Tagpublic health

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

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

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

Modern day medicine has created vaccines for many common illnesses. A couple of vaccine shots is all that is required to be safe from the most prevalent and dangerous sicknesses for a long time. Even with the scientifically backed efficacy of these vaccines, however, many low and middle class families refuse to get vaccinated due to costs. New research … Read More

Premed Perspective From Switzerland: Part V On March 17, 2015 my internship at the International AIDS Society gave me the chance to attend a thematic roundtable on pediatric HIV/AIDS. Essentially, this was a meeting between executives from large pharmaceutical companies (which develop the drugs and invest heavily in R&D), generic pharmaceutical companies (which create generic versions of … Read More

A lone wolf may be able to thrive in solitude, but humans are not wolves. Loneliness hurts, and it affects the strongest of people. Recent studies have shed light on the severity of loneliness, and its toll on human health, even for individuals who prefer to be alone. If left alone, this silent sickness can fester into … Read More

Premed Perspective From Switzerland: Part III Bonjour de Genève! There are obviously quite a few differences between Switzerland and the United States (#1: way better chocolate, and you can get it for only $0.50!) but, this post analyzes the differences between what I’ve seen in Geneva and America from a public health angle. 3 Positive Reflections on … Read More

With the snowballing of hysteria in 2014– as with the Ebola scare–it is sometimes easy to forget that there are teams of people working to prioritize and mitigate threats. Pegged as the “primary public health institution” in the United States, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) assesses threats, evaluates their potential effects, and then forms … Read More

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