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Public Health

The Manhattan Principles

From the CDC Webpage on the twelve Manhattan Principles: These “Manhattan Principles” urge world leaders, civil society, the global health community, and institutions of science to holistically approach the prevention of epidemic/epizootic disease and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity by: Recognizing the link between human, domestic animal, and wildlife health, and the threat disease poses… Keep Reading

Comparing the Rotavirus Vaccines in India

Comparisons of different rotavirus vaccines are difficult to make with a lot of precision because of the differing populations, protocols, attack rates, and study procedures which have been employed to assess the efficacy of the vaccines. Given the rather recent deployment of the vaccines, there are very limited evidence on their effectiveness in the population/community-setting.… Keep Reading

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BGR-34 for Diabetes: Where is the evidence?

An herbal drug, developed jointly by the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), branded as BGR-34, has been commercialized by Delhi-based Aimil Pharmaceuticals and marketed as a potentially side-effect free treatment for diabetes. However, a search for publications outlining trials conducted to support the claimed “67%… Keep Reading

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Turning to the "Infected Jelly" to Treat Ebola

The NEJM has come out with a very interesting paper: Evaluation of Convalescent Plasma for Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea. The explosive outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa last year had hijacked the headlines and media space in a big way. Multiple solutions were touted, including the vaccine trial STRIVE. Few articles, however, looked… Keep Reading

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If Carbapenems Go, Can Colistin be Far Behind?

I wrote about the disaster-in-the-making discovery of transmissible resistance to colistin, a last resort antibiotic, when the Lancet Infectious Diseases published a paper based on data coming out from surveillance in China. At that point of time, the isolation of the transmissible gene providing resistance (mcr1 gene) gained a lot of attention. Maryn McKenna’s blog post went… Keep Reading

Public Health

Ronald Fisher and Some Thoughts on the p-Value

One of the most discussed, debated and controversial issues in medical research is the p-value. I came across Ronald Fisher’s take on this matter in his work, Statistical Methods for the Research Worker, 1925 (the text of this work has been made available online by Christopher D. Green of the York University): “The value for… Keep Reading

The Apocalypse is HERE: Transmissible Resistance to Last Resort Antibiotic (Colistin)

Polymyxins are a group of bacterial origin cyclic polypeptides with antibacterial properties. It was isolated by a Japanese researcher in 1949 from a jar of fermenting bacteria. Colistin, also known as Polymyxin E, which is produced by the bacteria Paenibacillus polymyxa var. colistinus, is a polypeptide antibiotic, which is effective against almost all gram-negative bacilli. Owing to its nephrotoxocity and… Keep Reading

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