Category Archives: Medical

Midday On Health: Ebola

CC BY-ND image by European Commission DG ECHO on Flickr
CC BY-ND image by European Commission DG ECHO on Flickr

A couple of weeks back I was on Midday with Dan Rodricks on 88.1 WYPR Baltimore for our usual Midday on Health segment. This time around, we took some time to chat about the ebola situation in Africa, and were fortunate enough to have Suzanne Van Hulle on from Catholic Relief Services to give an “on the ground” perspective on things. It was a great conversation.

For your listening and/or podcasting pleasure, the show can be found here.

seasoned interviewage

old man looking, CC BY-ND image by artisrams via Flickr
old man looking, CC BY-ND image by artisrams via Flickr

Yes. Right. Website. I have one of those. On it!

Here are a couple of interviews I did quite awhile back, but are still worth checking out: back in March of 2011, I chatted with Baltimore magazine about patients using blogs to talk about their medical experiences, and more recently in December, I contributed to Lifebridge Health’s blog about World AIDS Day.

I’m on 88.1 WYPR in Baltimore today at 1pm EST…

Midday with Dan Rodricks on 88.1 WYPR Baltimore

…as a guest on Midday with Dan Rodricks, talking about Human Papilloma Virus infections and the use of vaccines to prevent them. Additionally, I’m excited and honored to announce that I’ll be a regular health and medical guest for the show on a monthly basis. Dan’s an outstanding host, and I’m greatly looking forward to our conversations. We’ll also be taking listener calls, which always makes things interesting.

The story about how this came about, which may or may not be true, can be found at The Secret Lair. You can listen to the audio stream online at the appointed time here, or download the show after the fact here. Additionally, you can follow Dan on Twitter @DanRodricks, WYPR @WYPR881FM, and the Midday show @MiddayWYPR.

The Secret Lair #43: Bacon for Non-Medical Personnel

The Secret Lair

At long last, the latest episode of The Secret Lair is up, in which Overlord Miller calls a board meeting with yours truly as the Chief Medical Officer, Natalie as the Secretary of Aesthetic Engineering, and David as the Commandant of the Air Forces in attendance. We address both the scent of bacon wafting through The Lair, and what that might have to do with the fate of the absent Overlord Johnson.

Also, therein lies a roundtable on our recent geeky pursuits, after which I find myself strapped into the Interrogation Chamber: I am interviewed about the need for, and the issues surrounding, the non-medically trained public reading articles from the medical literature directly, as opposed to merely accepting media reporting on medical study results at face value. From the medical evidence behind bedbugs and superbugs to finding citations to support beer and good health, it’s a fun and informative chat.

Go here and listen, else when the Overlords’ time comes, you will be the first into servitude.

the death of smallpox and the birth of vaccination

Edward Jenners hair, a cc by-nc photo from Espino Family on Flickr
Edward Jenner's hair, a cc by-nc photo from Espino Family on Flickr

“A great deal of literature has been distributed casting discredit upon the value of vaccination in the prevention of smallpox. I do not see how any one who has gone through epidemics as I have, or who is familiar with the history of the subject, and who has any capacity left for clear judgement, can doubt its value.”

-Sir William Osler, from the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, December 22, 1910

Today marks the 215th anniversary of Edward Jenner’s first vaccination of a patient with cowpox to prevent smallpox, an event that directly lead to the first public health campaign to eradicate an infectious disease. I have a column up at the James Randi Educational Foundation looking at the fascinating history of the smallpox vaccine, accompanied by Leart Shaka’s thoughts on the same.

infectious linkage

on biased cognition, and handware

P5 Glove, cc by-nc image from Roo Reynolds via Flickr
P5 Glove, cc by-nc image from Roo Reynolds via Flickr

‘People generally think their judgments are rational, and their concepts are stable. But if wearing a glove for a few minutes can reverse people’s usual judgments about what’s good and bad, perhaps the mind is more malleable than we thought.’

– Daniel Casasanto on his 2011 study in Psychological Science, When Left is ‘Right’: Motor fluency shapes abstract concepts. doi:10.1177/0956797611401755

toxoplasmania and pregnancy

Cassini relaxing in the protective clutches of Deimos, cc by-nc-sa image from DocOperon via Flickr
Cassini relaxing in the protective clutches of Deimos, cc by-nc-sa image from DocOperon via Flickr

Liz over at the Lifebridge Health Blog prostituted my knowledge for a solid article on the risks of toxoplamosis infection in pregnancy – namely, that there is a far lower risk of mothers acquiring the infection from cats and passing it along to the fetus than many believe.

Few things trigger our fear-brains more than the threat of infections, and few conditions prime us to listen to our fear-brains more than when we are pregnant. This particular fear not only causes social consternation, but can lead to pets being abandoned or dumped for no truly good reason. Liz’s piece is a rational and accurate assessment of the issue.

Cmar-con schedule for 2011

Farpoint 2010 DSC_0113, cc by-nc-nd image by Dan Tabor via Flickr
Farpoint 2010 DSC_0113, cc by-nc-nd image by Dan Tabor via Flickr

This weekend, I’ll be stopping in at Farpoint, where I’ll be giving a talk at 1pm on Sunday about emerging infectious diseases entitled, “Those Who Are About To Die, We Salute You!”. I will also be lounging about both the DIY and science tracks as well, particularly the podcasting and blogging roundtables starting at noon on Saturday. If you want to meet up to sample some interesting beverages, or just to have me roundly mock you, hit me up in the usual way.

Otherwise, I’ve determined which conventions and conferences I’ll be attending this year:

These are a few additional possibilities that are “maybes” at this point, given the limitations of time, energy, money, and madness:

A crazy list, perhaps, but it’s a crazy I will own. What con events are you looking forward to this year?