Science has a sexual harassment problem. From the most polished ivory tower to the local community college, harassment pervades lecture halls and laboratories, observatories and offices, teaching hospitals and Antarctic field sites. And it takes an economic and emotional toll on female researchers and stifles their scientific contributions, according to a sweeping new study released Tuesday.
23andMe is taking a lot of heat as one of the DNA aggregators whose databases may not be secure from prying third-party eyes. That is a huge issue, but the company is engaging in even more troubling behavior—using genetics to sponsor racism.
The group examining the Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health (MACH) Trial also found that, starting in 2013, “there was early and frequent engagement” between NIH officials and the alcohol industry that appeared to be “an attempt to persuade industry to support the project. Several members of NIAAA staff kept key facts hidden from other institute staff members.”
Mental health experts agree that several high-profile celebrity suicides could possibly cause an increased risk of what’s called suicide contagion, and that all of us should be aware of the risk factors related to suicide.
The rise in suicide rates was highest in the central, northern region of the U.S., with North Dakota, for example, seeing a 57.6 percent increase since 1999. Nevada was the only state that saw no increase, and Delaware saw the smallest increase which was 5.9 percent.
DNA tests promise to help you tailor a diet, supplements and exercise for optimum weight, heart health and lifestyle. But can they really deliver?
European universities are unhappy about the details, announced yesterday, of Horizon Europe, the European Union’s new 7-year research program that will start in 2021. They say the 22% increase in funding overall proposed by the European Commission is the bare minimum and worry that the program shortchanges basic research in favor of innovation funding. “We will fight for a better distribution of the budget,” says Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) in Leuven, Belgium.
California legalized marijuana in 2016, and on Jan. 1, 2018, eager customers lined up in the darkness outside medical marijuana dispensaries across the state, ready to start shopping at the stroke of midnight. The effect has gone beyond the cannabis cash register. Everyone has seen the ads or heard the chatter — and that includes minors, though marijuana remains illegal for those under 21.
Opioid overdose deaths among Latinos are surging nationwide as well. While the overall death toll is still higher for whites, it’s increasing faster for Latinos and blacks, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Latino fatalities increased 52.5 percent between 2014 and 2016 as compared to 45.8 percent for whites. (Statisticians say counts for Hispanics are typically underestimated by 3 to 5 percent.) The most substantial hike was among blacks — 83.9 percent.
The Trump administration has signaled its intention in recent months to rewrite a federal rule that bars health care discrimination based on gender identity. In its current form, that rule is one of the precious few tools transgender patients have to fight insurance denials for various medical treatments and procedures that fall under the broad umbrella of gender-affirming or transition-related care. Even with the rule in place, Jasmine and four other patients in different states detailed protracted battles for coverage.
CRISPR has hauled in yet another big science award, and this time the recognition includes a scientist whose contribution has sometimes been overlooked.
The cancer in question is driven by hormones, has not spread to the lymph nodes and does not contain a protein called HER2. Generally, after surgery, such patients receive endocrine therapy, such as tamoxifen, which is designed to block the cancer-spurring effects of hormones. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, called the trial a good example of “precision medicine” and said it would save many women from unneeded chemotherapy.
As high-profile sexual harassment cases fuel public criticism, the presidents of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced last week they may adopt new policies allowing the prestigious bodies to eject members who have committed harassment and other forms of misconduct. Members of the academies—which serve as both honorific societies and advisers to the U.S. government—are elected by existing members to life-long terms, and the bodies currently lack mechanisms for removing them for harassment.
Divorce is legal. So is same-sex marriage. And now abortion will be, too. Ireland has redefined itself in a remarkably short span of time.
On 16 May, Japan’s health ministry gave doctors the green light to take wafer-thin sheets of tissue derived from iPS cells and graft them onto diseased human hearts. The team, led by cardiac surgeon Yoshiki Sawa at Osaka University, says that the tissue sheets can help to regenerate the organ’s muscle when it becomes damaged, a symptom of heart disease that can be caused by a build-up of plaque or by a heart attack.
Harvard Medical School
Shining light on a little-known moment in the struggle for racial justice in the United States, a new hour-long documentary film traces the momentous fight to secure equal access to health care for all Americans in the 1960s.
Researchers led by Marcia C. Castro, a professor of demography at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, used Brazilian data on births, fetal deaths and hospitalizations related to abortion complications during 2010-16 to forecast births from September 2015 to December 2016, the period of the Zika epidemic. Though there were 119,095 fewer births than expected, no changes in fetal deaths or increases in abortion-related hospitalizations were seen.
As lawsuits mount against the University of Southern California and a former gynecologist who worked at the school, so do the outrage and demand for answers. Mixed into the conversation is this: If nurses or medical assistants serving as chaperones witnessed Dr. George Tyndall inappropriately touching and treating students, as some have claimed, what’s the point of chaperones?
FDA just approved the first drug to prevent migraines. Here’s the story of its discovery—and its limitations
Worldwide, migraines strike roughly 12% of people at least once per year, with women roughly three times as likely as men to have an attack. The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that U.S. employees take 113 million sick days per year because of migraines, creating an annual loss of $13 billion. The toll underscores how little current treatments—not just drugs, but nerve-numbing injections, behavioral therapies, and special diets—can help many people. On the horizon, however, is a new class of drugs that many scientists believe can stop migraines at their root.
In America today, the patient in the hospital bed is just the icon, a place holder for the real patient who is not in the bed but in the computer. That virtual entity gets all our attention.
On Thursday, the F.D.A. took a new tack and began posting a list of makers of brand-name drugs that have been the target of complaints, to persuade them to “end the shenanigans,” in the commissioner’s words. Dr. Gottlieb calls it transparency, but this approach is better known among ethicists as naming and shaming.
International health organizations are in discussions with the Democratic Republic of Congo about how and whether to deploy treatments in addition to a vaccine.
The New York Times
For decades, allegations of misconduct dogged the primary gynecologist in the student health center at the University of Southern California. There were reports that he inappropriately touched students during pelvic exams and made sexual comments about their bodies.
Yet even after university officials suspended the doctor, George Tyndall, in 2016 and forced him to step down a year later, they did not report the accusations to the California Medical Board. When their internal investigation was complete, officials said that the findings were a personnel matter and that there was no legal obligation to notify the state oversight board, which investigates doctors accused of misconduct.
Americans of high-school age are 82 times more likely to die from a gun homicide than 15- to 19-year-olds in the rest of the developed world.
An estimated 30,000 people demonstrated in Munich, Germany, last week to protest a new Bavarian law giving police new powers.
Three weeks ago, a Yale University neuroscientist, Nenad Sestan, explored the ethical implications of experiments using human brain tissue in an essay in the journal Nature. Then last week Sestan’s own brain research was splashed across tabloids under lurid headlines like “Yale experiment to reanimate dead brains promises ‘living hell’ for humans.”
To prove gender discrimination in court, plaintiffs must show that they were denied opportunities or rewards because of their gender. Harassment can also be a sign of discrimination when the people responsible are in positions of power. However, recognizing and remedying these problems in academia is challenging for reasons that are deeply entrenched in the culture of science, and in how institutions have long operated, say legal and social-science scholars.
A California judge on Tuesday threw out a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives, ruling it was unconstitutionally approved by the Legislature. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia said lawmakers acted illegally in passing the law during a special session devoted to other topics, said lawyers for supporters and opponents. He did not address the legal issue of whether it was proper to allow people to take their own lives, and gave the state attorney general five days to appeal.
In his keynote address on Tuesday, chief executive Sundar Pichai is expected to emphasize the theme of responsibility, the person said. Last year’s keynote was more focused on developments in artificial intelligence. The anticipated shift in tone at the event reflects increased public skepticism and scrutiny of the technology industry as it reckons with the negative consequences of how its products are used by billions of people.
Independent pharmacist Ira Katz has been serving the eclectic community of Little Five Points in Atlanta for 37 years. But it wasn’t until Georgia passed a law last year banning “gag rules” that Katz could legally tell his patients they might save big bucks on their prescriptions if they paid cash or used a lower-priced generic. The gag rule was a clause in his contract with one of the pharmaceutical benefit managers, also known as PBMs, that manage most of our nation’s prescription drug programs.