On Being a Disease Detective

  Recently, I was asked what a disease detective did. While I considered my response, a situation came to mind from a few years back that captured the process perfectly. The following events are true, the names of been changed to protect the innocent, namely me. Shifu: This can't be right, it must be a …

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Opinions are Not Facts, and Things are seldom as they first appear.

“The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk.” ~Tom Vilsack  Often of late, we hear non-experts make sweeping pronouncements on subjects from healthcare and education to socioeconomics. Seldom do they add anything to the conversation, instead muddying the already perturbed waters. While we certainly cannot fault someone for …

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Cyclospora Infection: What it is, where it came from, and why you want to avoid it.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings concerning infection by a parasitic protozoan named Cyclospora cayetanensis. This pathogen was first identified in the late 1970s, making it a relative newcomer in the realm of human misery. The protozoan was first identified as a form of blue-green algae, and later as a …

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On Inference, Causation, Correlation, and Association: How Scientists Assign Outcomes of Research, and why it is Important.

Thanks to my friend and associate Michael Lo for his input on this. Recently, the media seems intent on furthering the scientific ignorance that seems to be rampant in American culture. From Alternative facts to inconvenient truths, science is taking a beating at the hands of pseudoscientists, politicians, and others who have no business making …

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How Targeted Drugs Fight Disease, and why Funding Research is Critical

Recently our family has been once again forced to deal with a diagnosis of cancer. I have avoided writing on this subject in the past but have decided to write a brief article on the advances in cancer treatments. I enlisted the help of my good friend and research molecular biologist, Vera Chang from Oregon …

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