Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Feb 14, 2015

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research

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Using an experimental task in which lay persons were asked to distinguish between 30 images of melanomas and common mimics of melanoma, we compared various training strategies including the ABC(D) method, use of images of both melanomas and mimics of melanoma, and alternative methods of choosing training image exemplars. Based on a sample size of […]

Sep 15, 2014

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research

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Some recent press stuff about the commercialisation of one part of DERMOFIT. http://technews.tmcnet.com/news/2014/09/08/8005585.htm http://www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2014/09/five-things-you-need-to-know-today-edinburgh-131/ http://www.mobilecommerceinsider.com/news/2014/09/08/8005585.htm http://www.scoop.it/t/edinburgh-by-enjoy-edinburgh http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/business/business-science-technology/dermofit-been-licensed-yorkshire-based-simedics-4187620 http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/business-news/skipton-firm-licensed-to-help-skin-cancer-detection-rates-1-6829060

Jul 01, 2014

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I had forgotten this piece I wrote a few years back for Reto Caduff’s amazing book on Freckles. Here it is: Imagine at some future time, two young adults meet on an otherwise deserted planet. They are both heavily freckled. What would this tell us about them, their ancestors and how they had have spent […]

Robust experimental evidence supporting many attempts to facilitate early melanoma diagnosis is lacking. In an experimental study using a browser interface we have examined diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of novices in distinguishing between melanomas and mimics of melanoma. We show that rule-based ABC methods and image training, based on random images of melanoma, improve […]

Feb 26, 2014

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medicine, research

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A paper I published late last year. Paper here (paywall). Evidence-based medicine is a redundant term to the extent that doctors have always claimed they practiced medicine on the basis of evidence. They have, however, disagreed about what exactly constitutes legitimate evidence and how to synthesize the totality of evidence in a way that supports […]

Jan 17, 2014

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Sydney Brenner in Science on the late Fred Sanger A Fred Sanger would not survive today’s world of science. With continuous reporting and appraisals, some committee would note that he published little of import between insulin in 1952 and his first paper on RNA sequencing in 1967 with another long gap until DNA sequencing in […]

Oct 23, 2013

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medicine, research

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I wrote an article just published in Clinics in Dermatology: Why we should let “evidence-based medicine” rest in peace [paywall]. The abstract is below. Will people let it RIP? No, because as Bruce Charlton has written, EBM is Zombie science. You cannot kill zombies, because they are dead already: they are the undead, they will not […]

Well, who says there isn’t enough quantification in biology and medicine. The quotes below are from ‘The Southern Star’, a journal not to be missed if you want to move in fashionable circles in West Cork (sent by my sister in law, Sue, who lives in a Welsh castle close to Castletownsend). Most freckles per […]

Jun 12, 2013

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medicine, research

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Open access paper here in Acta.  An old message, but one frequently forgotten because everybody wants to ‘process’ patients too quickly to be safe or thorough. The Importance of a Full Clinical Examination: Assessment of Index Lesions Referred to a Skin Cancer Clinic Without a Total Body Skin Examination Would Miss One in Three Melanomas Roger […]

Philip Greenspun penned a great post sometime back, on why academic science careers were unattractive for many. It is worth reading first, before continuing here. He links to this earlier piece here, but also to another blog post about two female identical twins, one of whom is pursuing a career in medicine, the other in […]

Commentary in Acta. Full (open access) paper here Frank Davidoff, the celebrated US physician, has a telling metaphor for medical competence: he likens it to Dark Matter, the material physicists think makes up most of the Universe, and about which we know so little (1). Clinical competence would, in this analogy, be the material that literally […]

Mar 03, 2013

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humour, research

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The academy is getting duller. The Excel sheet masters are everywhere. Or perhaps I am just getting old,  or missing a (silent) spring. One young shoot that makes me smile is the paper entitled: “On the immortality of television sets: “function” in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE”. It is free […]

If you are not a medic and reading this blog, and would like to take part in some research over the net into how to diagnosis melanoma, click here. The link is  http://minaret.ppls.ed.ac.uk/somi/melanoma.php You will be shown some pictures, and asked to judge whether they are melanomas or not. What you see is ‘randomised’ so you […]

Dec 20, 2012

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research

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There is a cogent piece in Nature attacking many claims about how much money should be spent on scientific research. I do not think there is anything stikingly new about the arguments, but it is unusual for the mainstream science literature to give them much space. David Golston writes: The first problem is that some of […]

Much biomedical research bores me. All too often it is either dull risk factorology (i.e. most epidemiology) or, as for so much cell biology and biochemistry, endless chasing of one molecule causing another molecule to change and, in turn, alter yet another molecule. The cascade goes on: there are lots of molecules after all. It […]

Our paper on what students actually see during their attachment rather than what we think they see is available (no paywall). Abstract below Background Skin cancers are the most common malignancies in Caucasian populations. Non-specialists are responsible for the initial assessment of skin lesions and are required to act as the gatekeepers to dermatological cancer […]

Apr 30, 2012

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research

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From Three-toed sloth. Worth reading in its entirety. Few will listen. (And as for the written word, my favourite aphorism is from David Hubel : “Reading most papers today is like eating sawdust.”) It being the season for job-interview talks, student exam presentations, etc., the problems novices have with giving them are much on my […]

Apr 25, 2012

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medicine, research

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A post from John Naughton on Peter Checkland set me thinking and searching for an old quote from Herb Simon. I wrote an article in PLoS many years ago around this theme, and the quote from Simon still seems so perceptive about what has happened to the professional schools such as Medicine. More and more, […]

I am talking (briefly) at the Times Cheltenham Science Festival in a session entitled Out of Africa. As usual the other speakers look as though they know much more about the topic than me.  For booking details follow the link. Saturday, June 16, 2012 – 17:00 Throughout history, as humans migrated further away from the […]

Apr 18, 2012

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research

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100 years ago in JAMA— reprinted this week. “The very difficulty of carrying into execution the simplest principles of their science teaches them a demeanor of conservatism and humility. But to the dilettante or amateur in hygiene nothing is impossible in sanitary science.” No human plague exists which cannot be scientifically eradicated if only the […]

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