Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vaccines and the incidence of autism

Noticed this some time ago: review article on the changing epidemiology of autism, and whether this is in any way due to vaccines.

Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism
B. Taylor

Child: Care, Health and Development 2006 32:5, 511

is the article and University members can find it here

Microbial database of protein sequence analyses

Noticed this in BMC Bioinformatics: MannDB – A microbial database of automated protein sequence analyses and evidence integration for protein characterization. Read more at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2105/7/459

Analgesic effect of watching television

No, not in general, but using TV as a way to distract children while they are undergoing venipuncture. The authors, based in Italy, studied 7-12 year old children undergoing this procedure. Some were not distracted at all, some were in the same room as a television ("passive distraction") and some were actively distracted by their mothers. TV watching was more effective than the active distraction, perhaps, the authors say, because the mothers were emotionally involved in the procedure. The study appears in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

ATS statement on grading the quality of evidence

The American Thoracic Society has published a statement on grading the quality of evidence in its recommendations. Read it at http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/reprint/174/5/605


I can't now remember how I found this site, but this site is operated by people living with HIV and contains some useful looking community forums, explicit in places, as you might expect, but using the web to share information.

AIDSmeds.com is at http://www.aidsmeds.com/

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ig Nobel prizes

Today's Nature and the Guardian earlier this week both cover this year's prizes. Research into why woodpeckers don't get headaches, and into a sound based repellent that teenagers can hear but older people like me can't, and into how dry spaghetti breaks, was dul honoured.

Read more in Nature
Read more in the Guardian

Conclusiveness of Cochrane Reviews

A paper in Acta Paediatrica, by researchers from Israel, looks at the conclusivesness of Cochrane Neonatal Reviews. They find that the majority are conclusive, the that they emphasise the need for further studies. The sample size and number of studies influences the ability of the review to be conclusive. Newer reviews are more likely to be conclusive than older ones.

Read the article at Acta Paediatrica 2006, 95, 1209-1212 -