CategoryPublic Health

In recent years, the fight for transgender gender recognition and equality has been a core issue of the LGBT civil rights movement. This national discussion is important for the recognition of trans individuals and, ultimately, the removal of civil inequalities. Recent studies suggest that the marginalization of trans individuals leads to disproportionately high rates of certain diseases among the approximately 25 … Read More

A recent case of antibiotic-resistant bacteria had the news media printing apocalyptic headlines. But what makes this such a historic medical case, and how does it affect us? First, we must start with the facts. The case involved a 49-year-old female in Pennsylvania with a urinary tract infection of the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The bacteria was found to … Read More

Most of us are familiar with the physical benefits of sport participation: lower resting heart rate, lower body fat percentage, higher bone density, etc. The physical benefits of regular sport participation seem to be endless. However, the holistic model of health, which includes emotional, cognitive, and social aspects, seems to provide the nuanced approach that is necessary to assess the … Read More

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average life expectancy for an American is 78.8 years and is expected to continue climbing. However, there is an entire sub-population of citizens that have a life expectancy of almost half of that. The National Health Care for the Homeless Council cites the life expectancy for the homeless population as just … Read More

Section 3008 of the Affordable Care Act went into effect October 1, 2014, penalizing the top quarter of inpatient hospitals based on rates of hospital-acquired conditions by reducing its Medicare payments by 1%. In other words, 25% of the hospitals in the US with the highest rates of hospital-acquired conditions will only receive 99% of their … Read More

A potential new tool in the ongoing fight against Ebola has been developed by researchers at Harvard, and it fits on a piece of paper. Dr. James Collins, who led one of the teams involved in designing the system, described it as an “in vitro, sterile, abiotic operating system upon which we can rationally design … Read More

When you think of public health, you probably don’t think of prisons. Prisoners as a group represent one of the sickest segments of the population. According to a study by the RAND corporation, prisoners are four times more likely to have tuberculosis than the general population. Rates of Hepatitis C and HIV infection are nine … Read More

Last year was the hottest year since we began keeping track of temperatures in 1880. A joint report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed the record, adding that 2014 was the 38th consecutive year in which temperatures were warmer than the past year and … Read More

Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, causes symptoms like diarrhea and fever in its early stages; more severe symptoms include cardiac arrest and megacolon. This condition has affected up to 300,000 people in the U.S. and 10 to 20 million world wide. While Chagas is starting to affect U.S. citizens, most of the cases are in impoverished areas of Latin America. Also called a kissing bug, the … Read More

If you haven’t already, first read part 1 of this post: Prions – Proteins that won’t follow the rules. Several fungal proteins that exhibit prion protein characteristics have been identified. As a group they are called yeast prions, due to their initial discovery in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the 1990s. Some prions can help cells survive, … Read More

Prions are misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to refold into diseased states. In its native state, the prion protein is found in healthy cells, especially of the brain. If a misfolded prion comes into contact with a native state prion, it will cause the native state prion to refold into the misfolded state, forming … Read More

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an independent agency under the WHO, released a report not too long ago that identified processed and red meat as carcinogens. Specifically, researchers have found that high consumption of processed/red meat correlates with increased incidence of colorectal cancer. Before you put down your bacon and hot dogs for good, let us … Read More

Some people grow up or live in the same neighborhoods for decades, greeting the same faces and passing through familiar streets. For many in abandoned neighborhoods, that familiar location and the social network are what make it home, despite the lack of resources and poor living conditions. Gentrification disrupts that sense of community and becomes a … Read More

Many who exercise outdoors prefer to do so for the fresh air, but in areas with high air pollution, many worry that that quality of air and exercise can be an unhealthy combination. Recent studies have demonstrated evidence that the long-term benefits of exercise outweighs the potentials risks of exercising in polluted areas. Air pollution is a … Read More

Twenty five years ago, AquaBounty, a biotechnology company aiming to improve aquaculture productivity and sustainability, created a genetically modified Atlantic salmon that is now in the process for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be the first genetically modified meat for human consumption to hit the markets…and it might not even be labeled as “genetically … Read More

On June 30, 2015, Bill SB277, which limits people’s ability to opt out of vaccines, was approved and signed into state law by California Governor Jerry Brown. In response to the large measles outbreak in December, a situation linked to low immunization rates, the law requires mandatory vaccinations for children prior to starting school and prevents … Read More

In recent decades, California has made efforts to reduce emissions succeeding in partial smog reduction. Even the annual report from the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association indicated long-term trends of air quality improvement. However, the current drought in California has presented itself as a challenge to those efforts. In a report from the American Lung Association, which evaluated … Read More

As technology advances, we tend to find ourselves frequently buying and accumulating more and more electronics, even when we don’t really need them. Now the question is, what do you usually do with your old devices when you can’t sell them or trade them in? Electronic waste, commonly known as e-waste, is any “electronic or … Read More

In a prime example of censorship, the video documentary “Under the Dome” by Chai Jing was taken off the Chinese internet after a hugely successful weekend of over 200 million views, or one-third of China’s total internet viewership. To properly gauge the monumental circulation achieved, compare it to “What Does the Fox Say?” which reached … Read More

School and work may have you resigned to a sedentary position for several hours each day. Furthermore, many other daily activities involve sitting, such as eating meals, watching television, or spending time on the computer. You are not alone. Researchers estimate that on average, Americans spend about half of their life in a seated position. … Read More

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