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Archive for August, 2005

Monday, August 29th 2005

College Football & Coeds

Oh what a surprise, the five schools with the most attractive coeds according to ESPN are four schools from the south and the University of Southern California.

Kickoff is this Saturday (Sept. 3rd) versus Hawaii…which just means I have to study that much harder this week (and not spend time posting…like now) so I can spend a good chunk of Saturday watching the game.

Fight On

Friday, August 26th 2005

Cell Division

So there is this cell just chugging along when the number of small peptide growth factors binding to some of it’s receptor integral proteins reaches some threshold and the second messenger system inside eventually causes the expression of a proto-onco gene whose product causes, among other things, the expression of a gene that produces cyclin.

Cyclin is involved in activation the cdc 2+/cdc 28 kinase on the Maturation Promoting Factor (MPF). MPF has three major functions in cell division: it signals the phosphorylation of the nuclear lamina intermediate filaments which breaks down the nuclear membrane, it condenses the DNA, and it helps in the creation of the spindle apparatus.

Friday, August 26th 2005

Free Speech

Uh….I’m a rising political star currently holding the position of Attorney General in a southern state and I’d like to adhere myself to the hearts of soccer moms. The state of Tennessee is trying to stop Gretchen Wilson from pulling out a can of Skoal during her concerts.

Tuesday, August 23rd 2005

Austin, TX & Walgreens

This is a less shadowy area.

Because Walgreens has a contract to provide pharmacy services to patients in Austin’s “medical assistance” program, the terms of such a deal could easily require Walgreens to stock and dose out emergency contraceptives.

As long as the consequences of not doing so are in the marketplace and not criminal or civil then…

Tuesday, August 23rd 2005

Med School Curriculum

From Kevin M.D.:

I’m pretty pleased with my curriculum so far. Apparently a lot of students aren’t. Granted I’ve only been in class four weeks and I haven’t done a single rotation…

How can over 35% of students not study medical ethics? I’ve spent so much time these first four weeks covering the ethics and professionalism of my chosen career…

Tuesday, August 23rd 2005

Go Pharmacist Go

I’ve commented on this completely misplaced Illinois law earlier but, here it is again; this time hopefully facing nullification.

Apparently, there’s a “right” for a woman not to “feel” embarrassed and harassed by trying to buy Plan B contraceptive in a store that might not have it but there’s no right for me to stock what I want to stock at my pharmacy or store.

Sunday, August 21st 2005


It is hurting my productivity that I have wireless internet all over campus. Coming to the library to avoid distractions is less effective than it might be. Oh well…

Saturday, August 20th 2005

Duck Hunting

A medical student, an Internist, a Psychiatrist, a Surgeon and a Pathologist go duck hunting. They barely find their duck blind before the first duck flies over.

The medical student is the first to raise her shotgun, but unable to tell if the duck is really a duck, she does not shoot.

The internist aims his shotgun, but can not tell if the duck is male or female and he does not shoot.

The psychiatrist has the duck framed in his sight, but then lowers his shotgun, claiming “I know this is a duck, but does the duck know he’s a duck?”

The surgeon quickly raises his shotgun, aims, and without pause shoots. The duck falls to the ground. The surgeon turns to the pathologist and says, “Go figure out if that’¬ís a duck or not.”

(H/T MUSC Tiger)

Saturday, August 20th 2005


Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night and night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To pain the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

– Lisel Mueller, “Monet Refuses the Operation”

Saturday, August 20th 2005

Vioxx Verdict

This award will be reduced for Texas’ punitive awards cap, although the story doesn’t make it clear how much of the award was based on future earnings and how much was punitive. There are more than 4,000 Vioxx cases pending and this one was apparently, by some opinions, not a particularly strong one. Apparently there were significant causation issues, and yet Merck was still found liable.

I don’t think I know enough to make a legitimate comment on this case. There’s a reason causation is so difficult in many drug cases, because that’s the way biochemistry actually works. As the FDA has made it clear Vioxx has a place in the marketplace, and although your chance of a heart attack versus a placebo is significant (like 15x greater or something) your chances of suffering such are still ‘low’, at least by my standards. I’m sure that for those who feel they’ve lost a family member to a Vioxx related heart problem that this is little consolation.