Researchers at the Paris Diderot University found a link between colicky babies and adult migraines (in the babies as they become adults, not their parents. Although I imagine there may be a correlation there as well.) Infantile colic is a common cause of crying that cannot be quieted during the first months of life. This is thought to be a pain syndrome. Migraine are a common cause of headache pain in children and adults. I was an inconsolable crier, my mother reminds me any chance she gets. I also suffered bad headaches all through my childhood, they were never diagnosed with migraines. I also was treated for chronic sinusitis for years as an adult, until I diagnosed myself with cluster headaches and got the doctor to prescribe caffergot for me. The caffergot, cleared the dagger like pain in my head up quite effectively, confirming my diagnosis. I feel it's likely that I had been suffering from cluster headaches all my life. I find the correlation interesting. The study admits that further longitudinal studies are necessary, but I is is certainly suggestive. I recommend reading this article.
This paper is particularly interesting to me. I worked on telomerase earlier in my career, and had actually discovered a novel series of inhibitors using pharmacophore modeling. They eventually proved to have PK issues, but hey, this was before all the physical property/PK-PD relations was well understood. Knowing structural information would have been very useful. I used nucleotide binding site HIV molecules to construct a pharmacophore and searched the ACD (for you youngsters, that was a product MDL sold with ISIS that contained available chemicals) and ordered a few dozen molecules. And by gum! we got about a 30% hit rate from that. As I mentioned, the telomerase project went no where, but such is life on the mean streets of drug discovery.
One other fact is the Julie Feigon, the principle author was a young new faculty member at UCLA when I was getting my Ph.D. She was pioneering protein NMR and I thought she was quite exceptional. I am quite impressed with this feather in her cap, and I can say I knew her back when...
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation released its report on Global Burden of Diseases. The report can be found here. There are many excellent examples of data envisioning in it. I recommend playing around with them, particularly if you are a graph junkie like me. The Guardian reported with one particularly striking interactive visualization. The top two causes of death in the developing world are lower respiratory infections and diarrhea. In the the developed world we have ischemic heart disease and stroke. In fact you have to go down to number 16 to find a non-preventable cause in the developed world where lower respiratory infections pops in. It should be a surprise to anyone that we have very different disease profiles, but we should keep in mind that people in the developing world (where most of the people are) die from infectious disease while we in the rich northern hemisphere die from our own overindulgence. Makes one think.
Adam Kallel Ph. D.
Our CSO sounds off about drug discovery, computational chemistry and history