Military Health System Isn’t Ready for Battlefield Injuries | US News


Surgical readiness in the Military Health Service is fraying fast. A nine-month U.S. News investigation has uncovered mounting evidence that military medical leaders are squandering a valuable wartime asset: the surgeons and surgical teams that save lives on the battlefield and back home.

The investigation is the latest chapter in a continuing U.S. News probe of military health care. Interviews with more than two dozen active-duty and retired military surgeons and a confidential survey of Army surgeons and Pentagon records obtained by U.S. News have found:

  • Severe shortages of skilled surgeons, especially trauma surgeons, on active duty and in the reserves.
  • Army field hospitals that “are not staffed with appropriate specialty capabilities for a combat theater.”

Source: Military Health System Isn’t Ready for Battlefield Injuries | National News | US News

Double tipping points in 2019: When the world became mostly rich and largely old


The classic population pyramid (with many young and few old people) was typical only 100 years ago. Not anymore. The shape will soon look more like a rectangle, with age cohorts of approximately equal size stretching out to 80 years of life expectancy.

These demographic shifts are also reshaping the perception of age. Historically, until about 2000 years ago, humans only lived for 30 years, which was also the typical lifespan of a forager in the Savannah.

But since the beginning of modern economic growth, sometime between 1850 and 1950 depending on the country, lifespans started to increase rapidly across the world. But because of the pattern of demographic change, with young cohorts expanding more rapidly than older cohorts, most people were in their formative years—children, teenagers, young and mobile.

Those who were married, with a steady job and a settled lifestyle were in the minority. This has now changed.

For the first time ever, there are as many people over the age of 30 as under the age of 30, a tipping point that has profound implications for the global economy.

Source: Double tipping points in 2019: When the world became mostly rich and largely old

Why older people should be allowed to change their legal age | Aeon Ideas

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Let’s say that on average you are in better shape than other people of your age. You are more able than them: quicker, sprightlier, livelier. You feel and identify as younger than your official age. However, despite all your youthful energy, you are also discriminated against because of your greater age.

You cannot get a job – or, if you do, you might earn less than some of your younger coworkers simply due to your advanced years.

The question is, should you be allowed to change your ‘official’ age in order to avoid this discrimination and to better match how you identify and feel?

Source: Why older people should be allowed to change their legal age | Aeon Ideas

Jury says J&J must pay $8 billion in case over male breast growth linked to Risperdal | Reuters


Johnson & Johnson must pay $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who previously won $680,000 over his claims that it failed to warn that young men using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts, a Philadelphia jury said on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury’s verdict in favor of Nicholas Murray came in the first case in which a Pennsylvania jury had been able to consider awarding punitive damages in one of thousands of Risperdal cases pending in the state.

Source: Jury says J&J must pay $8 billion in case over male breast growth linked to Risperdal – Reuters

In a Sign of Cleanup Success, Dolphins Are Living and Giving Birth in the Potomac | EcoWatch


Dolphins have returned to the Potomac River and are even giving birth there, The Smithsonian reported.

The body of water that George Washington once called “the nation’s river” used to host dolphins in the 1800s, but it had gotten so heavily polluted by the 1960s that wildlife struggled to survive and President Lyndon Johnson called it a “national disgrace.” Fifty years of cleanup efforts have paid off, however, and now more than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins have been counted in its waters.

Source: In a Sign of Cleanup Success, Dolphins Are Living and Giving Birth in the Potomac – EcoWatch

The E-cigarette Backlash | Council on Foreign Relations


Since last month, a dozen people in the United States have died from a breathing illness that researchers say could be connected to vaping, or the inhaling of vaporized liquid that contains nicotine. More than eight hundred people in the country are reportedly being treated for the illness.

More than twenty countries already have some sort of ban on e-cigarettes. Several U.S. states and cities have also at least temporarily or partially banned the products, including Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York.

Source: The E-cigarette Backlash | Council on Foreign Relations

Biodegradable Circuits Developed to Deliver Medication Inside the Body | Design News


Researchers at L’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed biodegradable micro-resonators that they can heat locally and remotely with a wireless system that can be built into implants to release painkillers within human tissue, eliminating the need for invasive procedures like injections or catheters to deliver medication. The devices also could help prevent any ill effects of medications from affecting other parts of the body, researchers said.

Specifically, a team in EPFL’s Microsystems Laboratory at the School of Engineering developed a micro-sized electronic circuit–a resonant circuit in the shape of a small spiral–that is made from magnesium, a biocompatible material already found in the human body.

Source: Biodegradable Circuits Developed to Deliver Medication Inside the Body | Design News

Intelligent Spine Interface will Bridge Spinal Injuries with AI | EE Times


A new research project will develop an intelligent spine interface, with the long-term aim of helping spinal injury patients regain limb function and bladder control.

The project, a collaboration between engineers and neuroscientists at Brown University, Intel, Rhode Island Hospital, and Micro-Leads Medical, has received $6.3 million in funding from DARPA.

As part of the study, patients with spinal injuries will have electrodes embedded in their spines, above and below the injury. An AI system running a biologically-inspired neural network will “listen” and learn about what the signals mean, with the aim of reconnecting the two parts of the spine electronically.

Source: Intelligent Spine Interface will Bridge Spinal Injuries with AI | EE Times

UPS just won FAA approval to fly as many delivery drones as it wants | The Verge


UPS announced that it has received government approval to operate a “drone airline.”

Don’t expect your next package to arrive directly on your doorstep by a drone, though: UPS says it will first use this certification to build a drone delivery network for hospital campuses around the US.

UPS said in July that it was seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate the network, and today, it got just that.

Source: UPS just won FAA approval to fly as many delivery drones as it wants – The Verge

Latest IPCC report: The ocean is in more danger than we thought


Each year, as humans emit billions of metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, nearly a third of the emissions ends up in the ocean, changing the chemical balance of the water.

And as the climate changes, the ocean is also absorbing almost all of the Earth’s extra heat, melting ice that creates sea level rise, making the water uninhabitable for marine life, and changing the planet’s weather patterns.

A new report from the IPCC, the UN panel that studies climate change, lays out exactly what’s at stake for the ocean as a result—and for humans, all of whom rely on the ocean either directly or indirectly.

“What comes out of this report is that it’s going to hit us in so many ways,” says Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist for The Nature Conservancy, one of the organizations that contributed to the report.

The litany of potential disasters from a changing ocean is horrifying: As the warming water melts ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, the sea level rises each year, putting hundreds of millions of people who live in low-lying coastal areas at risk of flooding.

A warmer ocean supercharges hurricanes.

Marine heatwaves can boost toxic algae and close fisheries.

As the water absorbs CO2, it becomes more acidic, posing another threat to coral reefs.

And all these impacts can exacerbate each other—coral reefs, for example, “play the role of a sea wall,” says Spalding. “They sit offshore like a barrier and they break waves before the waves get to land.” As storms get stronger, this natural protection is being lost at the same time.

Source: Latest IPCC report: The ocean is in more danger than we thought