In DepthCOVID-19

New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami

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Science  29 May 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6494, pp. 924-925
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6494.924

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  • RE: Another System to Keep Clinicians Afloat in the Deluge of COVID-19 Literature
    • Nicholas Andersen, Scientist, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, Office of Research and Education
    • Other Contributors:
      • Paul Egeler, Engineer, Data Analyst, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, Office of Research and Education
      • Brenna Kizer, Intern, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, Office of Research and Education
      • Jessica Parker, Biostatistician, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, Office of Research and Education
      • Nicole Mitchell, Epidemiologist, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, Office of Research and Education
      • Nicholas Duesbery, Director of Research Operations, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, Office of Research and Education

    It is with interest that we read the Science news article on how scientists are drowning in COVID-19 literature. Brainard identifies two approaches to dealing with the influx of information: 1) classification of documents using machine learning and 2) manual curation of a research compendium. We would like to introduce a third approach, which, unlike unsupervised clustering algorithms, leverages human discretion and can scale better than intensive curation efforts.

    Clinicians from a regional health system reached out to our group (a research scientific support team) indicating the need for a reliable selection of relevant and scientifically robust medical literature on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. They too expressed concern over staying “afloat” in the sea of literature. At that time, PubMed LitCOVID contained over 1,400 English language articles; it has since swelled to over 15,600 articles in two months.

    To address this need, our team established the LitCOVID Systematic Review—a national collaboration—to quickly assess articles from PubMed LitCOVID in a two-stage process. Articles are assigned to volunteers for review based on recency and triage priority level. Scores are generated based on the Level of Evidence, appropriateness of statistical analysis, study reproducibility, and whether the results support the conclusions. Reviewer perception of clinical importance also affects the score . The questionnaire also characterizes each article by several unscor...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Bedside early psichokinetic diagnosis of Coronavirus contagion ad overt disease-
    • Sergio Stagnaro, Director, Quantum Biophysical Semeiotic Research Laboratory

    What accounts for the reason the bedside early psichokinetic diagnosis of COVID-19 contagion and overtdisease, of course, is overlooked all around the world (1-5) ? As a consequence, physicians are not informed about this inexpensive, reliable, fast-running, early clinical diagnosis.
    Among a lot of signs, the reliable and refined Spattini’s Sign, applicated on scheletric muscle, for instance, the quadriceps muscle, allows physician to diagnose healthy individual as well as subjects involved by COVID-19 contagion, so that healthy carriers can be recognized in 10 seconds (1).
    Beside 10 diseased individuals, involved by SARS-COV-2, there are about 8 healthy carriers, ignoring that they are disseminating the coronavirus, due to the scarse sensitivity of pharingeal swab.
    In a comment on NEJM, I have summarized the bedside diagnosis of coronavirus contagion, made quickly with a common stethoscope.
    The interesting data collected in my ongoing clinical research have allowed to describe a clinical fight at Covid-19 by optimizing the immune defenses and eliminating the triad - mitochondrial impairment, insufficiency of the functions of the thymus and the Inherited Real Risk of Pneumopathy, I hav...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Fear and Panic created more complications than SARS-Cov2

    The pandemic created by COVID-19 has profound effect on all walks of life Globally. The warriors stretched their muscles to fight it with all their might. The fight against SARS-Cov 2 is initiated with a big bang publicity that there is no medicine to control the virus. Infected patients admitted in to hospitals in large numbers , Doctors paramedical forces are investing full potential including giving up their lives to protect patients. Parallel exercise to understand the biology, infectious nature of the virus and treatment approaches flooded the scientific literature.
    Patients admitted in hospitals are recovering well (recover rate of about 40% in India) and are being discharged after certifying/testing them. Does this mean that there is treatment, but no medicine? Publicizing no medicine creating scare among public !!!. The morbidity is high due to the spread of virus, but the mortality is ~3%. The focus is on how to reduce/ control it. The tsunami of scientific literature is aimed to deal with this. The deaths caused by other diseases like Cancer, Heart attacks, diabetes or other viral infections like HIV, Ebola and others are much higher than the mortality caused by COVID 19.
    Large number of laboratories are re-orienting them selves or focusing on understanding the Pandemic caused by COVID 19. This is the need of the hour and also for tacking future situations like this. But creating hysteria among common man is unwanted. It can be...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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