Mass Torts: State of the Art

Mass Torts: State of the Art

Category Archives: Molecular Biology

Subscribe to Molecular Biology RSS Feed

Discretizations

Posted in Microbiology, Molecular Biology
Some months ago we decided to put Discretizations on hiatus while we tried to figure out what to do about the tsunami of scientific papers washing up on PubMed (which was already piled deep in the flotsam and jetsam of publish or perish) now that China, India, Korea, etc. are getting in on the fun. On the … Continue Reading

Squeak Squeak

Posted in Molecular Biology, Reason, Toxicology
In the run up to the trial of a case in which we’re arguing that the B6C3F1 mouse ain’t a man and 1,3 butadiene ain’t a human carcinogen just because it causes cancer in the B6C3F1 mouse, out comes "Mice Fall Short as Test Subjects for Humans’ Deadly Ills" by Gina Kolata of the NYTimes. And it’s a bombshell. Kolata reports … Continue Reading

DURC (Dual-Use Research of Concern) Is Your Acronym Of The Day

Posted in Molecular Biology
" … the influenza virus research community can no longer be the only player in the discussion of whether certain experiments should be done."  That’s the conclusion of Dr. Anthony Fauci in an Op-Ed piece posted today at mBio titled "Research on Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Influenza Virus: The Way Forward". And that controversial "gain-of-function" research, the success … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Epidemiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, The Law
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court looks set to decide whether, in the case of asbestos and mesothelioma, evidence of some exposure is necessarily evidence of substantial exposure. Lymphomas and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS): Drink more, smoke less. Your dehumidifier may be your unintended Christmas gift to Influenza A virus. Omics Shmomics. Nature reports that the NCI has new guidelines … Continue Reading

A New Biomarker To Detect Pleural Mesothelioma Early And To Differentiate Effusions

Posted in Molecular Biology
The New England Journal of Medicine has just published an open access paper, "Fibulin-3 as a Blood and Effusion Biomarker for Pleural Mesothelioma", describing a study of the use of plasma fibulin-3 in detecting mesothelioma early and without generating a lot of false positives among those with significant prior asbestos exposure but who do not have mesothelioma. The results were … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Epidemiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology
Heavy asbestos exposure prior to age 45 appears to determine risk of death from asbestosis versus mesothelioma. Fetch the comfy chair! The health-promoting effects of some essential oils may be due to their ability to prevent bacteria from conspiring against us. From one end to the other bacteria are being implicated in cancer. Halfway through, the risk of pancreatic cancer … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Epidemiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology
Something tells us benzodiazepine-dementia lawsuits are coming. The details are here. Prions and Alzheimer’s: little zombies v. you. In Illinois it’s still the case that "the existence of a duty "is entirely a question of law … It is no part of the province of a jury." Ben Goldacre explains publication bias. We’ve ignored T. gondii … Continue Reading

If The Dose-Response Curve For Carcinogens Isn’t Linear At Low Levels What Shape Is It?

Posted in Molecular Biology
J-shaped, according to "Changing the Risk Paradigms Can be Good for Our Health: J-Shaped, Linear and Threshold Dose-Response Models". A J-shape means the dose-resonse curve is either deflected downward at some point or, stranger yet, starts to demonstrate a reduced risk of the harm of which the toxin is accused. How could that be? Doesn’t every toxic exposure produce some finite amount … Continue Reading

Of Mice and Monkeys and Men

Posted in Molecular Biology
Sorry for yet another absence. We were finishing the second trial this month. Whatever happened to vacation letters? Anyway, we were looking for something to blog about and came across In Re: Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation. Among a number of other justifications for its rulings on motions to exclude plaintiffs’ experts you’ll find one in which the court relies on the … Continue Reading

AML Roundup

Posted in Molecular Biology
According to the National Cancer Institute, AML continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States with the estimates for 2012 being 13,780 and 10,200, respectively. Cancer isn’t one disease, leukemia isn’t one disease and AML isn’t even one disease. It turns out AML is a heterogeneous disease and as … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Epidemiology, Molecular Biology, The Law
Union Carbide overreaches and manages (unsurprisingly) to get part of asbestos tort reform in Texas (as applied to certain cases) declared unconstitutional. Be serious (and cereus): just because there’s alcohol in the surgical pads that doesn’t mean they’re sterile. BPA-daughters? The Endo Journal has published an article suggesting that exposed first generation female mice are anti-social … Continue Reading

PLoS Medicine is Publishing An Attack On “Big Food”

Posted in Causality, Epidemiology, Molecular Biology, Reason
A new series in PLoS Medicine says we’re going through another epidemiologic transition; this time it’s a "nutrition transition", from a simple traditional diet to a highly processed food diet "resulting in a stark and sick irony: one billion people on the planet are hungry while two billion are obese or overweight". Can you guess who gets the blame? … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Reason, Risk, The Law
Scientists are mobilizing in response to the emerging threat of hypervirulent strains of drug resistant hospital acquired infections. Finding a way to keep microbes from setting up shop on fomites, which all too often harbor pathogens and facilitate their spread, is an obvious place to start. One promising approach is to coat surfaces with silver or copper … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Reason, The Law
Random variability often trumps genetics and environment It’s sensible to avoid vegetables irrigated with untreated sewage water. There’s another case of long term disease-free survival in a pleural mesothelioma sufferer. HPV-associated cancers in women are now more common than ovarian cancer. An outsider looking in would conclude that California asbestos litigation serves mainly to enrich lawyers… Continue Reading

Clostridium Difficile Infections Are At Historic Highs

Posted in Epidemiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology
The CDC has a series of reports out about the growing problem of C. difficile infections contracted via health care-associated activities. The number of deaths attributable to C. difficile has increased more than seven-fold in a little over a decade and now stands at 14,000 annually. The reports twist together a few threads we’ve been following … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Causality, Industrial Hygiene, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Toxicology
Some think that "a demonstration of the much-anticipated linkage between heritable disease and environmental factors is poised to begin." Roggli > Finkelstein Nebraska "rejects the requirement of knowledge or foreseeability of the danger as an aspect of the duty determination" in employer/employee cases. The Microbiome is a very big deal. The FDA has approved a breath … Continue Reading

You Missed The Zombie Apocalypse

Posted in Molecular Biology
I meant to put this up on Halloween but a trial got in the way; it’s only relevant to mass tort litigation if you’ve been paying attention: It’s no longer contested that certain microbes can hijack the brains of invertebrates and of vertebrates, including mammals. But is there evidence that microbes can affect human behavior? … Continue Reading

Discretizations

Posted in Causality, Epidemiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Toxicology
Plaintiff’s expert Martyn Smith has proposed a mechanism whereby benzene produces leukemia. Night shift work modestly increases women’s risk of obesity and thus their risk of diabetes. Soy milk may make your baby girl grow up to be considerably less feminine. I keep coming up with reasons to pass on my father-in-law’s venison stew/boudin/sausage/etc. It’s not clear whether acetaminophen causes asthma … Continue Reading
Lexblog