All posts tagged with health

Mask fiasco

less than 1 minute read

This week, the New York Times published a piece by information scientist Zeynep Tufekci, “Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired”. The main idea ...

Race and the medical student

2 minute read

Ike Swetlitz in Stat has an article about the ways that some medical educators are trying to build a more anthropological knowledge of race and health in the...

Link: Obesity on the rise

1 minute read

The National Post of Canada has a long article by Sharon Kirkey on the rise of obesity: “The shape of the future: Is obesity a crisis or just the latest stag...

Link: Saiga deaths linked to microbes

less than 1 minute read

Carl Zimmer reports on some of the work being done to understand the extreme die-offs of saiga antelopes in Central Asia: “More Than Half of Entire Species o...

Why do male bonobos have such low body fat?

3 minute read

I can’t be the only one surprised at how little body fat male bonobos have. A study of bonobo dissections by Adrienne Zihlman and Debra Bolter (2015) include...

The fight against drug-resistant malaria

1 minute read

Ed Yong, writing for the new Wellcome Trust-sponsored science publication, Mosaic, has gone to Thailand to follow the development of artemisin-resistant mala...

The complexity of obesity

1 minute read

A moderately long read by David Berreby in Aeon magazine looks at a gaggle of theories about the causes and consequences of the worldwide epidemic of obesity...

Tracing teeth troubles with fossil bacteria

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Ed Yong has a great account today of some research from Alan Cooper’s lab on the oral microbiome in pre-agricultural and post-agricultural Europeans: “Prehis...

The workings of leprosy

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Mo Costandi describes a paper with a really fascinating finding about the workings of leprosy: “Leprosy spreads by reprogramming nerve cells into migratory s...

Space radiation

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Maggie Koerth-Baker, on “How space radiation hurts astronauts”. I did not know about this part:

Paleopathology of care

1 minute read

A story in the New York Times today by James Gorman covers some cases of ancient skeletons that provide evidence of long-term palliative care in prehistoric ...

Chemical effects of pigmentation variation

2 minute read

I lectured on pigmentation in my introductory class this week, and this recent news story is relevant: “Redheads may be at higher risk of melanoma even witho...

Stopping the study

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Gina Kolata reports on a surprising result for a long-term study of diet and exercise in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: “Diabetes Study Ends Early With a ...

Alzheimer's long read

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The New York Times has a powerful story about the genetics of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, by Gina Kolata: “An Alzheimer’s gene: one family’s saga”.

Finding the scary genes

1 minute read

John Lauerman reports in BusinessWeek on his experience participating in the Personal Genome Project:

A story of methemoglobinemia

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A story by Susan Donaldson James of a unique genetic disorder and the social stigma of inbreeding in Appalachia: “Fugates of Kentucky: Skin Bluer than Lake L...

Denisova APOE status

1 minute read

I got thinking this evening about APOE, which includes a very well-known polymorphism of three alleles, where the most ancient (ApoE4) is associated signific...

XMRV saga develops

1 minute read

John Timmer’s reporting on the rise and fall of the hypothesis that XMRV causes chronic fatigue syndrome is the best I’ve seen so far on the topic: “How a Co...

The risk gradient

1 minute read

Ann Gibbons reports Gibbons:diabetes:2011 from the International Congress of Human Genetics, on papers that examine GWAS risk alleles for type 2 diabetes: “D...

Paleopathology

1 minute read

Often the skeleton bears signs of disease or injury that occurred during an individual’s lifetime. Not every disease affects bone, but some have highly recog...

Archaic genome snooping from GWAS

2 minute read

The 23andMe blog reports on a recent genome-wide association study of type 2 diabetes in South Asian people: “SNPWatch: Genetic Variants Associated with Type...

Can Watson navigate the medical literature?

1 minute read

Last week, Computerworld reported that IBM’s famous “Watson” supercomputer is moving to its next challenge: prescribing cancer treatments for the WellPoint h...

Fogel profile

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The NY Times has a profile of economist Robert W. Fogel (“Technology Advances; Humankind Supersizes”). Fogel, along with other historical economists, has wor...

Delete the troubling data

1 minute read

Misha Angrist turns on the sarcasm filter for a proposal to discard raw data that may trouble research subjects (“If you want to destroy my sweater”):

Genetics without the disclaimers

2 minute read

The NY Times covers a new genome-wide association study of SNP variants and response to exercise (“Is Fitness All in the Genes?”).

Kate Clancy on activist science

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Kate Clancy writes “Why Im An Activist Scientist For Womens Health”, covers her research, some of the public impact of understanding women’s health issues, a...

Genomes to the people

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Misha Angrist has written a strong guest post at Daniel MacArthur’s “Genetic Future”, taking a clear stand in favor of disclosure of genetic information from...

Paying for personalized medicine

1 minute read

Virginia Hughes writes about the challenges on the business side of personalized medicine: “Genomics Revolution(s)”. She builds the topic up from a few peopl...

No worries, DNA testers

1 minute read

I’ve started teaching my course in anthropological genetics again this semester. I’ll be posting relevant material here every so often, particularly as we co...

Worm me up

1 minute read

Robin Ann Smith contributed a guest post to Scientific American, titled “The worms within”. The main idea is that the immune system evolved to deal with para...

Parasite wrecks

less than 1 minute read

When I used to think about the 21st century, I didn’t expect they’d be telling me to go easy on the head lice.

Samurai lead poisoning

1 minute read

An interesting study has shown how people in the samurai class of Edo period Japan were poisoning their children with lead. The results are reported in a cur...

Stress on Sapolsky

less than 1 minute read

Jonah Lehrer in Wired has a long profile of Robert Sapolsky and his work on stress in baboons: “Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine”

Questioning the "evolution of an underclass"

2 minute read

A little life history theory can be a dangerous thing. Case in point: “Die young, live fast: The evolution of an underclass.” The article discusses correlati...

Malaria book

1 minute read

A new book by Sonia Shah covers the history of malaria and the way it affects people today around the world: The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 5...

Sergey Brin and genetic research

6 minute read

While I was out of town, Wired ran a long article about Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his quest to find the genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease. There i...

Fatigued by advocates impeding research

2 minute read

Science has a news article that details the conflict over publishing new research on a viral cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): “Conflicting Papers on ...

Depression not adaptation

1 minute read

Every so often I see the argument that psychological depression is common because it evolved for a purpose. Usually the idea is that depressive symptoms brin...

Smallpox vaccine and HIV

less than 1 minute read

A new paper claims that HIV infection may be impeded in individuals who had the smallpox vaccine:

Whole genome action

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Daniel MacArthur writes a thoughtful summary of a new study of the DNA of Stephen Quake: “What can you learn from a whole genome sequence?”

This weeks' genomes

1 minute read

Actress Glenn Close joins the ranks of the genomed; Daniel MacArthur discusses the celebrity genomics trend.

Texas newborn DNA experimentation

2 minute read

A couple of weeks ago, the Texas Tribune reported on an investigation of the archiving of blood samples taken from newborn infants: “DNA Deception”.

Fat rats

1 minute read

Daniel Cressey reports on research that points out the problem of laboratory rodent analogs for human health conditions: the mice and rats start out unhealth...

Cancer and personalized drugs

less than 1 minute read

Amy Harmon reappears in the NY Times science page this week, with a series on the clinical trials of a targeted cancer drug (“A Roller Coaster Chase for a Cu...

Genetic lapidaries

2 minute read

Nature News has a short piece on yesterday’s Desmond Tutu and other South African genomes: “Africa yields two full human genomes.”

National Children's Study update

1 minute read

Pam Belluck explains the hold-ups with the 7-billion-dollar National Children’s Study: “Wanted: Volunteers, all pregnant.”

Drug discovery and GWA

less than 1 minute read

Gene Expression’s p-ter makes an interesting point about weak genome-wide associations and drug development.

Food guidelines

less than 1 minute read

As long as I’m linking to the Daily Mail for their “Neanderthal metrosexuals” quip, I thought I’d pass along a story I liked – “Unlikely but brilliantly simp...

Microbial extinction

less than 1 minute read

Scientific American asks: “What happens when the microbes that keep us healthy disappear?”

Blood reboot

1 minute read

I pointed out the new treatment protocol for the sickle cell trait last week. In the interest of complete coverage of hemoglobinopathies, I’ll link to Scienc...

Dracunculiasis

1 minute read

The NYT reports that Nigeria has been free of guinea worm infections for a year.

Leprosy evolution in humans

4 minute read

Where did leprosy come from as a human pathogen, and how did it spread through the world? Two years ago, this new research would have merited a whole book. N...

Humans still evolving…

1 minute read

Time has a story about Stephen Stearns and colleagues’ work characterizing ongoing selection using the Framingham Heart Study sample:

Flu blues

3 minute read

Will the swine flu lead to the next big evolutionary change for humans? No. But it has already begun to affect the way people interact with each other. I wan...

Migraine at 23andMe

1 minute read

23andMe continues its strategy to look for genetic associations of traits that escape most funding for genetic reserach. Latest: migraine:

HIV from gorillas

less than 1 minute read

A new strain of HIV has come from gorillas: “New Strain of H.I.V. Is Discovered”

"We have ways of changing behavior"

less than 1 minute read

Ann Althouse points to a “chilling locution” in a Wall Street Journal story about health spending: “Nearly 10% of Health Spending Due to Obesity, Report Says”

"Wellderly" and "Illderly" study

1 minute read

I meant to point out this news article when it came out earlier this month. It’s a short description of a Scripps-Venter initiative to sequence 2000 healthy ...