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Category Archives: Medicine

Immune system vs. virus: Why omicron had experts worried from the start

Ars Technica: “Right from omicron’s first description, researchers were concerned about the variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Looking over the list of mutations it carried, scientists could identify a number that would likely make the variant more infectious. Other mutations were even more worrying, as they would likely interfere with the immune system’s ability to… Continue Reading

Starting later this week, some at-risk Americans become eligible for a 4th shot.

The New York Times: “Some people with a weakened immune system can get a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine as early as this coming week, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were updated last week. The C.D.C. endorsed a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for… Continue Reading

Psychological Language on Twitter Predicts County-Level Heart Disease Mortality

Eichstaedt JC, Schwartz HA, Kern ML, et al. Psychological language on Twitter predicts county-level heart disease mortality. Psychol Sci. 2015;26(2):159-169. doi:10.1177/0956797614557867. “Hostility and chronic stress are known risk factors for heart disease, but they are costly to assess on a large scale. We used language expressed on Twitter to characterize community-level psychological correlates of age-adjusted… Continue Reading

Could microclots help explain the mystery of long Covid?

The Guardian Opinion – Resia Pretorius [Resia Pretorius is the Head of Department and a Distinguished Research Professor in the Physiological Sciences Department, Faculty of Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa] “One of the biggest failures during the Covid-19 pandemic is our slow response in diagnosing and treating long Covid. As many as 100 million people worldwide… Continue Reading

NEW chart for US Covid-watchers – tracks cases in all states and impact on hospitals

Via John Burn-Murdoch, @jburnmurdoch – Stories, stats & scatterplots for @FinancialTimes | Mainly Covid for now | Visiting senior fellow @LSEdataScience | john.burn [email protected] | “Key question with Omicron wave is whether severe disease — hospitalisations & ICU — decouples from cases. In the UK it has, but there are signs the US decoupling is… Continue Reading

Omicron cases are exploding. Scientists still don’t know how bad the wave will be “As this year begins, the Omicron variant is smashing COVID-19 infection records across Europe, North America, Africa, and Australia. With massive numbers of people infected or in quarantine, tens of thousands of flights and trains have been canceled, and work and schools disrupted. Earlier in the pandemic, the frightful, near-vertical rise in cases would… Continue Reading

The Year in Cheer 192 ways the world got better in 2021

Reasons to Be Cheerful – This is a wonderful read not least because amidst the upheavals of life in the time of COVID, individuals and groups around the world have chosen, in a myriad of ways to create change in innovative and impactful ways that benefits the lives of millions around the world. A sustainable… Continue Reading

Cancer Patients With Breakthrough COVID-19 Remain at Risk for Severe Outcomes

Physician’s Weekly: “Patients with cancer who develop breakthrough infection following COVID-19 vaccination remain at risk for severe outcomes, according to a study published online Dec. 24 in the Annals of Oncology. Andrew L. Schmidt, M.B., B.S., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues examined the clinical features of patients with cancer who developed… Continue Reading