Sprague Word

The future and more from Richard Sprague

Archive for June, 2004

Posted by sprague on June 30, 2004

Muscle-Bound Boy Offers Hope for Humans (washingtonpost.com)

“Athletes find a way of using just about anything,” said Elizabeth M. McNally of the University of Chicago, who wrote an article accompanying the findings in last week’s New England Journal of Medicine. “This, unfortunately, is no exception.”

“This will certainly intensify efforts to move forward aggressively on this research,” said Se-Jin Lee, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, who helped study the boy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 22, 2004

“Daddy, why did God make mosquitoes?” is a question my children have asked from time to time. The New York Times talks to Elizabeth Willott, an entomologist at the University of Arizona to get the answer: they’re part of the web of life. They spread diseases that kill off some animals that would otherwise multiply too quickly, and they protect some wilderness areas from encroachment by people and others.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 21, 2004

WSJ.com – ‘Chemo Brain’ May Be Caused By Cancer Itself [subscription required]: some studies at the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston show that 35% of breast cancer patients show cognitive impairment prior to treatment (probably caused by the cancer) and 61% decline from a baseline after chemotherapy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 17, 2004

WSJ.com – The Informed Patient [subscription required] surveys how to get direct online access to information about clinical trials.

Currently existing registries are run by the National Institutes of Health and a host of private organizations. Web sites like MedlinePlus.gov offer direct links to most published medical studies, which in some cases are free or else can be purchased directly from the journal. And more help is under development, such as an upcoming guide from the National Library of Medicine on understanding reports.

For example, data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a study of hormone-replacement therapy (www.nia.nih.gov/menopause/faq-detailed.htm), offers details on risk of heart attack, colon cancer and hip fractures that woman wouldn’t be able to find just from the pill package.

The site www.trialscentral.org publishes free reports on how to enroll in clinical trials.

Also see National Cancer Institute’s cancer.gov, the National Library of Medicine’s ClinicalTrials.gov and MedlinePlus.gov.

A primer from Englewood, Colo.-based Craig Hospital for Spinal Cord Injuries (www.craighospital.org), titled “Those Scary Statistics,” helps explain statistics used in research.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 16, 2004

DNA card takes the mystery out of meat | CNET News.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 16, 2004

JAMA published a report by Paul M. Ridker, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston that found some alleles that affect the efficacy of statin drugs. The study, also reported in WSJ.com – Genes Play Role In Who Benefits From Statin [subscription required] is another example of personalized medicine that might go mainstream.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 10, 2004

Harvard research, summarized in this WSJ article (subscription required: WSJ.com – As Early as Age 40, Genes in the Brain Begin to Deteriorate) published in the journal Nature the results of a study using genechips. They tested the expression of 11,000 genes from brain tissue in 30 people at various ages and found 20 genes critical for memory and learning that decline in activity at age 40 and beyond.

Senior author Bruce Yanker is a professor of neurology and neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Also see Gary Small, director of the Center on Aging at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies the effect of lifestyle changes on aging.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 10, 2004

Wired summarizes /a> the latest BIO conference with news from Pyxis Genomics (technology for traceable pork), Genomic Health and SurroMed (personalized medicine), and others.

Also see the FDA site with a searchable database of genetically altered food crops.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 7, 2004

Cargill claims to have found some

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by sprague on June 6, 2004

Here’s an interesting Interview with Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger, discussing his work on the 1918 flu virus.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »