Monthly Archives: October 2011

Promising malaria vaccines in the pipeline?

Efforts at designing effective malaria vaccines have been stifled by the variation among the different strains of the parasite, but two vaccine trials have given researchers cause for hope. A small trial in Burkina Faso (involving only 45 children) found … Continue reading

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Most of the news that’s fit to print

Last week, Jason wrote a post questioning the effectiveness of Avahan, a Gates Foundation-funded program in India. What’s interesting is the disparate ways the media has portrayed the project’s results: The New York Times headline on October 10th, reads “India: … Continue reading

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Doubting the success of Avahan

There’s a piece doing the rounds on various media wires claiming that the Gates-funded Avahan program prevented a large number of HIV transmissions in India, reducing the prevalence of the virus by as much as 13% in Karnataka, the state … Continue reading

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Unsupported claim of the day: “economics is not an experimental science”

Adam is optimistic about the spread of RCTs into economics, and (like most people in development) I share his optimism. But there is a strong resistance to the rise of experimental and quasi-experimental methods in economics. In development we mainly … Continue reading

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One more reason not to smoke

MethodLogical has long been a proponent of the anti-smoking movement (as evidenced by this piece I wrote a while back)- a gutsy stance, I know. Now, the British Medical Journal is outlining yet another risk of smoking. According to a … Continue reading

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Hormonal contraceptives and HIV transmission – do we *want* to separate biology from behavior?

A new piece in the Lancet by Heffron et al. finds that hormonal contraception (specifically the injection-based method most common in sub-Saharan Africa) roughly doubles the risk of HIV transmission between an infected partner and an uninfected one. My first … Continue reading

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Don’t *artificially* restrict your experiment samples!

My colleague Adam rightfully approves of the spread of RCTs as a means of evaluating interventions, but raises a couple of important concerns about drawing inferences with them. His overall point about the generalizability of results is on point: especially … Continue reading

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