News, events, and articles!!!

Posted: January 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Analysis of the economic impact of medical schools and teaching hospitals. As ASPET reports, “The latest analysis of the economic impact of medical schools and teaching hospitals, conducted on behalf of the AAMC by economic consulting firm Tripp Umbach,  shows that the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals had a combined economic impact of $587 billion and supported nearly 3.5 million jobs directly or indirectly in 2011. This means that, in 2011, one in every 40 wage earners in the United States worked either directly or indirectly for a U.S. medical school or teaching hospital. Since the last time the study was conducted in 2008, the total employment impact of these institutions increased by four percent, or 136,831 jobs.”

“But now researchers have shown that in some cases, they can trace research subjects’ DNA back to them with ease. And they say the risk of being identified from genetic information will only increase.”

“Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, now in its 50th year of print, offers a unique way to understand the debate over fracking. Kuhn speculates that two people might “see different things when looking at the same sorts of objects.” Jane looks at a gas pad site and sees an environmental apocalypse. Dick looks at the same site and sees a clean energy boon. Jane sees corporate colonialism. Dick sees an energy independent America.” Very interesting article discussing paradigm perceptions and “precautionary” vs. “proactionary” paradigm.

“US President Barack Obama waded directly into scientific politics yesterday when he announced a series of measures addressing gun violence in the wake of the 14 December shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 people dead — 20 of them children….One of them was a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public-health service agencies to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it”.

“Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the US National Institutes of Health, reflects on the second anniversary of her precedent-setting blog.”

“Rumours of US energy secretary Steven Chu’s imminent departure, swirling for weeks, picked up again on Thursday. If confirmed, the Nobel laureate’s departure would very nearly complete the list of resignations by members of President Barack Obama’s vaunted environment team.”

“The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today made public almost all supporting documents and data submitted by Monsanto for the authorization in 2003 of its genetically modified maize (corn) NK603. The data were released alongside the announcement by the EFSA that it intends to embark on a broad transparency initiative designed to make data from its risk assessments more available to the broad scientific community and other interested parties.”

“More than 140 nations agreed yesterday to a treaty to limit mercury emissions and releases. Delegates in Geneva concluded 4 years of negotiations with an all-night session, coming to final agreement at 7:00 a.m. Saturday. The Minimata Convention—named for a city in Japan where thousands of people were injured or killed by mercury poisoning—will require its signatory nations to phase out the use of mercury in certain types of batteries, fluorescent lamps, and soaps and cosmetics by 2020.”

“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first seasonal flu vaccine comprised of recombinant proteins, rather than inactivated or weakened virus.”

“Norwegian pregnant women who received a vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus showed no increased risk of pregnancy loss, while pregnant women who experienced influenza during pregnancy had an increased risk of miscarriages and still births, a study has found. The study suggests that influenza infection may increase the risk of fetal loss.”

“The ongoing Midwest drought has had many repercussions. They include the fact that the Mississippi River—sometimes called “The Big Muddy”—is muddier than usual this year, causing problems and massive anxiety about shipping on the river.”

“Next week, the National Institutes of Health will get some long-awaited advice from a working group that has been studying what the agency should do with its current research chimps. That group may recommend retiring a lot more chimps.”

Politico article covering the effect of sequestration on biomedical research, including an interview with NIH director Dr. Francis Collins.

The current particularly bad flu seasons, as covered by NPR.


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