Reading to them was one of my favorite things to do with my kids when they were little, but it’s a long way from Goodnight Moon to this week’s list of recommended reads, although “bee brain” may have got their attention.
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- James Gorman, NY Times, The Vikings Were More Complicated Than You Might Think
- Kelly Servick, Science, COVID-19 data scandal prompts tweaks to elite journal’s review process. The Lancet took a hit from the retraction of the flawed Surgisphere paper.
- Elizabeth Preston, NY Times, Meet a Bee With a Very Big Brain.This is a great read about brain evolution in general.
- BBC, ‘Best time’ to travel to Russia for stem cell transplants. When I saw this headline, I thought “yikes.” It turns out it is an article about going to Russia to get chemo and then hematopoietic stem cell transplant or HSCT for multiple sclerosis. This approach has shown real promise, but it is very high risk and traveling may increase that risk. Some patients have died from going this route over the years. Still, many patients have told me that they felt they had no choice but to go to Russia or Mexico, particularly after the Northwestern HSCT program run by Dr. Richard Burt abruptly shut down, still without any explanation. Interestingly, another BBC reporter, Caroline Wyatt, went to Mexico a couple years ago for this kind of experimental HSCT treatment for MS. She has had been very open in reporting about her experiences and the results, which are only mixed. While some of her brain scans have been encouraging, she has felt serious side effects and it’s unclear in the longer term how her MS will do.
- FDA Approves Study to Investigate the Use of Cell Therapy to Treat COVID-19. This trial for MIS-C (a severe and sometimes lethal pediatric consequence of COVID-19) will be led by Joanne Kurtzberg of Duke using umbilical cord cells funded by Cura Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, Sanford Health and Alliance for Cell Therapy Now. Mesoblast is also doing a trial for MIS-C.
- NY Times, Jeneen Interlandi, What the Fall and Winter of the Pandemic Will Look Like.This is a nice, breath of fresh air in terms of a non-nonsense guide in a sense to what we are facing in the coming months and how to plan.
Blast from the past
10 years ago just about right now, a federal judge’s order made federally-funded ES cell research illegal. Here was my take on it on The Niche way back when: Grim reality of the impact of judge’s ES cell decision is emerging.