Friday, December 19, 2008

Pubget: Vreeman RC. Festive medical myths. BMJ 337:a2769 (2008)

Many holiday hazards are as just myths. A review in the current issue of the BMJ cites some of your fears that can scientifically be crossed off any holiday worry list.

Pubget: Vreeman RC. Festive medical myths. BMJ 337:a2769 (2008)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bill Gates makes $1000/minute ... really?

I just came across a really dodgy get rich quick ad from google.

However, according to Forbes, he has been one of America's biggest billionaire losers where he actually just lost $12.3 billion in the last 11 months.

So, if there where 335 days between January and December 2008, and there are 86400 seconds in every day, this means he actually lost $422/second or just over $25k/minute.

Compared to that, I am actually doing just fine - no need to get rich quick if that is the benchmark :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yet another reason to exercise

From this paper:

Exercise-induced suppression of acylated ghrelin in humans

it shows that exercise actually suppresses your appetite.

"In conclusion, this study demonstrates that plasma acylated ghrelin concentration is reduced during an acute bout of tread- mill running, and this lends support for the role of acylated ghrelin in appetite suppression during and immediately after exercise."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When it comes to vaccines - why take more?

It seems that only half does flu shots are need according to this study published in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Half- vs Full-Dose Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (2004-2005): Age, Dose, and Sex Effects on Immune Responses. Arch Intern Med 168:2405 (2008)

Conclusions: Antibody responses to intramuscular half- dose TIV in healthy, previously immunized adults were not substantially inferior to the full-dose vaccine, particularly for ages 18 to 49 years.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Live close to your friends and hope they are happy

It seems such common sense, but so does a lot of things once they are studied. Here is a really interesting paper on the dynamics of how happiness spreads through your social connections.
To me, the summary seems to be to live close to your friends and family and make them happy. If you do, you increase your chances of happiness also.

Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network

This also follows on from other work that shows the spread of obesity, smoking, and other health effects.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pubget now on Solr

The latest version of Pubget has been rolled out and it is now based on its own search index. It has over 18 million medical and scientific papers index with over 6 million PDF paths ready for use.

The index is now Solr based and thus uses a new lucene based query syntax. To search only open access articles, you can use the query string access:open or alternatively you can limit your results by institution (e.g. access:ucsf, access:harvard, access:mit, etc).

I have been really impressed with Solr and its new 1.3 distributed sharding feature. It has allowed the use of low cost machines, amazon ec2, and s3 services.