Thursday, June 26, 2008


Not something I had come across before seeing this article in Lancet Infectious Diseases. It is a nasty necrosis of the tissue of the mouth and face, with an unknown cause, but malnutrition and a bacterial agent are thought to be involved. It is also known (note to any medical students reading this: this is a synonym!) as cancrum oris.

There has been a Noma Day, and the website contains information about the NoNoma Federation and its activities.

You can probably search Google for more information as well as I can (but if you use the synonym you will probably not find the restaurant in Copenhagen or the lighting company, or many other fascinating but irrelevant things…), but there is a useful page in the MedlinePlus Health Encyclopedia which my Google search did not find.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Biosecurity, laboratory safety

Another half heard Today piece (no good at multitasking). BBC Health's Twitter feed has this in it - I think that must be it.

This is the report of the innovation, universities, science and skills committee of MPs into the foot and mouth outbreak in Pirbright last year. It says that funding uncertainty has meant that the lab facilities themselves are neglected.

Surgical safety

Half heard a piece on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning about this, and think it was about this:,

a new WHO checklist to ensure that all necessary things are carried out before and during an operation. It identifies three phases of an operation - "sign in" (before anaesthesia is induced), "time out" (before any incision is made), "sign out" (before patient leaves the operating room). There are certain tasks to be performed in each phase - for example, in sign in, checking that the correct site is marked, and in sign out, counting the swabs.

This information is from the WHO Press Release (link above), I have not found the list itself.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Journal Citation Reports - 2008 data soon

Updated 18th June - JCR 2007 data for sciences and for social sciences is scheduled to be released 17th June 1 pm, EDT.

This should mean it is there now - which it is!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The PEACE study

This is a randomised controlled trial of the effect of carbocisteine on acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, although I can't immediately see why it is called PEACE. However, that aside, it is in the Lancet, doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60869-7. Access should be possible for University of Leicester members, who are welcome to contact me if they have problems.

The reference:

Jin-Ping Zheng, Jian Kang, Shao-Guang Huang, Ping Chen, Wan-Zen Yao, Lan Yang, Chun-Xue Bai, Chang-Zheng Wang, Chen Wang, Bao-Yuan Chen, Yi Shi, Chun-Tao Liu, Ping Chen, Qiang Li, Zhen-Shan Wang, Yi-Jiang Huang, Zhi-Yang Luo, Fei-Peng Chen, Jian-Zhang Yuan, Ben-Tong Yuan, Hui-Ping Qian, Rong-Chang Zhi, Nan-Shan Zhong, Effect of carbocisteine on acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PEACE Study): a randomised placebo-controlled study, The Lancet, Volume 371, Issue 9629, , 14 June 2008-20 June 2008, Pages 2013-2018.(

Reading at length

Have the reading habits of the web destroyed our ability to read long things and read in detail? This is the argument put forward in an article in Atlantic Monthly by Nicholas Carr.

Read the article

Thanks to the very useful Library Link of the Day for this.

Monday, June 16, 2008

UK Clinical Research Collaboration

I seem to have started receiving the Biotechniques Weekly Newsletter, and it has alerted me to this collaboration, with a website at It "is a partnership of organisations working to establish the UK as a world leader in clinical research, by harnessing the power of the NHS". It has published a report on funding in microbiology and infectious disease research (

Blackwell journals move to Wiley Interscience

Blackwell Synergy is closing on June 27th, and all journals moving to Wiley Interscience. There is more about this at, including information about what will happen to alerts and bookmarks.

Les oiseaux du jour

OK, it is a bit pretentious and I maybe ought to stop it, but l'oiseau of yesterday was, in my own garden, a green woodpecker - noticed the red head and gold bars before the green, but there it was, nonetheless. I am not counting the ospreys seen on a Father's Day (or is that Fathers' Day?) trip to Rutland Water.

CAMERA - what's in the sea?

It has been quiet, hasn't it?

CAMERA is "Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis", aimed at researchers in marine microbial ecology. The site is a collection of tools and data, and is at Thanks to Kevin Ahern's Webwatch column in Biotechniques for this site.