Monday, January 23, 2017

"In one of his first official acts, President Trump designated Commissioner Ajit Pai as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission."

President Trump Designates Ajit Pai as Chairman of FCC

"In one of his first official acts, President Trump designated Commissioner Ajit Pai as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He is the first newly appointed Republican chairman since Kevin Martin nearly 12 years ago. Many have asked: how will the FCC change under Chairman Pai?"


Friday, January 20, 2017

Living Large: Texans Land on Fattest List

Living Large: Texans Land on Fattest List

'You have to eat more fruits and vegetables. That's the bottom line," Prince said. "Right now the obesity epidemic is a $200 billion crisis. It's crazy."

Trump said to elevate Ajit Pai to FCC chairman

Trump said to elevate Ajit Pai to FCC chairman

"Pai, who met with Trump in New York on Monday, had been seen by many as a top contender for the job given his reputation as a telecom law expert who’s comfortable in front of the camera. But his selection is also somewhat of a departure for the incoming administration, which has tapped people outside of Washington for many top positions.

By contrast, Pai is already a familiar name in tech and telecom policy debates. He’s a fierce and vocal critic of many regulations passed by the commission's Democratic majority, including the 2015 net neutrality rules that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally and are opposed by the major broadband companies. As chairman, Pai will be able to start the process of undoing the net neutrality order and pursuing other deregulatory efforts."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nannystate: In-home interventions planned for obese Aussie kids (Parents?)

In-home interventions planned for obese Aussie kids

"Researchers will go into the homes of 20 Victorian families with children aged 3-11 in the six month trial and implement changes like using smaller dinner plates, traffic light stickers on food storage containers, rearranging the pantry to put healthy food in front and hiding junk food, and making sporting equipment more visible and accessible to children."

A legal perspective on athlete screening and disqualification

 2017 Jan;27(S1):S104-S109. doi: 10.1017/S1047951116002328.

legal perspective on athlete screening and disqualification.

Author information

  • 11Methodist Hospital and Methodist Cardiovascular Consultants,Dallas,TX.
  • 22Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus,Neptune City,NJ.
  • 33Aurora St. Lukes Medical Center,Aurora,WI.
  • 44Division of Cardiology,Mayo Clinic,Rochester, MN,United States of America.


Physicians participate in the screening, routine medical supervision, and disqualification of student-athletes. In doing so, they should understand that eligibility/disqualification decisions inevitably have associated liability issues. It is the responsibility of physicians to take the lead role in the student-athlete medical assessment process to allow for optimum safety in sports programmes. The first duty of the physician is to protect the health and well-being of the student-athlete. However, because there is potential liability associated with the screening/disqualification process, physicians are wise to develop sound and reasonable strategies that are in strict compliance with the standard of care. This article focusses on cardiac screening and disqualification for participation in sports.

"Next time you feel like making fun of your obese friends for not sticking to their gym routines, think twice."

Obese People Can’t Stick To Gym Routines Because Of Altered Dopamine Receptors

"Next time you feel like making fun of your obese friends for not sticking to their gym routines, think twice. Because obese people may have altered dopamine receptors, causing them to have little motivation to exercise, according to a new study which may explain why some overweight people find it difficult to stick to exercise programmes."

#InSituPathologists: how the #USCAP2015 meeting went viral on Twitter...

 2017 Jan 13;(2):160-168. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2016.223. [Epub ahead of print]

#InSituPathologists: how the #USCAP2015 meeting went viral on Twitter and founded the social media movement for the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.
  • 2Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.
  • 3Department of Pathology, Yildirim Beyazit University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
  • 4Department of Pathology, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System, New York, NY, USA.
  • 5Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.
  • 6Department of Pathology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
  • 7Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.
  • 8Department of Pathology, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA.
  • 9Kimberly Jewett Consulting, Inc., Plainfield, IL, USA.
  • 10Department of Pathology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
  • 11Publisher,, Charlotte, NC, USA.
  • 12Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • 13Adirondack Pathology, Glens Falls, NY, USA.
  • 14Cunningham Pathology (An Aurora Dx Partner), Birmingham, AL, USA.
  • 15Department of Pathology, University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics, Madison, WI, USA.
  • 16Hospital Pathology Associates, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • 17Treasure Coast Pathology, Stuart, FL, USA.
  • 18Departments of Pathology and Dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, USA.
  • 19OakBend Medical Center & PATHO-L, Richmond, TX, USA.
  • 20IHA Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and St Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • 21Department of Pathology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA.
  • 22Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Professional medical conferences over the past five years have seen an enormous increase in the use of Twitter in real-time, also known as "live-tweeting". At the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) 2015 annual meeting, 24 attendees (the authors) volunteered to participate in a live-tweet group, the #InSituPathologists. This group, along with other attendees, kept the world updated via Twitter about the happenings at the annual meeting. There were 6,524 #USCAP2015 tweets made by 662 individual Twitter users; these generated 5,869,323 unique impressions (potential tweet-views) over a 13-day time span encompassing the dates of the annual meeting. Herein we document the successful implementation of the first official USCAP annual meeting live-tweet group, including the pros/cons of live-tweeting and other experiences of the original #InSituPathologists group members. No prior peer-reviewed publications to our knowledge have described in depth the use of an organized group to "live-tweet" a pathology meeting. We believe our group to be the first of its kind in the field of pathology.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 

Depression May Up Heart Disease Risk As Much As Obesity ("...only high blood pressure and smoking are associated with a greater risk...)

Depression May Up Heart Disease Risk As Much As Obesity

“Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity,” Ladwig said.
The results show that only high blood pressure and smoking are associated with a greater risk, he said.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Oliver Smithies, 2007 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, dies

Oliver Smithies, 2007 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, dies

"Smithies' work aided in the creation and use of "knockout mice," which have helped scientists understand how individual genes work. According to a National Institutes of Health genome research webpage, knockout mice are mice in which researchers have inactivated, or "knocked out," an existing gene and replaced or disrupted it with an artificial piece of DNA."

The Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations

 2017 Jan 10. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001561. [Epub ahead of print]

The Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations.

Author information

  • 1B.E. Egener is medical director, Foundation for Medical Excellence, Portland, Oregon. D.J. Mason is codirector, Center for Health, Media & Policy, New York, New York. W.J. McDonald is emeritus professor of medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, and senior vice president, QHC (Quality in Healthcare) Advisory Group, Huntington, New York. S. Okun is vice president for advocacy, policy and patient safety, PatientsLikeMe, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts. M.E. Gaines is distinguished clinical professor of law and director, Center for Patient Partnerships, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin. D.A. Fleming is professor and chair of medicine and codirector, Center for Health Ethics, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri. B.M. Rosof is professor of medicine, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York, and chief executive officer, QHC (Quality in Healthcare) Advisory Group, Huntington, New York. D. Gullen is codirector, Communication in Healthcare Program, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona. M.-L. Andresen is vice president, QHC (Quality in Healthcare) Advisory Group, Huntington, New York.


In 2002, the Physician Charter on Medical Professionalism was published to provide physicians with guidance for decision making in a rapidly changing environment. Feedback from physicians indicated that they were unable to fully live up to the principles in the 2002 charter partly because of their employing or affiliated health care organizations. A multistakeholder group has developed a Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations, which may provide more guidance than charters for individual disciplines, given the current structure of health care delivery systems.This article contains the Charter on Professionalism for Health Care Organizations, as well as the process and rationale for its development. For hospitals and hospital systems to effectively care for patients, maintain a healthy workforce, and improve the health of populations, they must attend to the four domains addressed by the Charter: patient partnerships, organizational culture, community partnerships, and operations and business practices. Impacting the social determinants of health will require collaboration among health care organizations, government, and communities.Transitioning to the model hospital described by the Charter will challenge historical roles and assumptions of both its leadership and staff. While the Charter is aspirational, it also outlines specific institutional behaviors that will benefit both patients and workers. Lastly, this article considers obstacles to implementing the Charter and explores avenues to facilitate its dissemination.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

"Racial and ethnic disparities in the delivery of guideline-based care are the highest in high-volume hospitals."

 2017 Jan 9. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001819. [Epub ahead of print]

Association of Hospital Volume With Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer Treatment.

Author information

  • 1Division of Gynecologic Oncology, the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the Department of Radiation Oncology, and the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; and the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



To evaluate racial-ethnic disparities in guideline-based care in locally advanced cervical cancer and their relationship to hospital case volume.


Using the National Cancer Database, we performed a retrospective cohort study of women diagnosed between 2004 and 2012 with locally advanced squamous or adenocarcinoma of the cervix undergoing definitive primary radiation therapy. The primary outcome was the race-ethnicity-based rates of adherence to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideline-based care. The secondary outcome was the effect of guideline-based care on overall survival. Multivariable models and propensity matching were used to compare the hospital risk-adjusted rates of guideline-based adherence and overall survival based on hospital case volume.


The final cohort consisted of 16,195 patients. The rate of guideline-based care was 58.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 57.4-59.4%) for non-Hispanic white, 53% (95% CI 51.4-54.9%) for non-Hispanic black, and 51.5% (95% CI 49.4-53.7%) for Hispanic women (P<.001). From 2004 to 2012, the rate of guideline-based care increased from 49.5% (95% CI 47.1-51.9%) to 59.1% (95% CI 56.9-61.2%) (Ptrend<.001). Based on a propensity score-matched analysis, patients receiving guideline-based care had a lower risk of mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 0.65, 95% CI 0.62-0.68). Compared with low-volume hospitals, the increase in adherence to guideline-based care in high-volume hospitals was 48-63% for non-Hispanic white, 47-53% for non-Hispanic black, and 41-54% for Hispanic women.


Racial and ethnic disparities in the delivery of guideline-based care are the highest in high-volume hospitals. Guideline-based care in locally advanced cervical cancer is associated with improved survival.

Diabetes diagnoses doubles across pediatric population: "...runs counter to the common appellation of "adult-onset diabetes" for type 2 diabetes."

White paper: Diabetes diagnoses doubles across pediatric population

NEW YORK  — Private health insurance claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis more than doubled in the pediatric population (ages 0 to 22 years) from 2011 to 2015, increasing 109%, according to data from FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information.

This finding, reported in the new FAIR Health white paper, runs counter to the common appellation of "adult-onset diabetes" for type 2 diabetes.

Drawing on FAIR Health's database of over 21 billion privately billed healthcare claims, the new report shows that claim lines with a diagnosis of obesity, a condition that contributes to type 2 diabetes, also increased across the pediatric population from 2011 to 2015. The largest increase among pediatric patients is 154%, in the age group 19 to 22 years.

"new unfreedom"

The Man Against Everything

Mark Greif has no use for health, youth, or happiness

This discussion contributes to the book’s central philosophical theme: how concepts like "experience" — also "health," "youth," and "happiness" — have come to ensnare us in a "new unfreedom." Greif unspools the same sad story again and again: In the more privileged parts of the developed West, we have largely emancipated ourselves from biological necessities (hunger, disease) and even from moral ones (God, the old taboos), but, perplexed by our unprecedented liberty, we have fabricated a new set of necessities to take their place. We no longer suffer from food scarcity, so we devise a baroque maze of taboos regarding what we can consume. We no longer prohibit any one form of sex, and yet, in making sex an all-important component of our self-esteem, we bow down to a new set of norms (namely, that we should always want sex, and with different partners) nearly as coercive as the old. We squander our "free time," a relatively recent gift of history, at the gym, in ridiculous outfits, on primitive machines, in order that we may have a little more free time to spend in a future that perpetually recedes.

After the DNR: Surrogates Who Persist in Requesting Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

 2017 Jan;47(1):10-19. doi: 10.1002/hast.664.

After the DNR: Surrogates Who Persist in Requesting Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.


Some health care organizations allow physicians to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation from a patient, despite patient or surrogate requests that it be provided, when they believe it will be more harmful than beneficial. Such cases usually involve patients with terminal diagnoses whose medical teams argue that aggressive treatments are medically inappropriate or likely to be harmful. Although there is state-to-state variability and a considerable judicial gray area about the conditions and mechanisms for refusals to perform CPR, medical teams typically follow a set of clearly defined procedures for these decisions. The procedures are based on the principle of nonmaleficence and typically include consultation with hospital ethics committees, reflecting the guidelines of relevant professional associations. Ethical debates about when CPR can and should be limited tend to rely more on discussions of theory, principles, and case studies than systematic empirical study of the situations in which such limitations are applied. Sociologists of bioethics call for empirical study, arguing that what ethicists and health professionals believe they are doing when they draft policies or invoke principles does not always mirror what is happening on the ground. In this article, we begin the task of modeling the empirical analyses sociologists call for, focusing on a cohort at Massachusetts General Hospital. We inductively analyzed ethics committee notes and medical records of nineteen patients whose surrogates did not accept the decision to withhold CPR.

Obesity, diabetes prevalent in Arab American communities

By Julia Kassem |
Much of the Arab world is following in the same trajectory, with the World Health Organization reporting that more than 30 percent of the Arab world is overweight or obese. Along with rising diabetes rates across the region, other countries show equally concerning signs of poor health. Egypt faces the highest rates of obesity in Africa, while Arabs in Palestine are at significantly higher risk for obesity and diabetes than their Israeli counterparts. 
This phenomenon, plaguing both the extremely lavish and the highly impoverished nations of the Middle East, is also reflected aptly in their American counterparts. 
Evidence shows that Arab Americans may have higher rates of obesity and type II diabetes than the average non-Arab American. A 2003 study by Linda Jaber, concluding that the "prevalence of diabetes and glucose intolerance is extremely high among adult Arab Americans in Michigan", is validated by figures showing overall diabetes prevalence at 15.5 percent for women and 20.1 percent for men, compared with 5-6 percent for non-Hispanic Whites." 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Exercise … it Does a Body Good: 20 Minutes Can Act as Anti-Inflammatory

One moderate exercise session has a cellular response that may help suppress inflammation in the body

The brain and sympathetic nervous system — a pathway that serves to accelerate heart rate and raise blood pressure, among other things — are activated during exercise to enable the body to carry out work. Hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released into the blood stream and trigger adrenergic receptors, which immune cells possess.
This activation process during exercise produces immunological responses, which include the production of many cytokines, or proteins, one of which is TNF — a key regulator of local and systemic inflammation that also helps boost immune responses.
“Our study found one session of about 20 minutes of moderate treadmill exercise resulted in a five percent decrease in the number of stimulated immune cells producing TNF,” said Hong. “Knowing what sets regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory proteins in motion may contribute to developing new therapies for the overwhelming number of individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions, including nearly 25 million Americans who suffer from autoimmune diseases.”

The Evolving Role of Pathology in New Developments, Classification, Terminology, and Diagnosis of Pancreatobiliary Neoplasms

Michelle D. ReidMDMelinda M. LewisMDField F. WillinghamMD, MPHVolkan AdsayMD
From the Departments of Pathology (Drs Reid, Lewis, and Adsay) and Digestive Diseases (Dr Willingham), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
Reprints: Michelle D. Reid, MD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Rd NE, Rm H-189, Atlanta, GA 30322 (email: ).
Pancreatobiliary tract lesions are increasingly being discovered because of more sensitive imaging modalities. Magnetic resonance imaging has identified incidental pancreatic cysts in 13.5% of patients of progressively increasing age. Pancreatobiliary tissue is more accessible through endoscopic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging–guided biopsy procedures, and is now an integral part of pathologists' routine practice. Accordingly, several new tumor categories have been recently recognized, including intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasm, a new addition to tumoral intraepithelial neoplasms. Other entities have been reclassified, including the recent transition to 2-tiered grading of preinvasive neoplasms, as well as new perspectives on the distinctive biologic behavior of oncocytic intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) compared with other IPMN subtypes. This has led to proposals for revised staging of virtually every segment of the pancreatobiliary tree, with theranostic markers becoming an integral part of workup. Ki-67 is now an integral part of the classification of neuroendocrine tumors, with new definitions of “high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma.” Although bile duct brushings have opened new avenues for diagnosis, their sensitivity remains low and often requires concomitant fluorescent in situ hybridization to better define ambiguous cases. Various molecular pathways have been elucidated for pancreatic cysts, including KRAS for ductal neoplasia, GNAS for intestinal IPMNs, RNF3 for mucinous cysts, and VHL for serous cystic neoplasms, all key players in diagnostic workup. Integration of these updates into our understanding of pancreatobiliary disease requires active engagement of pathologists for appropriate specimen triage, judicious interpretation of results, and incorporation into reporting and staging. They also provide exciting opportunities for targeted therapy.

Why drinking alcohol makes us hungry

Why drinking alcohol makes us hungry

Ever come home from a night of drinking and desperately craved French fries or pizza? Researchers say they have found the underlying mechanism: Alcohol makes your brain think you are starving.

"That people get hungry after a night of drinking has puzzled researchers for a long time. After all, alcohol itself is highly energetic: One gram of pure ethanol - the alcohol in beverages - has 7.1 kilocalories. Only fat is richer in energy.
The body normally registers when high-energetic food arrives and cancels any feeling of hunger. With alcohol, though, the opposite happens. As a consequence, alcoholic drinks are doubly bad for losing weight: They have a lot of calories and make you eat even more."

Monday, January 9, 2017

Biomarker Testing in Lung Carcinoma Cytology Specimens: A Perspective From Members of the Pulmonary Pathology Society

 2016 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Biomarker Testing in Lung Carcinoma Cytology Specimens: A Perspective From Members of the Pulmonary Pathology Society.

Author information

  • 1From the Department of Pathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (Dr Roy-Chowdhuri); the Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver (Dr Aisner); the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston (Dr Allen); the Department of Pathology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York (Dr Beasley); the Department of Pathology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (Drs Borczuk and Cagle); the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas (Dr Cagle); the Department of Pathology, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil (Dr Capelozzi); the Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Dr Dacic); the Department of Pathology, University Health Network, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Drs da Cunha Santos and Tsao); the Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Hariri and Mino-Kenudson); the Department of Pathology, Aberdeen University Medical School, and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom (Dr Kerr); the Department of Biopathology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, and J Fourier University, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale-Institut Albert Bonniot, Grenoble, France (Dr Lantuejoul); the Department of Pathology, New York University, New York (Dr Moreira); the Department of Pathology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Raparia); the Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (Dr Rekhtman); the Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Sholl and Vivero); the Department of Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Dr Thunnissen); and the Department of Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics, Aichi Cancer Center, Nagoya, Japan (Dr Yatabe).


The advent of targeted therapy in lung cancer has heralded a paradigm shift in the practice of cytopathology with the need for accurately subtyping lung carcinoma, as well as providing adequate material for molecular studies, to help guide clinical and therapeutic decisions. The variety and versatility of cytologic-specimen preparations offer significant advantages to molecular testing; however, they frequently remain underused. Therefore, evaluating the utility and adequacy of cytologic specimens is critical, not only from a lung cancer diagnosis standpoint but also for the myriad ancillary studies that are necessary to provide appropriate clinical management. A large fraction of lung cancers are diagnosed by aspiration or exfoliative cytology specimens, and thus, optimizing strategies to triage and best use the tissue for diagnosis and biomarker studies forms a critical component of lung cancer management. This review focuses on the opportunities and challenges of using cytologic specimens for molecular diagnosis of lung cancer and the role of cytopathology in the molecular era.

Yes. Nannystate slippery slope.

What's next? A tax on cheese or pepperoni? - PennLive letters

"The soda tax could be just the beginning. How about a tax on the cheese I like on my burger? 
And don't even mention the pepperoni on pizza. They are high in sodium and fat leading to high blood pressure and cholesterol. This tax has all the earmarks of the government trying to raise revenue under the guise that they want to help you. The tax imposed in Philadelphia goes to childhood education and 'other initiatives.'" 

The world is gaining weight at a shocking rate

The world is gaining weight at a shocking rate

"This is worrisome when you think of the health complications that accompany obesity. An epidemic of these proportions indicates poor nutrition on a vast level, whether through lack of knowledge about how to eat well or no access to healthy food. It also leads to many serious health complications, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, and musculoskeletal disorders. This is costly to governments and individuals, not to mention unpleasant."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band

The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band

"...the fortunes of the sciences were rising in academia, and the fortunes of the humanities were declining. So to have a scientist sign on to poststructuralism was such a coup..."

Bait and Switch

How the physicist Alan Sokal hoodwinked a group of humanists and why, 20 years later, it still matters.
 January 01, 2017 

"The hoax was not all particularly about science studies. It was about an academic culture. People in the humanities, especially people who were particularly ambitious, were aware that the fortunes of the sciences were rising in academia, and the fortunes of the humanities were declining. So to have a scientist sign on to poststructuralism was such a coup that they didn’t bother to read his article carefully.
Part of what poststructuralism was about was an effort of young academics to stake out a particular approach, and that approach pit culture against politics and economics. What they were saying was, unlike those old fuddy-duddy economic determinists, we understand that the main category is culture. But then we had the recession of 1998, and then in 2008 there was the economic meltdown. It became really difficult to argue that economics wasn’t important."

The good news: "Gastric bypass surgery is safe and effective..." The bad news: "...for obese teenagers."

Gastric bypass surgery is safe and effective for obese teenagers

"The rates of teen diabetes dropped from 16 to 2 percent, while high cholesterol and hypertension rates fell 52 and 31 percent respectively. On hindsight, 39 patients suffered from low levels of vitamin D, and 25 suffered from mild anemia. Researchers suggest that these side effects may come from the reduced food consumption and the inability of their digestive tract to absorb all the nutrients."

From Yasmeen Butt, Anna Kurdowska, and me: Acute Lung Injury: A Clinical and Molecular Review

 2016 Apr;140(4):345-50. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2015-0519-RA.

Acute Lung Injury: A Clinical and Molecular Review.

Author information

  • 1From the Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas (Dr Butt);
  • 2the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (Dr Kurdowska);
  • 3and the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Services, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston (Dr Allen).



Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are a continuum of lung changes arising from a wide variety of lung injuries, frequently resulting in significant morbidity and frequently in death. Research regarding the molecular pathophysiology of ALI/ARDS is ongoing, with the aim toward developing prognostic molecular biomarkers and molecular-based therapy.


To review the clinical, radiologic, and pathologic features of ALI/ARDS; and the molecular pathophysiology of ALI/ARDS, with consideration of possible predictive/prognostic molecular biomarkers and possible molecular-based therapies.


Examination of the English-language medical literature regarding ALI and ARDS.


ARDS is primarily a clinicoradiologic diagnosis; however, lung biopsy plays an important diagnostic role in certain cases. A significant amount of progress has been made in the elucidation of ARDS pathophysiology and in predicting patient response, however, currently there is no viable predictive molecular biomarkers for predicting the severity of ARDS, or molecular-based ARDS therapies. The proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-18 are among the most promising as biomarkers for predicting morbidity and mortality.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

"Do those killjoys think we don’t know cakes aren’t the healthiest snack option?"

Roxanne Sorooshian – Cakes: the unkindest cut of all

"The Royal College of Surgeons' Faculty of Dental Surgery said eating cake and biscuits at work was contributing to obesity and poor oral health.
Tips to reducing sugar intake included keeping it for lunchtime and keeping snacks out of view.
So far, so obvious. Do those killjoys think we don’t know cakes aren’t the healthiest snack option?
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the faculty, helpfully points out that sugary snacks are detrimental to health and employees should make a New Year's resolution to "combat cake culture" in 2017.
"While these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health," Hunt added."

Waist circumference is a stronger predictor of heart disease in diabetics than either overall body weight or BMI

Waist circumference is a stronger predictor of heart disease in diabetics than either overall body weight or BMI

"Although any form of obesity can produce stress on the heart, the new Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute/Johns Hopkins study shows that abdominal obesity, more so than total body weight or BMI (weight to height ratio), is a strong predictor of left ventricle dysfunction."

Zombie allusions: They just keep on coming™: "One approach would be liquidation..."

China’s Zombie Companies and Japan’s Lost Two Decades

Socialized Medicine: Red Cross declares NHS ‘humanitarian crisis’

Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘hiding’ as Red Cross declares NHS ‘humanitarian crisis’

Opposition parties have rounded on the Health Secretary for keeping a low profile

"Jeremy Hunt cannot say that he wasn’t warned that this crisis was coming. Every major health organisation has been warning for months that the NHS was heading for disaster unless it got more funding. 
He has decided to ignore those warnings and we are now seeing a meltdown in our NHS that he is refusing to acknowledge. Patients the staff and the public deserve better. "