Meta-analysis “is a group of statistical techniques that enable data from more than one study to be combined and analyzed as a new dataset”. As we are inundated with scientific studies of all kinds, meta-analysis can be a useful technique to better understand comparisons of findings from data. However, it can be a confusing technique at first glance, so the author has delved into five tips to better understand the conclusions from meta-analysis.
If you find yourself asking: “what metrics should [I] think about when looking to publish [my] research in a journal, or when making recommendations to colleagues on which journal to submit work to?”, consider the article entitled Research metrics: Everything you need to know published by the Taylor & Francis Group.
The article provides a unique catalogue of useful articles for guidance and support for researchers, journal editors, and librarians as well as overarching tips for better selecting where to publish your research, how best to edit a journal, and how to guide colleagues as a librarian.
Electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNS) are increasingly being used by researchers and scientists. “ELNs comprise software that helps researchers to document experiments, and that often has features such as protocol templates, collaboration tools, support for electronic signatures and the ability to manage the lab inventory". As younger individuals, who tend to expect and embrace electronic systems in general, begin to fill research roles, they are electing to use ELNs as well. Though use is growing, as there are currently 72 active ELN products, they are not yet ubiquitous.
JAMA Internal Medicine published findings this month that found when “compared with emergency-only dialysis, scheduled dialysis significantly reduced 1-year mortality, hospitalizations, and costs among undocumented immigrants with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, in “40 of 50 US states, scheduled dialysis is withheld from undocumented immigrants with ESRD; instead, they receive intermittent emergency-only dialysis to treat life-threatening manifestations of ESRD’”.
“The UW Program for Advanced Cell Therapy (PACT) will use the personalized cell therapy treatment to study its effects on a viral infection faced by around 30-40% of kidney and/or pancreas transplant recipients.
Nearly one in three children is infected with CMV by age 5, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can cause fever, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen glands. For people with stable immune systems, the virus is usually kept in check and doesn't cause symptoms. For transplant patients, their immune system is suppressed and an infection could be fatal.
Google’s launch of Dataset Search on September 5 is a great step forward for researchers in search of data online that is “freely available to use”. Aimed at “scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else” the new service will provide a service that assists the open-data movement by providing a simpler way to find and re-use data from “government agencies, scientific publishers, research institutions and even individual researchers”.
“Exome sequencing in a cohort of over 3,000 patients demonstrated genetic causes of chronic kidney disease in about 10% of cases and genetic testing may aid in the treatment of these patients”.
The study, which was conducted with funds by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others, incorporated 3,307 patients over the age of 21, and 1,179 (35.6%) were of self-identified non-European ancestry. They “detected diagnostic variants in 307 of the 3,315 patients (9.3%), encompassing 66 different monogenic disorders. Of the disorders detected, 39 (59%) were found in only a single patient. Diagnostic variants were detected across all clinically defined categories, including congenital or cystic renal disease (127 of 531 patients [23.9%]) and nephropathy of unknown origin (48 of 281 patients [17.1%]). Of the 2,187 patients assessed, 34 (1.6%) had genetic findings for medically actionable disorders that, although unrelated to their nephropathy, would also lead to subspecialty referral and inform renal management”.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in conjunction with the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, recently “released a list of specific nephrology tests and procedures that are commonly ordered but not always necessary when treating children for kidney-related conditions”.
The Choosing Wisely recommendations include:
Choosing Wisely® is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, which seeks to promote conversations between clinicians and patients in choosing care that is supported by evidence; does not duplicate other tests or procedures already received; is free from harm; and truly necessary.