by Arthur Ruiz
A little bit of bad science can go a long way
Historians of science have always appreciated the collaborative efforts of communities of researchers, whose individual efforts can result in huge aggregate advances. For every revolutionary scientist like Isaac Newton or Nikola Tesla, who almost single-handedly changed the direction of their fields, there are numerous unsung scientists who have pushed a given discipline forward by their joint efforts. Newton and a few other Titans have planted entire mountains into the scientific landscape, while many others have resolutely contributed their pebbles. But pebbles can accumulate, and Newton himself was humble enough to observe: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Scientists rely on the results and the insights of both predecessors and peers to drive their own studies forward. As contributors, however minute, to the collective edifice known as Science, we should therefore feel a special affront when we hear of an instance of scientific fraud or malfeasance.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged bad science, big tobacco, climate change, cold fusion, history of science, piltdown man, public health policy, scientific bias, scientific fraud, shoulders of giants, vaccine, vaccine denial
Author’s name withheld by request
Many of us grow up emulating our favorite movie stars. But what if those movie stars were porn stars, and by acting like them we were preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia? LA County lawmakers behind Measure B, or the “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act” perhaps had that idea.
In a recent study by Rodriguez-Hart et al., 28% of adult film actors in a 168-participant study were found to have chlamydia and/or gonorrhea 1.This statistic is more appalling when compared to the negligible percentage of legal prostitutes in Nevada with the aforementioned STDs 2. The study continued by describing how these diseases are transmitted, blaming unprotected oral and anal sex in addition to vaginal intercourse. Of the 47 (28%) participants with the STD, only 11 (23%) of them had STDs detectable through urogenital testing alone. In addition, over 90% of the oropharyngeal and rectal cases were asymptomatic. The study concluded that undiagnosed asymptomatic STDs were common and easily transmissible to sexual partners. The authors strongly believed that every performer should be tested for STDs at all anatomical sites and should have to use condoms for sex scenes. Measure B, which thoroughly addresses both of these concerns, was passed with 56% approval during the most recent election.
by Arthur Ruiz
Amidst the negotiations between Yeshiva University and Montefiore over the fate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Einstein Community demands some answers.
Einstein Price Center
What is a University? The word “university” comes from the Latin universitas, “the whole; aggregate”, and it is a telling definition. A university is the summation of the proficiencies and resources of its academic and scientific communities. It is more than the buildings, the labs, the physical infrastructure, the financial assets – it is the people, their expertise and their relationships that produce the real value in a place like the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
However, this University is under threat. The status of Einstein has been up in the air for the past year, during which Einstein’s owner, Yeshiva University (YU), has been in negotiations with Montefiore Medical Group (MMG) to sell Einstein. Financial turmoil, court settlements and bad investments have cost YU $1.3 billion over the past decade, and Yeshiva finds itself unable or unwilling to continue to support Einstein. Partnering Einstein with MMG offers a way forward for Einstein, but negotiations have been stalled out in the past couple of months. Now YU, after spending an undisclosed amount of money on the efficiency consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal, has determined that eliminating the Sue Golding Graduate Program and its associated basic research program would reduce their budget deficit and ease their financial plight – but at what cost?
by Leah Guthrie
Simon A. Levin, a Professor of Biology at Princeton University, opened up the World Science Fair (WSF) salon on Predicting the Collapse of Complex Systems by relating a story of how ecologists predicted the 2008 financial collapse. He starts at a meeting hosted by the New York Federal Reserve on systemic or undiversifiable risk that involves the collapse of an entire market, as opposed to a specific industry (1). Levin was one of three ecologists in attendance, and they all were all struck by the evident parallels between ecological and financial systems. Their collective thoughts were published in February of 2008 in a Nature paper entitled Ecology for Bankers (Nature 451, 893-895).
by Kirsten Hartil
Cindy Baker, Personal Appearance, 2008-2012. Part of the image used in the flyer promoting Fat Studies: Bodies, Culture, Health. It depicts Cindy Baker in a custom-built professional mascot costume. Her Personal Appearance engages the notion of ‘fat geography addressing the lived reality of taboo bodies in spaces make for the ‘socio-normative’ body.
Phrases such as: “the obesity epidemic” and “the war on obesity” have become part of the daily lexicon of biomedical and public health researchers engaged in obesity research. The consequences of framing the discussion this way was the topic of Fat Studies: Bodies, Culture, Health, a panel discussion held at the New School on Monday June 16, 2014.
The four-member panel consisting of professors of clinical psychology, public health, art history, and history was moderated by Dr. Fabio Parasecoli, associate professor and coordinator of the Food Studies Program, the New School for Public Engagement.
by Kirsten Hartil
This post is a modified version of a paper submitted for the Multiculture and Diversity Issues course of Einstein’s MPH Program.
Rates of perinatal and maternal mortality are higher in the U.S. than 16 other high-income countries including the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Denmark.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the U.S. every year 25,000 infants die before their first birthday. These rates are lower than most low- and middle-income countries. Sierra Leone, for example had an infant mortality rate of 117 deaths per 1,000 in 2012. Still, according to Save the Children’s 14th annual State of the World’s Mothers report, 50 percent more newborns die within their first 24 hours in the U.S. compared to all other industrialized countries combined.
Congenital malformations, pre-term birth or low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and maternal complications and injuries (e.g., suffocation) are the major causes of infant mortality in the U.S., accounting for 57% of all infant deaths in the United States in 2010.
by Ramon A. Robertson
With an estimate of 240 million calls per year, 9-1-1 operators are shockingly busy — collectively, that’s a numbing 8 incoming calls per second in perpetuity across the nation. 2 While Emergency Medical Services (EMS) have expanded to meet the public demand, they have shriveled (by force) in their agency and potency to deliver patient-centered care to the community. Unfortunately, it is the money trail that leads us toward the single greatest accounting contributor of their diminished efficacy: their compensation is strictly linked to a fee-for-service model, that directly rewards transportation and often overlooks (or sidelines) infield medical care. 1 To be clear: EMS is only paid if they ultimately transport patients to the hospital; the lights-and-sirens response, the onsite acute medical care, and any other instructive/supporting measures, do not alone command reimbursement. 1 From a business perspective, this sets up an unhealthy nidus for the management of patients with sub-transportative needs, and encourages over-aggressive and/or needless advanced care maneuvers and/or routing. 1 Not only does this payment model uncannily usurp the medical role of EMS workers (by relegating them to mere transportation functions), but it also adds to the already intolerable weight of non-emergent cases currently cluttering hospital emergency departments.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged community paramedicine, emergency medical care, emergency medicine, emergency response services, EMS, EMT, healthcare policy, healthcare reimbursement, New York Mobile Integrated Healthcare Association, NYMIHA, paramedics