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Category Archives: Health Care

Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak

Gostin, Lawrence O., Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak (February 12, 2015). JAMA Online, February 2015. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2564724 “This article explores the legal and ethical landscape of vaccine exemptions. While all states require childhood vaccinations, they differ significantly in the types of religiousContinue Reading

Untested unregulated chemicals in consumer products are hazardous to your health

“GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals is a method for comparative chemical hazard assessment. It is used by a wide range of professionals, governmental bodies, non-profits, businesses, formulators, and product developers, and anybody interested in assessing the inherent hazards of chemicals and their potential effect on human health and the environment.” “Diseases of our modern age areContinue Reading

UK’s most popular pedigree dog to have genome sequenced

The Guardian – how scientists aim to root out disease in dogs: “The labrador retriever, of which there are yellow, chocolate and black varieties, is the UK’s most popular pedigree dog. It is estimated there are several hundred thousand living in homes round the country today, a popularity that has much to do with theContinue Reading

Data-driven journalism project revealed racial disparities in U.S. nursing homes

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein via Storybench – part of the Media Innovation track at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism:  “In 2009, while at The Chicago Reporter, I took a deep look at racial disparities in the quality of care in nursing homes in Chicago, Illinois and nationally. For a project that the Center for Public Integrity published inContinue Reading

Scientists develop comparative search engine that helps to predict human gene function

“The Human Genome Project wrapped up over a decade ago, yet around a third of the genome remains mysterious, its function unknown. Now, School of Medicine researchers have developed a comparative search engine that uses evolutionary correlations between human and other species’ genes to help identify human gene function.” After the human genome was sequenced,Continue Reading

New dosages of old drugs are used to raise their prices

New York Times (02/11/15) Meier, Barry: “Over the last 2 years, states nationwide have moved to crack down on so-called physician dispensing of prescription drugs, a practice largely limited to doctors who treat injured workers. Recent studies suggest that doctors and companies have responded by exploiting loopholes in those rules and adopting new strategies toContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – DOD Building Partner Capacity, Defense Business Transformation, GAO’s High-Risk Series, Mental Health

Building Partner Capacity: DOD Should Improve Its Reporting to Congress on Challenges to Expanding Ministry of Defense Advisors Program, GAO-15-279: Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2015. Defense Business Transformation: DOD Has Taken Some Steps to Address Weaknesses, but Additional Actions Are Needed, GAO-15-213:Published: Feb 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 201 GAO’sContinue Reading

For Preventing Disease, Data Are the New Drugs

Is giving up your biological secrets too bitter a pill? By Tim McDonnell: “…A new cadre of medical researchers believes that examining the full genetic information of as many people as possible will reveal not just the cures for health problems ranging from pre-term birth to cancer and autism, but the predictive insight to preventContinue Reading

Remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph

Google Official Blog: “…starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph. We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages itContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Technologies, Land-Use Agreements, Medicaid, Prenatal Drug Use

Critical Technologies: Agency Initiatives Address Some Weaknesses, but Additional Interagency Collaboration Is Needed, GAO-15-288: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Land-Use Agreements: Improved Data Reliability and Monitoring Needed for Department of Veterans Affairs, GAO-15-134T: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Medicaid: Additional Federal Action Needed to Further Improve Third-PartyContinue Reading

Exposure to mercury, seafood associated with risk factor for autoimmune disease

Emily C. Somers, Martha A. Ganser, Jeffrey S. Warren, Niladri Basu, Lu Wang, Suzanna M. Zick, Sung Kyun Park. Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408751 Science Daily: “One of the greatest risk factors for autoimmunity among women of childbearing ageContinue Reading

Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics

Afshinnekoo et al, Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics, CELS (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cels.2015.01.001 “The panoply of microorganisms and other species present in our environment influence human health and disease, especially in cities, but have not been profiled with metagenomics at a city-wide scale. We sequenced DNA from surfaces across the entire NewContinue Reading