Sprague Word

The future and more from Richard Sprague

Archive for May, 2005

Posted by sprague on May 25, 2005

The Search for 100 Million Missing Women – An economics detective story. By Stephen J.?Dubner?and Steven D.?Levitt: “Baruch Blumberg’s Hepatitis B: The Hunt for a Killer Virus?she discovered a strange fact. In a series of small-scale medical studies in Greece, Greenland, and elsewhere, researchers had found that a pregnant woman with hepatitis B is far more likely to have a baby boy than a baby girl. It wasn’t clear why?it may be that a female fetus is more likely to be miscarried when exposed to the virus.”

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Posted by sprague on May 18, 2005

DNAPRINT is a company that sells genomics products to law enforcement, including DNAWITNESS, which predicts that racial profile for someone based on their DNA. Also, RETINOME, which predicts eye color.

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Posted by sprague on May 14, 2005

Blame Canada – Don’t flush your Adderall XR. By Sydney?Spiesel: “At the moment, there are two ADHD drugs in the stimulant class: methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta) and amphetamine (Adderall). As far as I’ve been able to tell, the two kinds of stimulants work just about identically and are equally effective.”

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Posted by sprague on May 13, 2005

WSJ.com talks about the “Grandmother Effect” on babies.

Frank Gilliland of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, led a study of 908 children and found that grandmothers who smoke are more likely to have grandchildren with asthma, regardless of what the mother did.

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Posted by sprague on May 13, 2005

Major Advance Made On DNA Structure

DNA is usually understood computationally as a sequence of letters: A,G,C,T. In reality, it’s a chemical molecule and proteins that bind to it must respect its status as a package of atoms which can only bind in a limited number of ways. Apparently some Oregon State University researchers have figured out the possible sequences of molecules that can bind with DNA, greatly constraining the search space you go through when doing protein folding calculations.

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Posted by sprague on May 10, 2005

Anti-cholesterol drug may ward off Alzheimer’s – Yahoo! News

The year-long study concluded that prescribing 80 milligrams of Lipitor daily to patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s “may have a positive effect on the progressive deterioration of cognitive function and behavior” compared to patients taking a placebo, lead author Larry Sparks wrote.

Previous animal research has suggested high blood cholesterol levels play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s, which is identified after death by the tangled plaques that form in victims’ brains, the report said.

But note that the study was funded by Pfizer.

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