Posts by Jasper Lawrence about helminths and any mildly related topic that takes his fancy.

Arguments against antibiotic use. A few amongst very many

You have “an overgrowth” of a "bad" bacteria, so I am prescribing antibiotics to kill it". Is this something your doctor has told you that you have? Have they offered antibiotics as the solution? Did they run any tests to prove their assertion? If so compared to what is your bacterial population unhealthy? How do [...]

Pathology labs are utterly useless

Pathology labs are so utterly useless, it was quite disturbing to discover out how bad they are, repeatedly and in so many ways for so many types of tests. When I first got back from Africa convinced I had been successful infecting myself with hookworm, because of multiple rashes and a night of violent coughing, [...]

Reading academic papers

Finding papers to read There are many ways to find academic papers. As well as using your favourite internet search engine, there are many indexes of medical and biological papers with effective search functions. Pubmed is by far the most popular and very comprehensive, maintained by the NIH, part of the US federal government, thank you. Indexation by Pubmed does [...]

Reading Science: Peer Review – Part 4 in a Series

Peer Review By nature journals are very conservative, and work very hard to exclude incompetent, poorly carried out or documented, or fraudulent science. They also work to evaluate the methods used in papers submitted for consideration, all this is the process of peer review. They critically, or are supposed to, read any conclusions and discussion in the [...]

Why ova counts are worthless for measuring helminth population

Egg counts were once commonly used to estimate helminth populations in infected humans, and more commonly in animals. They were used to determine whether or not a treatment to kill the helminths, a process called helminth therapy, was appropriate. Before modern anti-helminthics in particular treatment was very unpleasant, and quite dangerous, so treatment was far more dangerous in [...]

Drug interactions with helminthic therapy

This is the first post in a series on this topic. I will expand this post rather than create many different ones, and may turn it into a page accessible from the main nav. What drugs should I avoid while on helminthic therapy? Do antibiotics kill hookworms? Can I continue to take my antihistamines while I [...]

Where science is published and how to find it – Part 3 in a Series

To understand how to find and consume science, particularly on the topic of medicine, one has to understand how it is produced and published, and some of its past. Science has not always existed, nor has medicine as we know it. In the relatively short time that the ideas of the Enlightenment have prevailed in [...]

What is Science? – Part 2 of a Series

Before we start reading scientific papers we should all agree what science is. We all know what science is, right? So what is it? From the Oxford English Dictionary (Shorter) "Theoretical perception of a truth, as contrasted with moral conviction (conscience)." Sounds a little loose a definition for my purposes, and like it is a derivation [...]