Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fwd: Google looking for cancer

'Google Inc. is designing tiny magnetic particles to patrol the human body for signs of cancer and other diseases, in the latest example of the Internet giant's sweeping ambition.


Google said its nanoparticles, less than one-thousandth the width of a red blood cell, would seek out and attach themselves to cells, proteins or other molecules inside the body. The company also is working on a wearable device with a magnet to attract and count the particles, as a monitoring tool.


The goal is to provide an early warning system for cancer and other diseases, with an eye toward more effective treatment.


"Every test you ever go to the doctor for will be done through this system," said Andrew Conrad, head of the Life Sciences team at the Google X research lab, who disclosed the project on Tuesday at The Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live conference. "That is our dream."'

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fwd: Ebola

'The missteps and delays in diagnosis of the Liberian man prompted some states to impose or consider restrictions on travelers coming from the West African countries where the virus has killed nearly 5,000 people.

Responding to concerns that mandatory quarantine would inhibit doctors and nurses from traveling to West Africa, Cuomo said New York wanted to encourage personnel to go, lauding their "valor" and "compassion," while also protecting public safety at home.

"These people are extraordinary for their valor and their courage and their compassion," Cuomo said. "Anything we can do to encourage it, we want to do."


He added that New York was not changing the policy announced on Friday.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Fwd: Ebola

Technologies like this allow us to imagine a new form of quarantine. Rather than relying on primitive instruments, indiscriminate profiling or questionnaires, we should consider running a pilot program to test asymptomatic travelers using sensitive P.C.R.-based techniques. Obviously, such technologies are expensive, but the cost is not prohibitive. A typical P.C.R. reaction, including labor, costs between $60 and $200 (we have already spent 100 times more disposing of the contaminated sheets from the home Mr. Duncan stayed in). Since the test takes about a third of the time of a trans-Atlantic flight, the flight would become the quarantine.


Huge logistical questions would need to be solved. Where would such a screening test be administered — before departure from West Africa, or upon landing? Could we imagine a walking quarantine in which travelers were granted provisional entry, but recalled if they tested positive? What infection precautions would need to be in place for such testing? What forms of consent would be required? Who would bear the costs? Who exactly would be tested?'


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fwd: Ebola

'Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner, a specialist in treating Ebola, sounded the alarm today on CNN about how ill-prepared U.S. customs is when dealing with visitors from Ebola-stricken areas.


MacGregor-Skinner, an ‎Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State University, International Development Consultant, told Jake Tapper about how dangerous Ebola is.


    "When my team was in Nigeria and we were treating Ebola patients the first thing they said to me was 'Should we tell the truth?' 'Yeah when you come back we're telling the truth.'


    As we flew out of Nigeria I had my temperature taken and I was interviewed twice. As I came through Germany I had my temperature taken I was interviewed and questions were asked 'Where have you been? What have you done?'


    When I got back to Washington D.C. I said 'I've been working with Ebola patients." I was told 'Welcome back. Off you go!' No one took my temperature. No one asked me any questions. So we told the truth. There was no process, there was no program here to make sure we were OK."'

But the system has its limits, relying on the traveler to reveal whether he or she has been exposed. And it leaves it to local officials to conduct the screening as they see fit, Dr. Cohen said. It is unclear how consistently or effectively those screenings are conducted across West Africa, and Dr. Cohen said she did not know how many potential travelers had been caught by screeners — if any.


"Our expectation is that people who are sick or people who are exposed should be getting the message they shouldn't be traveling."'