Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Moving

FYI - There may be a short period of time where the blog is a bit quiet. The reason is, my wife and I are moving to Hawaii. Aloha!

Photo by: Hawaii Tourism Authority / Tor Johnson

I encourage everyone to use the comments section below! 
  • Lance D. Presser has a PhD in microbiology and immunology and is a public health laboratorian.
  • Hire Lance for any of your microbiology, virology, teaching, editing, grant writing, or public health consulting needs.
  • Follow Lance @ldpsci


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hepatitis C Increases in Massachusetts

Another day, another story about rising hepatitis C rates, most likely related to the similarly rising rates of heroin use. Recently, I wrote about rising rates in Minnesota. Today the problem seems to be among young people (15 to 25 years old) on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Approximately 15 to 20 of the Cape Cod Healthcare patients have been prescribed the new (soon to be blockbuster) drug Sovaldi (Sofosbuvir) which was released by Gilead (I am still kicking myself for not buying shares at $60) and received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2013. Sofosbuvir is used to treat infection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and has a very high cure rate. It acts to inhibit the viral RNA polymerase, which is a viral protein that replicates the viral genome. Without an active viral RNA polymerase, the virus cannot replicate.

Sofosbuvir (looks a little like a Twinkie) - Photo: Andrew Karpenko, University of Washington
Sofosbuvir was a major step forward in the treatment of HCV, not only due to its fantastic cure rate, but also due to its relative lack of side effects compared to earlier methods of treatment. Before Sofosbuvir, a combination of pegylated interferon alpha and ribavirin were used, and while effective, had side effects of fatigue, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies.
 
One problem with Sofosbuvir is that it is prohibitively expensive. Stupidly expensive. Insanely expensive.

There has been some discussion about trying to get the cost of Sovaldi down. Hopefully, some funding for public health programs geared toward younger adults and heroin use/HCV infection happen soon. To have an uptick in heroin use and HCV infection after years of a downward trend would erase years of progress.

I encourage everyone to use the comments section below! 

  • Lance D. Presser has a PhD in microbiology and immunology and is a public health laboratorian.
  • Hire Lance for any of your microbiology, virology, teaching, editing, grant writing, or public health consulting needs.
  • Follow Lance @ldpsci


Monday, May 19, 2014

CaliciNet Training - Centers for Disease Control

Just a quick post to thank everyone involved in the CaliciNet training program at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). I had a wonderful time, learned a lot. Also thank you to BioNumerics for supplying some very powerful, useful software.

I would have taken a picture, but they are sort of strict about that thing while on campus. Take my word for it, if you haven't been, it is gorgeous. 

Our group stayed in downtown Decatur, GA. My weeknights included visits to the Brick Store Pub, Eddie's Attic, Cafe Lily, and Yeah Burger. Lots of great stuff. 

I encourage everyone to use the comments section below! 
  • Lance D. Presser has a PhD in microbiology and immunology and is a public health laboratorian.
  • Hire Lance for any of your microbiology, virology, teaching, editing, grant writing, or public health consulting needs.
  • Follow Lance @ldpsci

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Media that I Like

As I have been trying to grow my social media presence, I have happened upon a lot of great science people to follow on twitter, and who blog. I decided to include some of them here. I will try to update the list periodically as I add people that I think would be helpful. If you want to be included on this list get in touch!

Twitter
  • https://twitter.com/scicurious - Codename of sciwriter Bethany Brookshire. Education Blogger at Science News for Students, Blogger at Science News.
  • https://twitter.com/DrPaulOffit - Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and co-inventor of a Rotavirus vaccine. Author of Do You Believe in Magic
  • https://twitter.com/HaertlG - Head of Public Relations/Social Media for the World Health Organization-the UN Organization for public health. Private interests: Berlin, Football, History.
  • https://twitter.com/MarionKoopmans - virology; public health microbiology; global pathogen surveillance; preparedness and respons; syndromic diagnostics, human animal interface
  • https://twitter.com/TCNoel - University of Windsor Bio Prof, teach microbiology, interested in science higher education. Show me the evidence! (My student & want a follow? Let me know.)
  • https://twitter.com/newprof1 - Matt Frieman. New Professor studying SARS and MERS Coronavirus pathogenesis and host response to infection.
  • https://twitter.com/Profmicro - Public U. prof, in Micro, Virol, Research methods. Trying to improve in large lectures/advising/undergrad research. Caregiver FTLD.Dreaming of balance.
  • https://twitter.com/SciEntEx - The Exchange, a program of the Nat’l Academy of Sciences, provides entertainment industry professionals with access to expert science & engineering consultants.
  • https://twitter.com/aetiology - Associate Professor, lab rat (microbiologist/infectious disease epidemiologist) and occasional blogger, full-time nerd
Blogs and Other Websites

Turbid Plaque
This Week in Virology
Amboceptor
ProMED-mail
Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory
Chicago Department of Public Health
Science and Entertainment Exchange


I encourage everyone to use the comments section below! 
  • Lance D. Presser has a PhD in microbiology and immunology and is a public health laboratorian.
  • Hire Lance for any of your microbiology, virology, teaching, editing, grant writing, or public health consulting needs.
  • Follow Lance @ldpsci