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Latest Posts

Do You Own Your Genome?

Human Genome

As the costs of sequencing our DNA shrink and the roles of digital media in our lives expand, we will need to understand who (or what) controls the ownership, access and use of our genomic information.

From state regulation to Google to Facebook, who controls the acquisition, transmission and replication of our genomic information and material will become an important battle in the 21st century. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

Scitable: A Shared Learning Space For Science

I recently come across Scitable, a Nature Education initiative, that aims to bring together a library of scientific overviews with a worldwide community of scientists, researchers, teachers and students. From Scitable:

[Scitable is] a free science library and personal learning tool brought to you by Nature Publishing Group, the world’s leading publisher of science. Scitable currently concentrates on genetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Pro-Test: Human Lives Improved By Responsible Animal Research

[On April 8th] at the University of California at Los Angeles, a rally [was] planned to raise awareness about the value of responsible animal research and to denounce acts of terrorism toward animal researchers and their families. The highlight of the “Pro-Test” rally [was] the presentation to legislators and the media a petition with nearly 12,000 signatures of scientists who support the use of animals in research.

The rally and the petition drive [was] a joint effort of Americans for Medical Progress, Pro-Test for Science, and Speaking of Research.

I stand together with my colleagues who conduct animal research in honor of their application of knowledge to advance biology and relieve human suffering, all while a growing movement of animal rights activists up the ante from protests to attacks on researchers, destruction of homes by arson, and even the vandalism of graves of researchers’ loved ones. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*

Topical Medications And Bathing: A Source Of Water Pollution

I have written two posts in the past on proper disposal of unused medications, and I have always been mindful of the medicines as a source of environmental water pollution. This past week the American Chemical Society reminded (head-slapped me) that topical medications are a source of environmental water pollution from their active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Yes, the simple act of bathing washes hormones, antibiotics, and other pharmaceuticals down the drain into the water supply.

Ilene Ruhoy, M.D., Ph.D. and colleague Christian Daughton, Ph.D. looked at potential alternative routes for the entry into the environment by way of bathing, showering, and laundering. These routes may be important for certain APIs found in medications that are applied topically to the skin — creams, lotions, ointments, gels, and skin patches. These APIs include steroids (such as cortisone and testosterone), acne medicine, antimicrobials, narcotics, and other substances. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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