Friday, February 03, 2006

Awareness under anaesthesia

Research undertaken at Leicester by Professor Michael Wang of the School of Psychology is looking at consciousness during operations. The research looks also at techniques for identifying wakefulness during operations.

There is a
piece in the eBulletin, to accompany a lecture that Professor Wang gave at the end of January.

Clostridium difficile

I found this letter in the BMJ, which picks up on the recent Healthcare Commission and HPA report that says that a lot of hospital trusts are not adhering to government guidance about preventing and controlling C. difficile. The writer argues that there is no really recent guidance to adhere to.

>>>Read the letter

Systematic reviews of the same thing, with different conclusions

A BMJ paper examined 10 recent overlapping systematic reviews and found that they reached conflicting recommendations. The papers they reviewed were published within about 18 months of each other: I shall try to read the paper to see what the reasons were for so much duplication of effort.

>>>Read an editorial on that subject

>>>Read the paper

Avian and pandemic influenza

Some recent things I have spotted:

Nature paper on the
architecture of ribonucleoprotein complexes in influenza A virus particles

Science news item on
genomic analysis of the H5N1 strain

A Congressional News Service (part of the Library of Congress) report on
domestic preparedness efforts for a pandemic. A US Department of State report called Meeting the challenge of bird flu.

(I am very grateful to the New York Academy of Medicine Library's
Grey Literature Report for the last two of those).

Bad data in patents

I have recently seen things about bad (or non existent) data in papers, but this Nature news piece points out that two patent applications are proceeding in California, despite doubts over the accuracy of the data they contain.

Patents are not based on data, the news item says, but on claims that the invention is a new one. Although, in the USA, inventors sign a declaration that everything in the patent application is true to the best of their knowledge.

One of the people filing the patent was sacked last year for fabricating data in a published paper.

>>>Read the Nature news item.

Sun exposure and melanoma

Also in the Archives of Disease in Childhood is this review of articles on sun exposure and melanoma. The study is restricted to people aged 18 or under, and the authors have recommendations for future research directions.

>>>Read the paper

Multimedia bullying

Authors from the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital publish a letter in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, describing a patient who was being bullied not only in the "traditional" way (their word) but also via her website. The authors believe this to be the first published instance of this phenomenon.


NICE has published guidance on the use of statins in adults with evidence of cardiovascular disease - "Statins for the prevention of cardiovascular events in patients at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease or those with established cardiovascular disease"

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators

NICE has published an appraisal of the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators in arrhythmias.

The antibiotic resistome

A paper in Science looks at bacteria in the soil, which produce antibiotics. These can end up in the microbial community and provide other bacteria with antibiotic resistance. The paper, by researchers from McMaster University, looks at soil bacteria to try and find future antibiotic resistance mechanisms that might be clinically relevant.

>>>Read the paper in Science


This looks useful, though it needs much more knowledge than I have to get the most of it , I am sure!

DrugBank is a Canadian database of drug information, which includes chemical formulae and molecular structures, mass spectra, information about the drug target (including sequences), and more. DrugBank is at, and there is a paper in the database issue of Nucleic Acids Research about it.