Patient after patient would stream into her clinic with diabetes, weight problems, and heart disease. Ronda Rockett followed the medical guidelines, recommending healthier diets and more exercise. But despite her best efforts — even texting and emailing motivational follow-ups — many failed to change at all, either because they didn’t want to or didn’t have the means.
In 2013, eager to try something new, Rockett decided to quit medicine and close up her practice. What she did next, she says, is the most meaningful contribution to health care she’s made to date. She opened a CrossFit gym.
CrossFit is a high-intensity interval training and resistance exercise routine known for instilling a cult-like devotion among followers and promoting the low-carb diet.
Source: CrossFit’s founder Greg Glassman is amassing a doctor army to disrupt health care – Vox
Health is a human right. When people are not able to access the healthcare they need, especially if this is for reasons of cost, their human rights are denied. It is vital for the wider fight for rights, justice and sustainable development that policymakers’ actions are informed by this linkage.
The world has just marked Human Rights Day on 10 December. Today, 12 December, is an equally significant date: the very first official Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day endorsed by the United Nations.
Universal health coverage is built on principles of equity and fairness, with health services allocated according to people’s needs and the health system financed according to people’s ability to pay.
Source: Ban Ki-moon: Only Two Healthcare Systems Exist—One Where The Rich Pay For The Poor, and America’s | Opinion
It’s the biggest lawsuit you might not know anything about: Generic drug companies stand accused of running a “cartel” that rigged the market and fixed prices, costing patients and taxpayers, according to a complaint that has been joined by almost every state’s attorney general.
The scope just keeps getting bigger: The litigation started by focusing on two drugs but has since expanded to implicate 16 companies and more than 300 drugs, Connecticut assistant attorney general Joseph Nielsen, who has led the effort, told the Washington Post.
“This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States,” Nielsen told the Post’s Christopher Rowland. Not mincing words.
Source: Prescription drug prices: the groundbreaking lawsuit over generic drugs – Vox
Researchers have developed a new way to probe hydrogen bonds that could yield better catalysts for a number of applications in chemistry and biology.
A Carnegie Mellon University research team has found a way to probe hydrogen bonds that modulate the chemical reactivity of enzymes, catalysts and biomimetic complexes using nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS).
Hydrogen bonds are responsible for several interactions in biology and chemistry including the chemically important properties of water, and to stabilize the structures of proteins and nucleic acids, including those found in DNA and RNA. Hydrogen bonds also contribute to the structure of natural and synthetic polymers.
Source: Researchers Take an Inside Look at Hydrogen Bonds
The past several years in science have unleashed the CRISPR revolution. CRISPR/Cas9 — or CRISPR, as it’s known — is a tool that allows researchers to attempt to control which genes get expressed in plants, animals, and even humans; to delete undesirable traits and, potentially, add desirable traits; and to do all this more quickly, and with more precision, than ever before. (You can read about how CRISPR works here.)
He, a Stanford-trained associate professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, was not well known in the field of CRISPR editing.
But he’s claiming a major first: to have used the gene editing technology CRISPR to tweak the DNA of human embryos during in vitro fertilization.
Source: CRISPR babies: is this the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing? – Vox
If you have a 3D printer, you need to make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area–and maybe keep it out of a child’s room–because across the board, 3D printers release tiny, undetectable materials that could be toxic and embed themselves into your body permanently.
This advice comes courtesy of Georgia Tech professor Dr. Rodney Weber, who recently oversaw a landmark study on the emissions of 3D printers that was published in Aerosol Science and Technology.
Source: 3D printers emit microparticles that can embed in your lungs
Researchers from the University of Maine have found that ecological traps could be potentially effective in controlling pest species and inhibiting the spread of infectious diseases.
In recent decades, mosquito management strategies have relied almost exclusively on insecticides in aquatic larval habitats. However, due to the evolution of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, impacts on other species and perceived and actual risks to the environmental and public health this method has become ineffective.
Ecological traps occur when organisms show preference for low-quality habitats over other available high-quality sites. The mechanisms generating ecological traps could provide the tools needed to create traps on demand to control pest species.
Source: Ecological Traps Could Effectively Control Mosquitoes
For the U.S. military, the appeal of such technology is clear: Soldiers now deploy into war zones bogged down by heavy but critical gear like body armor, night-vision goggles and advanced radios. Altogether, that can weigh anywhere from 90 to 140 pounds (40-64 kg), when the recommended limit is just 50 pounds (23 kg).
“That means when people do show up to the fight, they’re fatigued,” said Paul Scharre at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), who helped lead a series of studies on exoskeletons and other advanced gear.
Source: Pentagon looks to exoskeletons to build ‘super-soldiers’ | Reuters
A Chinese scientist at the center of an ethical storm over what he claims are the world’s first genetically edited babies said on Wednesday he is proud of his work and revealed there was a second “potential” pregnancy as part of the research.
Source: Chinese geneticist reveals another potential gene-edited pregnancy | Reuters
Beyond the technological and scientific hurdles that need to be overcome for these tools to be used reliably, there’s also a philosophical problem.
Should we, societally, be focusing on making machines that teach us to read feelings when reliance on technology itself seems to be turning us into addicts and making us more anxious?
We are becoming more aware of the connections between rising prevalence of technology use and anxiety and depression, but by force of habit we are turning to new tools to help us contend with the very effects that technology is amplifying.
Relying on machines to tell us how we feel leaves us vulnerable.
Source: New Tech Promises to Predict Your Moods. That Might Not be a Good Thing – Nextgov