Author: vulgavis

Insight into blood cancer using genetic correlation

We often talk of the characteristics passed on from our families – be it our Dad’s hairline, our Grandmother’s nose or our Uncle’s musical talent. These characteristics can be influenced by our environment or by the genetic makeup we inherit. It is possible to quantify the effect of our genetic makeup on the ‘heritability’ of certain traits. This heritability is measured on a scale, where 0 means ‘no effect of genetics’ and 1 means ‘entirely due to genetics’. Along with physical features and skills we also inherit a predisposition to certain diseases, including cancer. Observational studies have shown blood...

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Now we are five

Hosted by Parasites and Vectors, BugBitten is a blog for the parasitology and vector-borne disease community, from undergraduates taking courses in parasitology to senior researchers, lab leaders and educators. We aim to keep the community informed of new developments in our field and hope to interest and even surprise our readers with news and views outside their main sphere of study. “Being one of the original bloggers it’s been amazing to see how much our readership has grown in 5 years. I’m glad I’ve stuck with it through different jobs and now my PhD, because it has hugely improved my writing skills- so much...

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Ebola – Tools for the new outbreak response

Dressing to combat Ebola. Source: While the Ebola outbreak across West Africa only hit the headlines in 2014, when it caused a two-year epidemic, the disease was in fact first discovered in 1976 with outbreaks in Sudan and the DRC. The latter outbreak occurred near the Ebola River towards the northwest of the country, from which the virus takes its name. Ebola had been an ongoing public health problem across sub-Saharan Africa, claiming 1590 lives between 1976 and 2012. However, its virulence was recognised in 2014 with the start of the two-year epidemic, which began in Guinea and...

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Valproate use in migraine prevention in women of childbearing age – Why are we still discussing it?

© laflor / Getty Images / iStock What preventive treatment options are there for migraine? Migraine is not curable, but preventive treatments are usually used to decrease the intensity and frequency of headache attacks in patients with frequent or chronic migraine. Usually, oral preventives such as topiramate, an anti-convulsive medication, and b-blockers are considered as first line treatments. Injectable treatments such as botulinum toxin (botox) and even greater occipital nerve block show good efficacy if first line treatments fail. Valproate and its derivatives, such as divalproex sodium, is an antiepileptic treatment also approved by the FDA and indicated in some...

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