This Chart Shows You How You’ll Probably Die

Wondering how you’re most likely to die? Skip the online quizzes and morbid daydreaming, and sate your curiosity with this grim government chart.

Source: This Chart Shows You How You’ll Probably Die

I just got my genetic testing back, so I have all kinds of new, way more exotic stuff to worry about. 😀

This “Ghost Chicken” Story Is One of Science’s Strangest Urban Legends

I missed this one for yesterday 😦

Today, we remember Francis Bacon mostly for his political and scientific contributions, but the people of Highgate remember him for something else: a scientific urban legend about a food safety experiment that may (or, more likely, may not) have created a ghost chicken.

Source: This “Ghost Chicken” Story Is One of Science’s Strangest Urban Legends

Poultrygeist! 😀

This Test For Heart Disease in Newborns Costs Less Than a Diaper Change

Congenital heart disease is one of several ailments, including pneumonia and sepsis, that kill eight babies every minute, every day. But a decades-old technology, combined with a smartphone app, can tell doctors in less than 60 seconds if a baby is at risk for any of these asymptomatic, hard-to-detect killers. And in developing nations like China, it costs less than a diaper change.

Source: This Test For Heart Disease in Newborns Costs Less Than a Diaper Change

There’s some controversy in pediatrics about the utility of the oxygen saturation screening for congenital heart disease.  There are a lot of false positives and a lot of the most common types of congenital heart defects don’t result in oxygen saturation problems.  There are a lot of issues with doing this in places in the U.S. without easy access to pediatric cardiologists and echocardiography, where the false positives make it harder for kids with real issues to get seen and treated.

Expanding this into resource poor nations is a waste.  What good is a positive screen if you don’t have available echo techs, cardiologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons?  It’s only a chance at a long life if you can do something about a positive screen. For example hypoplastic left heart syndrome, one of the conditions we’re screening for, requires three complex surgeries over the first 3 years of life, months of cardiac ICU time, a really good multidisciplinary team, and is ultimately just palliative and usually ends up with a heart transplant in the teens or early twenties. So what’s the utility of screening for this in a country that is struggling to provide basic clean water and manage diseases that cost pennies to prevent or treat?