Friday, May 16, 2008

More linkies...

Yes, it's been a while, but here are a few more interesting articles that I've come across on the web.

Recently, I've been writing like a madman, slaving away feverishly on my transfer thesis for the upgrade from the MSc to the PhD, but I promise to write a proper post sometime soon.

Talk about maximally invasive surgery!!! Doctors remove six organs to cut out a tumor, and then put everything back!

A possible new method to put a patient into suspended animation. Currently works on rats only. We seem to be really good at developing medical treatments that work only on rats! What about us humans?;jsessionid=HqrbWWpfz1BPRS4sDzyvqJWVqvBkZQFZcflnlb1GZCm3HYw1bGWr!1675702673!181195628!8091!-1

Scientists discover a genetic basis for schizophrenia?

The FDA investigates a potentially serious link between the asthma drug Singulair (montelukast) and increased risk of suicide.

Merck's experimental weight loss drug taranabant may be linked to psychiatric side effects. The drug, which works by blocking the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (the receptors that make people feel hungry when smoking marijuana), may induce mood swings that might make patients more suicidal.

More bad news for Merck, as the American College of Cardiology recommended to doctors not to use Zetia (ezetimibe) and Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) until there is more science about how exactly ezetimibe works, if it works at all.

The whole Zetia / Vytorin debacle might be a lesson to over-aggressive drug-industry marketeers, who's marketing efforts oftentimes gets way out in front of the actual scientific proof.

Merck was accused of hiring professional writers to author scientific papers that eventually are published under the names of reputable scientists and physicians in the medical community. The specific papers in question had to do with studies on the non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx (rofecoxib).

Finally, a study at the University of Minnesoty showed that health insurance costs in the US soared 30% from 2001 to 2005, increasing ten times faster than income increases during the same time period.,1,643844.story
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