How does CancerSEEK compare to other liquid biopsies?

This work[1] blows away previous efforts. The word “breakthrough” is used far too often to describe results that are incremental, or that are promising but not well-supported. CancerSEEK is a genuine breakthrough. The gold standard for cancer diagnosis is the biopsy – a bit of suspect tissue is excised and studied, and determined to be benign Read More …

Do we need more broad-spectrum antibiotics? NAD-dependent DNA ligases as drug targets.

These enzymes are excellent targets for antibiotic development. But successful development may end up degrading public health. DNA ligases perform an essential function in all organisms, that of joining broken DNA strands together. From DNA ligation They can use either ATP or NAD+ as energy sources to drive the joining reaction. NAD ligases are never found in Read More …

How can you determine if an individual has previously been infected with Dengue?

As with any other viral infection, the principal methods are direct detection of the virus or detection of antibodies generated in response to viral infection. Direct detection is done by detecting viral proteins or nucleic acids (DNA or RNA). Because nucleic acids can be amplified by PCR and similar technologies, these tests are usually the Read More …

How do we use likelihood ratios?

Likelihood ratios are a good measure of the clinical value of a diagnostic test. Positive likelihood ratio = sensitivity/(1-specificity), where sensitivity is defined as the fraction of patients who have the disease and yield a positive test result, and specificity is the fraction of patients who do not have the disease and yield a negative Read More …

How can you tell if a cold is caused by a virus or bacteria?

Many doctors believe that they can accurately distinguish bacterial from viral colds. They are deluded. Well-established signs algorithms, like the Centor and McIsaac criteria, are not very accurate. Of the patients that show all four elements of strep infection (fever, exudates, tender lymph nodes, absence of cough), only about 60% actually have strep throat[1] . Read More …