Welcome to the third month of 2020


or to the first if you were born before 150 B.C.! According to the oldest Roman calendars, one year comprised 10 months, beginning in March and ending in December. You can still see traces of this old system in our modern calendar. Due to December being the 10th month, it was named for the number ten in Latin (decem). Likewise, September was named for seven (septem). What about January and February? They were simply called “winter.” As winter was significantly worse in the past, it didn’t deserve a spot on the calendar.

Client profile: Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa

Client profile: Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa

Today, we would like to introduce you to Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa, an accomplished otorhinolaryngologist. While our collaboration has just started, we are already inspired by his work on olfaction.

Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa currently leads the Department of Head and Neck Pathologies at the Referral Provincial Hospital of Bukavu, Sud-Kivu, Congo. He also gives lectures at the Faculty of Medicine in the same city. To this end, he has come a long way.

Finding the financial and administrative resources needed to specialize was no easy task. Before becoming an otorhinolaryngologist, he acted as medical director in two hospital centers. When the time had come, in 2010, he brilliantly presented his thesis titled “Etiopathogenic and bacteriological profile of chronic tonsillitis operated on in the hospital setting of Kinshasa” at the University of Kinshasa. He also obtained a complementary specialization certificate at the Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, in 2013. Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa still undertakes numerous training programs abroad.

Today, Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa continues his bright career. His primary fields of interest include olfactory disorders. He will present his PhD thesis “Evaluation of olfactory sensitivity in the normal population of Sud-Kivu and impact of endemic pathologies on olfaction” in Brussels in 2020. An article on olfactory disorders in Sud-Kivu will be shortly published in a peer-reviewed journal.

We will keep you up to date and wish Dr. Patrick Balungwe Birindwa all the success he deserves!

And yet another paper accepted for publication!

And yet another paper accepted for publication!

Biotin (vitamin H or B7) is an enzyme cofactor bioavailable from food intake, which is also synthesized by the gut microbiota. Nowadays, this molecule is increasingly employed for therapeutic or cosmetic purposes…

However, biotin is a leading cause of interferences with immunoassays using the streptavidin-biotin immobilization system. While these interferences have been well described for hormones, little data is currently available concerning its impact on serological markers of viral infections.

The study, now accepted for publication, analyzed the effects of biotin supplementation on hepatitis serological markers. Ten healthy volunteers received 100g of biotin in one dose, with blood samples taken before and after biotin intake. Consequently, biotin ingestion significantly affected anti-HBs (p = 0.008), anti-HBc (p = 0.002), and anti-HBe (p = 0.002) levels. For anti-HBc and anti-HBe measurements, biotin intake was associated with a drop in signals corresponding to baseline values in 90.0% and 80.0% of the cases, respectively.

The results confirm that the scope of biotin interference is broader than commonly described. Therefore, HBV, HCV, and HIV serological markers are likely to be highly sensitive to biotin.

Writing persuasive web content

Writing persuasive web content

Continuous content publication is key to your online marketing success. Here are a few tips that should help you with your web content production.

    • Put the most essential information first

    Writing for the web differs from writing a paper. When you write for the web, the most essential content must always come first. This writing strategy is called the inverse pyramid. Readers need to understand from the outset what it is all about.

    • Use familiar words

    Don’t try to embellish everything you write, or try to sound particularly scientific or creative. Your visitor is always in a hurry. Overly “clever” writing requires people to think, and asking people to think too much doesn’t work well on the web.

    • Write for lazy people

    Don’t forget that your readers are lazy. Therefore, you need to make your editorial content easy to read: use short sentences, use short paragraphs, leave out unnecessary words, and avoid the passive voice as much as possible.

    • Make a visual impression

    The visual appeal of your website significantly impacts the readability of your content. Therefore, where appropriate, use illustrations and visual aids.

Chopin’s final wish

Chopin’s final wish

In 1831, Chopin, the great Polish composer and pianist, moved to Paris. He stayed there until his death at the age of 39. On his death bed, he made a final wish. He wanted his heart to be repatriated to his native country, Poland.

His sister, Ludwika, took care of it and took Chopin’s heart back to Warsaw in a jar filled with cognac. The musician’s body, deprived of his heart, was buried at the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Frédéric Chopin had fragile health throughout his short life. George Sand, his mistress, used to call him “my little sickly man.” Until recently, Chopin’s death was attributed to tuberculosis. In 2018, technological progress made it possible for histopathology experts to examine Chopin’s heart. According to their analyses, it is very likely that tuberculosis indeed caused Chopin’s death. Granulomatous lesions were found in the pericardium, matching perfectly with the initial diagnosis of tuberculosis. However, it is impossible to exclude cystic fibrosis without DNA analysis.