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Havard’s School of Public Health and Medical School sponsoring their course in clinical trials for FREE.

By |June 9, 2013|Education, Ethics, Medicine, Public Health, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research|

HSPH-HMS214X Fundamentals of Clinical Trials is just one of the courses offered at www.edx.org.

Ever wonder what it would be like to take a course offered at an Ivy League University? Wonder no more! Harvard is part of a consortium of the most prestigious Universities in the world that is offering MOOC‘s (Massive Open Online Courses). There are no costs involved in taking a MOOC and you get all the same information that you would in an on ground course. The only differences are that you don’t get the instructor (or even TA’s) grading your papers nor will you get college credit on a transcript from Harvard. They are however the same information used in the universities’ on ground for-credit courses that can cost thousands of dollars.

MOOC’s typically use open source materials (available at no charge for personal use) and a type of self grading system based off of discussion forums in the course (It is totally up to the professor how that is handled, so it will vary depending on the course and instructor). They are a combination of one answer to cutting high educational and making it available to everyone.

The course begins October 14, 2013, runs a total of 13 weeks and depending on your background will take between 4-6 hours of your time each week. A background in biostatistics and epidemiology equivalent to the content of PH207X Health in Numbers: Quantitative Methods in Clinical & Public Health Research.

From the course site;

This course will provide an introduction to the scientific, statistical, and ethical aspects of clinical trials research. Topics include the design, implementation, and analysis of trials, including first-in-human studies (dose-finding, safety, proof of concept, and Phase I), Phase II, Phase III, and Phase IV studies. All aspects of the development of a study protocol will be addressed, including criteria for the selection of participants, treatments, and endpoints, randomization procedures, sample size determination, data analysis, and study interpretation. The ethical issues that arise at each phase of therapy development will be explored.

Newer antimicrobial therapies proposed may lead to resistance of human innate immune response.

By |February 23, 2012|Ethics, Fever Management, General Health, Health Care, Immune Function, Immune System, Medicine, Public Health, Research, Safety|

One current trend into fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria is developing a new class refered to as antimicrobial peptides (AMP’s). However a newly published study published1 a proof of concept that bacteria will develop not only resistance to these new drugs but to our own innate immune response peptides as well.

A very nice summary of the findings was published in the latest issue of The Scientist online magazine.2

1. G. J. L. Habets, Michelle, and Michael Brockhurst. “Therapeutic
antimicrobial peptides may compromise natural immunity .” Biology Letters. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/01/20/rsbl.2011.1203

2. Richards, Sabrina. “Antimicrobial Cross-Resistance Risk | The Scientist.” The Scientist. N.p., 24 Jan. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://the-scientist.com/2012/01/24/antimicrobial-cross-resistance-risk/

Heart Attacks and Folic Acid

By |February 6, 2011|Nutrition, Prevention, Supplementation|

Randomized trials have suggested that folic acid may not have any beneficial effects for preventing heart attacks especially a second episodes. However in a meta-analysis published Wednesday (2/2/11) Wald,et. al. suggest that previous studies have failed to account for the use of aspirin by study participants. The authors suggest folic acid could be a part of a preventative measure to reduce first attacks but not second due to the use of aspirin by those suffering from a previous attack.

The study was published online as part of the PLoS site, an open access peer reviewed site. You can download the study in its entirety here;

Wald DS, Morris JK, Wald NJ (2011) Reconciling the Evidence on Serum Homocysteine and Ischaemic Heart Disease: A Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016473

Wii-hab

By |May 14, 2010|Uncategorized|

Most of what I’ve been focusing on recently has been improvement techniques  for on-line learning. This little tidbit came up in my research when I was investigating Educational Gaming.

This comes from The Scientist blog, posted April 30th 2010;

In 2006, researcher Marsha Melnick was running out of ideas for how to get her therapeutic exercise program into the living rooms of Parkinson’s patients. For years, she had been trying to adapt the program, which employs clinically tested physical movements to improve gait and balance, into an accessible format for people to use at home.

I highly recommend reading further, how she “solved” her dilemma.  It would be well worth your time, in my opinion!

The-scientist.com blog post , “Wii-hab”

Calcium deposition in osteoarthritic menisci and meniscal cell culture

By |April 6, 2010|Health, Nutrition|

osteoarthritic menisci and meniscal cell culture

osteoarthritic menisci and meniscal cell culture

The results of a study published online on March 30th 2010 could very well present a treatment dilemma in OA patients with concomitant osteoporosis.

How to insure target tissue specific outcome for Ca++ supplementation therapy in these type of patients? I certainly am no expert when it comes to supplements, are there any other supplements that could be coupled with the Ca++ in order to at least maximize osseous uptake while also decreasing cartilaginous uptake?

Abstract is available here which includes a link to the complete article as a provisional PDF.

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Ringing in the New Year the NIH way.

By |December 23, 2009|NIH|

Just ran across this posting from 12/22/2009. In light of all the fraud being found in articles published in refereed journals (see my posting tagged with “irresponsible reporting“), this may be good news for our patients! With so much of today’s research being funded by the NIH, this change in policy would be a welcomed departure from their current policy of leaving the issue up to the funded institution. You can read more on this issue from The-Scientist.com’s blog.

The announcement came from Dr. Francis Collins, Dir. of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  in an interview aired by C-SPAN on their show, “Newsmakers”. You can watch the entire interview on C-SPAN.org