Following last year’s American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) conference in Vancouver I applied for and was selected to write for the ASHG trainee newsletter, The Nascent Transcript. My first piece, an interview with a genetic counseling trainee, is out today!
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8 minute read
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day when we honor those who lost their lives in service to our country. It is also a day we approach 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Yesterday, the NY Times memorialized just 1% of those deaths starting on the Sunday front page. If we add every U.S. military death from the beginning of the Korean War in 1950 through all wars and conflicts up to today, we arrive at a similar number of 102,483 deaths (Note: this value is based on this table and could be more or less depending on inclusion of MIA or other nuances). In three months we have lost nearly the amount of Americans as the military personnel we’ve lost in 70 years of conflicts. To memorialize the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the U.S., we should use our hard-fought freedoms responsibly to help our society and economy move forward as safely as possible in the presence of SARS-CoV-2. I acknowledge that the majority of our country is being conscientious and generous in their sacrifices, and I empathize that everyone has their own unique situation, but we are all interconnected in this pandemic. I believe the following are things we can do to live up to the American way our service members fought and died for.
19 minute read
In this blog post I discuss the credibility of the sources we turn to for evidence, and I provide a curation of resources for readers to explore claims in “Plandemic.” For the scientific community specifically, I summarize and comment on the lessons I’ve learned from “Plandemic”-related discourse the past week. I hope it will be relevant for science communication efforts during the pandemic!
7 minute read
Anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from the antiviral remdesivir (developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.) have emerged through compassionate use in the previous months, but we needed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to judge efficacy, or how well the drug worked. A summary of results from a clinical trial in China was inadvertently posted by the World Health Organization last week and did not look too promising. You can read more from TIME. Today, April 29, 2020, a statement was released from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) summarizing the preliminary results from the use of remdesivir at 68 international sites. The science and medicine publication, STAT, covered it here. We can’t see the entire methodology to assess the study and analysis limitations, but here is a first pass at what we do know.
8 minute read
You can read my previous pandemic blog posts from April 6, April 2, March 22-25, March 19-21, and March 14-18. As always, you should take everything you read on the internet with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I am not an epidemiologist. But I try to provide relevant evidence from credible sources and use my scientific/statistical training to summarize the highlights of pertinent research with a side of editorialization.