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Old 06-20-2005, 05:35 PM   #16
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Primary literature are papers published in scientific journals - places like Nature, Science, Cell, EMBO, The New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, the various journals (Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Paediatrics, Journal of Immunology, etc), and so on. They contain published research from labs around the world. That is where the papers get their scientific bits from.

It is the best way to get educated on a scientific issue because it is data with a discussion which may entail a hypothesis to explain it, or directives for future research. But because it is just raw data, there is no politicking and no op-eds, just numbers and experimental results. You are getting the uneditorialized version and then you can come to a conclusion yourself whether the study was adequate and whether their findings were conclusive and showed what the authors claim they showed.

To find them, you have to do a search at NCBI, but I think for most papers these days you will need an access code (unless you want to shell out the cash for them), and unfortunately you won't have access unless you are in the field or a student at a university who can log on either through their library system or through a proxy server.
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Primary literature are papers published in scientific journals - places like Nature, Science, Cell, EMBO, The New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, the various journals (Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Paediatrics, Journal of Immunology, etc), and so on. They contain published research from labs around the world. That is where the papers get their scientific bits from.

It is the best way to get educated on a scientific issue because it is data with a discussion which may entail a hypothesis to explain it, or directives for future research. But because it is just raw data, there is no politicking and no op-eds, just numbers and experimental results. You are getting the uneditorialized version and then you can come to a conclusion yourself whether the study was adequate and whether their findings were conclusive and showed what the authors claim they showed.

To find them, you have to do a search at NCBI, but I think for most papers these days you will need an access code (unless you want to shell out the cash for them), and unfortunately you won't have access unless you are in the field or a student at a university who can log on either through their library system or through a proxy server.
Thanks. Do you have access to these types of papers through school or otherwise? Since I don't and won't pay for it, I wonder if these malaria numbers are even remotely accurate. It seems that the only people who want to continue the ban on DDT are Western nations who are practically immune to the effects of it. Just from a quick run down on the Internet it appears that there are many organizations over in Africa who want the west to stop making it so hard for them to make their own decision on what type of pesticides they want to use in order to save lives.
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:14 PM   #18
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Yes, I have access through my job. If I have a bit of time tomorrow, I can do a search. Unfortunately I left my access card with my password at work so I can't get the full text at the moment.
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:22 PM   #19
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These look like a good place to start:

Wendo C (2004) Uganda considers DDT to protect homes from malaria. Lancet 363: 1376


Butler D (2004) Global fund changes tack on malaria therapy. Nature 429: 588
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:34 PM   #20
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Originally posted by anitram
Yes, I have access through my job. If I have a bit of time tomorrow, I can do a search. Unfortunately I left my access card with my password at work so I can't get the full text at the moment.
Cool!
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:45 PM   #21
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I have no experience w/ biology, but I do have access to many research databases so here's a few abstracts if it helps those like me who have no idea what good primary information on biochemical debates even looks like...

Quote:
Sci Total Environ. 2005 May 12;
DDT and human health.

Beard J; Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration.

University of Sydney and Southern Cross University, PO Box 3074, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia.

1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2'bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane (DDT) was the first widely used synthetic pesticide and is extremely persistent in both the environment and the human body. The introduction of DDT revolutionised agricultural production and has been credited with the elimination of malaria from the United States and Europe. However, DDT is also known to have had major environmental consequences and has been associated with dramatic declines in many animal populations. Although DDT use has generally been restricted since the early 1970s, exposure to the pesticide remains widespread. In developed countries, slow elimination from the body means a large proportion of the population still have detectable levels of DDT, or its metabolite DDE, in their serum or adipose tissue. In developing countries, the pesticide continues to be used for vector control and a significant proportion of breast-fed babies has daily intakes above recommended levels. This review considers the epidemiological evidence for possible adverse effects of human exposure to DDT. Much of this research is weakened by methodological flaws. However, recent methods in breast cancer research using nested studies in cohorts with stored biological samples have allowed a more rigorous assessment of a putative role for DDT in disease aetiology. While DDT does not appear to play a causative role in breast cancer development, there is suggestive evidence for a role in the aetiology of other conditions such as pancreatic cancer, neuropsychological dysfunction, and reproductive outcomes. Research into these and other conditions would benefit from the same rigorous approaches used in breast cancer research. Until further high quality evidence is available, it is still too early, even 60 years after the introduction of this once ubiquitous chemical, to pass judgement on the role of DDT in a number of common diseases.
Quote:
Author(s): Breman JG ; Alilio MS ; Mills A
Affiliation: Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries Project, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. jbreman@nih.gov
Title: Conquering the intolerable burden of malaria: what's new, what's needed: a summary.
Source: Am J Trop Med Hyg (The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene.) 2004 Aug; 71(2) Suppl: 1-15
Additional Info: United States
Standard No: ISSN: 0002-9637; NLM Unique Journal Identifier: 0370507
Language: English
Abstract: Each year, up to three million deaths due to malaria and close to five billion episodes of clinical illness possibly meriting antimalarial therapy occur throughout the world, with Africa having more than 90% of this burden. Almost 3% of disability adjusted life years are due to malaria mortality globally, 10% in Africa. New information is presented in this supplement on malaria-related perinatal mortality, occurrence of human immunodeficiency virus in pregnancy, undernutrition, and neurologic, cognitive, and developmental sequelae. The entomologic determinants of transmission and uses of modeling for program planning and disease prediction and prevention are discussed. New data are presented from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe on the increasing urban malaria problem and on epidemic malaria. Between 6% and 28% of the malaria burden may occur in cities, which comprise less than 2% of the African surface. Macroeconomic projections show that the costs are far greater than the costs of individual cases, with a substantial deleterious impact of malaria on schooling of patients, external investments into endemic countries, and tourism. Poor populations are at greatest risk; 58% of the cases occur in the poorest 20% of the world's population and these patients receive the worst care and have catastrophic economic consequences from their illness. This social vulnerability requires better understanding for improving deployment, access, quality, and use of effective interventions. Studies from Ghana and elsewhere indicate that for every patient with febrile illness assumed to be malaria seen in health facilities, 4-5 episodes occur in the community. Effective actions for malaria control mandate rational public policies; market forces, which often drive sales and use of drugs and other interventions, are unlikely to guarantee their use. Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for malaria is rapidly gaining acceptance as an effective approach for countering the spread and intensity of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to chloroquine, sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, and other antimalarial drugs. Although costly, ACT ($1.20-2.50 per adult treatment) becomes more cost-effective as resistance to alternative drugs increases; early use of ACT may delay development of resistance to these drugs and prevent the medical toll associated with use of ineffective drugs. The burden of malaria in one district in Tanzania has not decreased since the primary health care approach replaced the vertical malaria control efforts of the 1960s. Despite decentralization, this situation resulted, in part, from weak district management capacity, poor coordination, inadequate monitoring, and lack of training of key staff. Experience in the Solomon Islands showed that spraying with DDT, use of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs), and health education were all associated with disease reduction. The use of nets permitted a reduction in DDT spraying, but could not replace it without an increased malaria incidence. Baseline data and reliable monitoring of key outcome indicators are needed to measure whether the ambitious goals for the control of malaria and other diseases has occurred. Such systems are being used for evidence-based decision making in Tanzania and several other countries. Baseline cluster sampling surveys in several countries across Africa indicate that only 53% of the children with febrile illness in malarious areas are being treated; chloroquine (CQ) is used 84% of the time, even where the drug may be ineffective. Insecticide-treated bed nets were used only 2% of the time by children less than five years of age. Progress in malaria vaccine research has been substantial over the past five years; 35 candidate malaria vaccines are in development, many of which are in clinical trials. Development of new vaccines and drugs has been the result of increased investments and formation of public-private partnerships. Before malaria vaccine becomes deployed, consideration must be given to disease burden, cost-effectiveness, financing, delivery systems, and approval by regulatory agencies. Key to evaluation of vaccine effectiveness will be collection and prompt analysis of epidemiologic information. Training of persons in every aspect of malaria research and control is essential for programs to succeed. The Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) is actively promoting research capacity strengthening and has established networks of institutions and scientists throughout the African continent, most of whom are now linked by modern information-sharing networks. Evidence over the past century is that successful control malaria programs have been linked to strong research activities. To ensure effective coordination and cooperation between the growing number of research and control coalitions forming in support of malaria activities, an umbrella group is needed. With continued support for scientists and control workers globally, particularly in low-income malarious countries, the long-deferred dream of malaria elimination can become a reality.

Copyright 2004 The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Quote:
Author(s): Chen A ; Rogan WJ
Affiliation: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.
Title: Nonmalarial infant deaths and DDT use for malaria control.
Source: Emerg Infect Dis (Emerging infectious diseases.) 2003 Aug; 9(8): 960-4
Additional Info: United States
Standard No: ISSN: 1080-6040; NLM Unique Journal Identifier: 9508155
Language: English
Abstract: Although dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) is being banned worldwide, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have sought exemptions for malaria control. Few studies show illness in children from the use of DDT, and the possibility of risks to them from DDT use has been minimized. However, plausible if inconclusive studies associate DDT with more preterm births and shorter duration of lactation, which raise the possibility that DDT does indeed have such toxicity. Assuming that these associations are causal, we estimated the increase in infant deaths that might result from DDT spraying. The estimated increases are of the same order of magnitude as the decreases from effective malaria control. Unintended consequences of DDT use need to be part of the discussion of modern vector control policy.
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Old 06-21-2005, 07:46 AM   #22
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Assuming that these associations are causal, we estimated the increase in infant deaths that might result from DDT spraying. The estimated increases are of the same order of magnitude as the decreases from effective malaria control. Unintended consequences of DDT use need to be part of the discussion of modern vector control policy.
It sounds like the assertion is that infant deaths caused by DDT are of the same magnitude as of infant deaths caused by Malaria.

I find that hard to believe as I've never heard of a corresponding study of infant mortality rates in the West during the heyday of DDT spraying. (Although I'm open to anyone who can find it)

One thing curiously missing is the mortality rates of children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. If the infant deaths are comparable with DDT and Malaria but the death rates of Adults is reduced significantly, then it seems that you use the lesser of two evils.

and thanks for the general congeniality in this thread.
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:45 AM   #23
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From what I know a lot of the DDT use is concentrated in spraying homes not fields. So perhaps there is a lower risk of contaminated crops. I'm not an expert, but I do know that malaria kills. I have friends here who have lost young children to this disease.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:35 AM   #24
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You know, while we're talking about poisoning the landscape with DDT, anti-malaria medication already exists, but pharmaceutical companies continue to make less and less of it, because "there's no profit." So while we've been obsessed with poisoning the environment and pumping Africans full of AIDS drugs, we already have malaria drugs that Africans are plain just not getting. So where is old Phyllis writing a tirade against the pharmaceutical companies for not making malaria medication? Oh that's right. They write checks to the Republican Party.

Melon
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:49 AM   #25
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Yeah I think Bethany's right; you're not supposed to spray the fields in this case but use small amounts in the house and on the mosquite nets (if you can afford those). I do think the woman who wrote the column is underestimating the effects DDT can have on populations. That book 'Silent Spring' might have been exaggerated them (I haven't read it) but today in 2005 we pretty much know what problems bio-accumulation of persistant chemicals can cause. DDT, together with PCB's nearly wiped out the Dutch populations of birds of prey, seals and pretty much everything on the top of the foodchain.

However, we're talking about smaller quantities here so the environmental effects might be negligible but only a morron would even think of spraying this shit in children's bedrooms before doing some more research on the subject. Anyway, I'm not sure why they would use DDT for this. There are other pesticides which are more effective and less hazardous for the environment, but of course, they might be a little bit more expensive and we in the West do enjoy helping out as long as it doesn't cost too much. Also, the link Rono posted sounds like a more sensible sollution, together with a better distribution of anti-malaria drugs.

By the way, aren't mosquitos notorious for becoming immune for pesticides in the long run?
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Old 06-21-2005, 10:30 AM   #26
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I have a question: when I was in Tanzania, for a bout a week we stayed at a really nice hostel in Bukoba and during the day the maids would come in, draw back the curtains, and open our windows (no screens). Then in the evening, they'd come back, close the windows, and spray something all over the room. They said it was to kill the mosquitoes (we didn't have nets to use at this place). Is that DDT?
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Old 06-21-2005, 03:39 PM   #27
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I don't trust Phyllis Schlafly as far as I could throw Edinburgh Castle. If someone else had written this article I'd feel better about it. Yes, malaria is a killer disease. But it's part of Schlafly's agenda to screw the environmental movement. I'm not saying that the environmentalists are always right. They're not. They've been insensitive to unemployment concerns in the past, for example. But Shlafly's shot her credibility with me because of her social agenda, which I'm allergic to.
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Old 06-21-2005, 05:21 PM   #28
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Thanks everyone for the opinions and facts. Definitely a subject worth knowing more about.
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:44 PM   #29
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
This thread isn't about homosexuality or for that matter Republicans; must every single thread be brought down like that. Play the issues not the players.
Yes, they must. That must immediately be followed up bringing Christian-bashing into it too.
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Old 06-21-2005, 06:47 PM   #30
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Originally posted by melon
You know, while we're talking about poisoning the landscape with DDT, anti-malaria medication already exists, but pharmaceutical companies continue to make less and less of it, because "there's no profit." So while we've been obsessed with poisoning the environment and pumping Africans full of AIDS drugs, we already have malaria drugs that Africans are plain just not getting. So where is old Phyllis writing a tirade against the pharmaceutical companies for not making malaria medication? Oh that's right. They write checks to the Republican Party.

Melon
And yet many countries which couldn't/wouldn't buy Malaria meds could afford high pereformance fighter jets.

And as for the pharmaceutical companies, they are beholden to their shareholders, blame THEM if you want to blame anyone for the companies' desire to turn a profit.
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