What do you need to know to survive this year’s flu?

    I spent a year filtering spit and nasal washings, growing influenza in tissue cultures in a minimalist lab, and trying to develop an oral flu vaccine, all as part of my Infectious Diseases fellowship thirty years ago. We’re still not there…but for now, here is information to help you this year. Every year, the strains [...]

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    UMN agrees to outside review of clinical research practices—but what parts and by whom?

    Delivering petition to Gov. Dayton's office-Photo by Jeff Baillon, Fox 9 News

    This research ethics 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 [...]

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    A Clinical Trial and Suicide: What do the UMN and Disney Have in Common?

    Disneys Cinderella castle by Childzy-Wikimedia

    This research ethics 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 [...]

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