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Comment I doubt a class would help (Score 2) 499

These people have generally made up their minds despite all the evidence to the contrary, often down the "I don't trust this vaccine" or the "the vaccine will be worse than the disease" or even the whole disproven autism connection. Despite my attempting to explain the benefits and science behind it, these patients rarely change their minds - and I treat adults. The most commonly given vaccines we give to adults are all either protein, polysaccharide or heat killed and have near zero ability to infect or cause anything beyond local irritation or at worst an allergic reaction in egg- allergic patients for the flu shot. I can explain all that and the immunology and science behind it (if I care to run way over the 20 minutes allotted for a patient visit) and hardly anyone changes their minds. (Clearly, I am a physician)

Comment Re: You know? Something here is disturbing... (Score 3, Informative) 508

That's actually entirely wrong. I am a physician who gives gardasil to young adults routinely - it is approved through age 26 in men and women. The vaccine is a combination of 4 recombinant capsid proteins, one from each of 4 strains of hpv. The only genetic manipulation was inserting the genes for these proteins into yeast for mass production. Injected into the body it works like any other vaccine that doesn't consist of live virus. And finally, the reason it is indicated for young people is to give them protection before encountering the virus. You could give it to a 40 year old virgin with the same effect. The problem is it is so prevalent that most people are exposed by the time they are 30. Let's not forget that hpv is the cause of most anal cancers in men, including straight men, as the virus has been shown to migrate from the scrotal skin up the perineum to the anus where it basically replicates in much the same way as the cervix.

Comment Re:Mental Illness Reporting (Score 1) 935

Surprise! Healthcare professionals have ALWAYS been able to (and in fact, are required) to report mentally ill people who express a plan to hurt themselves or others, even if they are not known to have access to firearms. Source: I am a physician, and have taken multiple, mandatory, work related "mandatory reporter" courses

Comment What tfa fails to mention (Score 1) 174

And helps make sense of the situation is that when a galaxy becomes causally disconnected from us, it's not that the distance between us has expanded so far that light no longer has "time" to reach us, it's that the photons carrying that information have become so redshifted that they have a wavelength equal to or larger than the observable universe and are thus undetectable, although in practice this happens well before reaching a wavelength that large

Comment Re:One step forward, two steps back (Score 4, Insightful) 62

Actually, given that there's 100-400 billion stars in the galaxy, and 0.001^4 works out to one in a trillion, that gives you about a 10 to 40% chance of there being one intelligent species in the milky way. /semantic But I agree, in general. The odds of earth being the only planet with life at all in the whole galaxy...are pretty astronomical, in my opinion.

Comment Re: Former C. Diff Patient here ... (Score 2) 135

C. diff infections are NOT always caused by antibiotic "overdose," which isn't really a thing - there's dose related toxicity for some classes of antibiotics, but not overdose. In the healthcare setting, infections are usually caused by overgrowth in the setting of depleted colonic flora, but symptomatic infections can also happen with contact with a patient already experiencing a C. diff infection - two years ago, a resident at my hospital ended up with such a severe infection she picked up from a patient that she nearly ended up with a total colectomy. In the community setting, about 50% of cases occurred without any prior antibiotic exposure in the past 30-90 days, at least according to a recent meta-analysis [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25058469].

Comment MD here... (Score 4, Informative) 135

These are for patients who have recurrent C. diff, who have already failed PO vancomycin or fidaxomycin (difficid). Those are the only two antibiotics we really have after you fail metronidazole therapy. It's not an issue of strongness; it's penetrating into encysted bacteria which vancomycin does fairly poorly, and fidaxomycin does only moderately better. At that point, options are fecal therapy, another round of vanc or difficid with increasingly diminishing returns, or in severe cases, colectomy.

Comment Upbeat about this trial (Score 4, Informative) 43

I own stock in the company conducting the trial (AMEX: CUR), and this phase I study is really more of a formality, as they have finished injections in the cervical and lumbar spine for a phase IIB study using the same stem cells in ALS patients; thus far the safety profile has been excellent (efficacy hasn't been rigorously looked at yet, but the initial results are promising). The results in rat models for spinal cord injury were very impressive, if this stuff translates it'll be a real game changer...I've read most of their published data so far and everything looks legit.

Comment Re:Ummm (Score 2) 347

The time period over which pair production-annhilation occurs might be a small part of the correction here, but from my quick reading of TFA, I think the key phrase is "This results in a small correction to the angular frequency of a photon and thus its velocity," where velocity is the key word. Velocity of course is a vector quantity, consisting of both a speed (c) and a direction. The key aspect here is the direction; when the pair recombines, the total energy of the system is slightly different as the positron-electron pair is affected by gravity and thus may pick up a small positive or negative acceleration from the gravitational potential they are traveling through. When they recombine this will be reflected in the new velocity (c d) of the resultant photon, which is not exactly the same as the photon prior to pair production. At least thats what I got, but I'm the wrong kind of doctor to be an expert in this. Any PhD's wanna weigh in and correct me, please do!

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