Genetic variation in Han Chinese population

Largest component of genetic variation is a N-S cline (phenotypic N-S gradient discussed here). Variance accounted for by second (E-W) PC vector is much smaller and the Han population is fairly homogeneous in genetic terms: …while we revealed East-to-West structure among the Han Chinese, the signal is relatively weak and very little structure is discernible …

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Influence of Political Ideology on State Policies Combating the Opioid Crisis

The Opioid Crisis has been a major development in American public health alongside the recent proliferation of pain medication prescriptions. Indeed, there has been a gradual proliferation in drug overdose deaths.  As a result, state governments across the United States including Michigan have designed policy programs like limiting the initial prescription of opioids for acute …

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Person-centered care

Person-centered care is a current buzz word in health care. In one article, the core of person-centered care is described in this way: “patients are known as persons in context of their own social worlds, listened to, informed, respected, and involved in their care – and their wishes are honored (but not mindlessly enacted) during …

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What is medicine’s 5 sigma?

Editorial in the Lancet, reflecting on the Symposium on the Reproducibility and Reliability of Biomedical Research held April 2015 by the Wellcome Trust. Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma? … much of the [BIOMEDICAL] scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and …

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Ioannidis at MSU

These videos are from an interview I did with John Ioannidis when he visited Michigan State earlier this month. The whole thing (29 min) and more short clips are available here. Is 85% of NIH funding wasted? Early candidate gene studies rarely replicated, but GWAS hits do. The flyer for his talk: Tweet

Four Little Questions

What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes? What are your fears and what are your hopes? What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and not willing to make? What is the course of action that best serves this understanding? Could these four little questions – that appear and reappear …

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A Clever Control Supporting Claims that Exercise Improve Cognition

Many studies over the years have found that aerobic exercise improves cognitive performance. The following are just a sample of those published in the last 12 months: “Mind racing: The influence of exercise on long-term memory consolidation“, published in Memory, found that aerobic exercise improved the learning of procedures or written text whether the subjects …

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Teenager discovers that different cancer vaccines are needed for young adults versus elderly

A 19-year-old African-American college student from Chicago has already made some major breakthroughs in colon cancer research and is determined to find a cure.  Keven Stonewall started an internship in a university lab while he was still in high school and developed an experiment to test a colon cancer vaccine after seeing his close friend’s …

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Obama Popularity

Why has Obama’s popularity plummeted?  He has accomplished a great deal that is not getting talked about.  He is the victim of the press and his opponents (some racist) that keep chanting “Obama Care” is bad.  This seems to stop further thinking about actual consequences.  It reminds of Gov. George Romney whose campaign for the …

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The Letter…

I wrote a few weeks back about my disgust that Scientific American would post articles which clearly do not value diversity. Given that Nature has also been called on the carpet for this, I find it refreshing and ironic that the Nature Publishing Group (parent to both of these publications) would now sponsor a diversity week this week. Whatever …

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Metabolic costs of human brain development

This paper quantifies the unusually high energetic cost of brain development in humans. Brain energy requirements and body-weight growth rate are anti-correlated in childhood. Given these results it would be surprising if nutritional limitations that prevented individuals from achieving their genetic potential in height didn’t also lead to sub-optimal cognitive development. Nutritional deprivation likely stunts …

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PTSD could be prevented with a pill

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been getting a lot of press the past few years, especially regarding the number of active military personnel that are coming home from deployments with PTSD.  Scientists recently discovered how certain people can be susceptible to PTSD after experiencing severe trauma while others are not susceptible.  Scientists introduced a trauma …

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Mitochondrial Replacement Therapies: between Abortion and Genetic Engineering?

Today a panel of experts approved the use of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapies (MRTs) in the UK as treatments to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases (MDs) and to increase the fertility of older women in the UK. According to the Daily Mail the panel described MRTs as potentially useful for a specific and defined group of patients: those wishing …

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Reserve and Resiliancy

Indemnity by Cognitive and Physical Activity I remember reading about Bird Flu about a decade ago when an unusual case came to light. The most pathogenic form was sweeping through Asia, and fourteen people came down with the disease that winter in Vietnam. The only person to survive was Nguyen Thanh Hung. Doctors believed that he may …

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