A New Age Of Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals

We can do much better by authors, reviewers and certainly patients. – John Adler MD

John Adler, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University; Editor-in-Chief, Cur&#275us, has published a new editorial on the variety of issues associated with the centuries-old industry of peer reviewed scientific publication.

In today’s internet age, can the status quo peer review system provide value to our society – or is there a better way for “establishing scientific validity” and dissemination of knowledge?

Dr. Adler highlights some of the serious hurdles with current traditional peer review (i.e. fraud, and reviewer bias) and proposes to re-imagine peer review to  become more suitable to our internet age. In a digital platform, the space limits within paper journals are gone. Without having to ration the space, there is no need to “kill” papers and artificially limit the number of papers published in a given month.

And to assess the quality of these papers Adler proposes crowd sourcing. To tap into the collective intelligence via Cur&#275us’ Scholarly Impact Quotient (SIQ). The SIQ is an “evolving, yet enduring reflection of a paper’s true scientific impact.”

Dr. Adler founded Cur&#275us “to address the challenges I have observed first-hand as an editor of numerous journals and an academic physician who has published and reviewed for years. We can do much better by authors, reviewers and certainly patients. This is the mission of Cur&#275us.”

Source: A new age of peer reviewed scientific journals – John R. Adler Jr

 

A new age of peer reviewed scientific journals – John R. Adler Jr

 

BYU Students Innovate To Fight Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

A team of innovative students at Brigham Young University, are in the process of developing a new kind of baby monitor that could eventually offer parents a vital weapon in the battle against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

This high-tech smart-sock which wraps around an infant’s foot uses a built-in pulse oximetry that can wirelessly monitor a sleeping baby’s heart rate and blood-oxygen levels —  allowing parents to sleep easier knowing that their baby is breathing normally.

Should an infant display any dramatic change in heart rate or suddenly stop breathing — the baby monitor will alert parents on their smartphone.

Jacob Colvin, along with his five colleagues working on this non-invasive SIDS monitoring device hope their work will someday reduce the number of SIDS-related deaths.

“Our hope is that we can give parents time to react and see that something’s wrong before it’s too late,” said Colvin, a father of two himself.

While students are in the process of finalizing patent applications, there is still much work to be done — refining prototypes and doing more testing with their Owlet Baby Monitor.

“If we can hear just one mother say that we made a difference, it would all be worth it,” Jacob Colvin told BYU News. “That makes all the difference in the world.”

In addition to Colvin, the Owlet team includes mechanical engineering students Wyatt Felt and Jason Dearden — chemical engineering students Kurt Workman and Anna Hawes along with Tanor Gil Hodges, a Health Care Assistant serving at the University of Utah.

via BYU News

Rescue Dogs Trained To Detect Ovarian Cancer

Studies have shown that dogs can sfiff out different types of cancer.

One of life’s more existential questions that emerge on the precipice of life and death is often – why have I been saved? In the case of some very special rescue dogs, the answer is to spend the second lease on life in the service of saving their two-legged best friends.

A dog trainer from West Hills, California has been teaching rescue dogs how to detect ovarian cancer from a person’s breath.

Bringing whole new meaning to the issues of halitosis.

Inspired by the struggle of her own mother, trainer Dina Zaphiris has found that healthy people and ovarian cancer patients have distinctly different “flavors” in their breath.

Her research partner at Pine Street Foundation, Michael McCulloch, explains that as a person gets gravely sick their body and breath odor changes.

“It was a no-brainer that if a clinician can detect these odors, that a dog can be trained to detect them, as well,” he said.

The dogs are given cloths that are inserted in small jars after receiving the breath of both healthy and cancer-ridden patients.When the dogs detect the cancerous jar, they are rewarded with a treat.

This isn’t the first time dogs have had their heightened sense of smell put to the test in the name of saving lives. In Japan, dogs have been shown to smell colorectal cancer in stool samples with 98 percent accuracy.

All of this lends us to wonder if the natural tendency for dogs to sniff each other’s “ultimatums” isn’t more about an act of valor to save lives, rather than simply an exercise in banal butt sniffing.

source: CBC News

Stanford Researchers Analyze Force of Football Concussions

Daniel Garza, M.D. (left) and David Camarillo, Ph.D, assistant professors at Stanford University, team up on concussion research. Photo credit: Susana Bates, SFgate

 

Understanding exactly what kind of force leads to football concussions for some athlete’s is a mystery that a team of innovative Stanford researchers are working hard to discover.

The team have turned Stanford football practices into a living laboratory by placing sensors on the helmets of athletes then filming the action with high-definition, super-slow-motion cameras capable of estimating the initial velocity a player’s head is traveling before and after impact.

For the first time, researchers can analyze in slow-motion what happens to the head and the neck at the moment players collide.

In order to gauge the linear and rotational acceleration of a player’s head during a game — researchers have developed high-tech mouth guards equipped with accelerometers and pyrometers.

“We’ve got a really unique opportunity to get the data that matters the most – the human data,” said David Camarillo, Ph.D, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Early findings in this cutting edge research have shown that a player might experience similar forces in a high-impact shoulder-to-chest hit as they would from their head hitting the ground — revealing that jarring helmet-to-helmet impacts are not the only danger.

“These previous types of head accelerations that maybe weren’t counted as hits, maybe they should be counted,” said Dr. Daniel Garza, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Stanford.

“The arrows are pointing not necessarily to the hit, but where the force is coming to accelerate their head,” Garza told ABC News.

This team of researchers hope that once they can determine what kinds of player impact cause a concussion, they can begin to offer targeted data to help improve sports equipment in order to reduce concussive injuries.

“The field – the real football experience – is actually shaping the laboratory experience, and that’s unique,” Dr. Garza added.

*Daniel Garza, M.D. also serves as Medical Director for the San Francisco 49ers.

 

via San Francisco Chronicle — Photo credit: Susana Bates

Research Identifies Gene That Predicts Time Of Death

We all have our natural 24 hour rhythms of which there are three basic kinds. Some of us like to get up before the newspaper lands on the porch, others think it’s dreadful to be up and about before brunch. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

While the environment (i.e. when the sun rises or sets) plays a huge role on our circadian clocks, scientists have discovered that there is a genetic component to which cycle you tend to fall in.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  isolated a single nucleotide which seems to effect your sleeping and waking pattern. A-A genotype (36%) is for early risers, A-G (48%) for the “middle” risers and G-G (16%) for late risers.

This new data is helpful in fighting diseases which seem to respond to our circadian cycles. It can also help us plan our lives around the hours we are most effective. But there is one added bonus data tidbit – it can predict the hour of our death.

The research published by first author Andrew Lim in the journal Annals of Neurology, confirms a genetic variant that helps determine the time of day a person is most likely to die — a gene that predicts time of death. People with the A-A and A-G died before 11am and the late risers, G-G genotypes, died just before 6pm.

While there might be a gene that predicts the time of day you’ll die, fortunately the research is still inconclusive as to the actual date.

Source: The Atlantic

Cureus Editorial Board Feature: Alejandro Badia M.D., F.A.C.S.

httpvh://youtu.be/g3VYL27xN78

 

The Cur&#275us team dropped by the Badia Hand To Shoulder Center in Doral, Florida and talked with renowned hand and upper extremity surgeon, Alejandro Badia, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Badia studied physiology at Cornell University and obtained his medical degree at NYU, where he also trained in orthopedics.

He runs an active international hand fellowship, serves on the editorial board of two hand journals, and organizes a yearly Miami meeting for surgeons / therapists that is devoted to upper limb arthroscopy and arthroplasty.

Dr. Badia maintains an intensely academic practice in order to “effect change and make care more efficient.” Dr. Badia joined Cur&#275us as an Editorial Board member earlier this year.

Frito-Lay Announces Caffeinated Cracker Jack Snack

Cracker Jack’s new prize inside is caffeine.

If Frito-Lay has its way, a highly caffeinated version of Cracker Jack will be hitting store shelves sooner than later.

This new twist on the classic caramel popcorn candy called Cracker Jack’D, will include “Power Bites” which contain  70 milligrams of caffeine — equal to a one-ounce shot of espresso in each 2 oz. package.

The Cracker Jack’D slogan: “Snacks with impact.”, is being aimed at adults with a product page already appearing on Facebook — prompting jokes like “legal crack now comes with a prize inside!” one commenter wrote — while another fan posted “I can’t wait to get JACK’D!”

“Cracker Jack’D is a product line specifically developed for adult consumers and will not be marketed to children,” Chris Kuechenmeister, a Frito-Lay spokesperson wrote in a statement. “The package design and appearance are wholly different from Cracker Jack to ensure there is no confusion among consumers.”

But a nonprofit nutrition activist group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, are concerned that if kids consume more than one serving at a time they could easily get an overdose of caffeine — a mildly addictive stimulant drug that can be toxic at sufficiently high doses. The group fired off a letter to both Frito-Lay and the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition last week encouraging government regulators to take take some kind of action.

“Whether or not they are advertised directly to children, it is certain that young children will consume Cracker Jack’D . . . and sometimes consume it to excess,” the Center’s director Michael Jacobson wrote to executives.

Although the caffeinated Cracker Jack snack does not yet appear on Frito-Lay’s website, the coffee-flavored treats are expected to ship by December 22nd in a plethora of flavors — which include salted caramel, vanilla mocha and peanut butter with chocolate.

While the package design is obviously different, the brand’s iconic mascots little boy Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo still make an appearance on the front.

“When’s the last time telling a kid that something is “for adults only” made them less interested in it?” wrote TODAY contributor Ben Popken.

Like it or not “I can’t wait to get JACK’D!” may become the real slogan that draws kids to this caffeine-fueled thrill ride of power munchies.