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Public Health in the News – March 1, 2015

Global

National

Chicago 

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – February 15, 2015

Global

  • The UK has voted in favor of allowing a method that would result in babies with three parents. This would help prevent parents from passing along certain genetic diseases to their children. The BBC has a great explainer for how this process works.
  • “Roughly half the adult male population of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, is suffering from an often deadly kidney disease that appears to be linked to their work as sugarcane cutters.” Now one filmmaker is trying to document these workers’ stories.
  • Motorcycles, which are becoming increasingly common in Asia, are leading to many deaths, leading some experts to label this a rising global health crisis.

National

Chicago/Illinois

  • The Chicago Department of Public Health recently hosted a competition for university students: the Healthy Chicago Innovation Challenge. Two projects, focused on foodborne illness and on financial resources for low-income pregnant women, were the finalists and will each undergo a pilot study.
  • Illinois now has 13 confirmed measles cases.

Northwestern


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New Issue of the Northwestern Public Health Review!

new NPHR cover page

We are excited to share the newest issue of the NPHR with you. Our latest issue highlights a wide range of public health topics from the impact of landmines in Colombia to the role of energy in promoting public health access. Art illustrations from the UIC biomedical visualization program accompany and enrich each story.

In “Can Public Health be improved with Energy Access?” Dr. Halley Aelion (U.S Department of Energy) and Dr. Amul Tevar (Ohio State) review both personal experiences and scientific data on the role of energy access in promoting health access locally and around the world.

In “Water, Typhoid Rates, and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago” Dr. Browyn Rae carefully reviews early scientific and public health efforts to manage the typhoid outbreak in Chicago at the cusp of the famous Columbian exposition in Chicago.

“A Call for Help from the Landmine Victims in Colombia” explores the history of the Colombian Civil War and its public health impacts. Juan Pablo Calderon Meza dissects the impact of landmines on the morbidity and mortality of Colombians.

Shruti Zaveri explores the causes and impact of cancer in Asian American communities. According to Shruti, “In many ways, the cancer burden is unequally distributed in various populations within the US. While Asian Americans have the lowest cancer incidence when compared to other ethnic groups in the US, cancer is still the leading cause of death among Asian Americans. Much of the Asian American cancer burden is unnecessary and caused by several avoidable factors including lack of cancer education, barriers to both healthcare and cancer screening, and ultimately a culturally ineffective effort to solve the issue”.

Additional articles in the current issue of the NPHR include a book review of “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry”, Healthcare Access for Lesbian and Bisexual Women in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as an interview with both the first MD/MPH student, Dr. Kathryn Andolsek, and the founder of NU’s MPH program, Dr. Jeremiah Stamler.

We invite you to share your impressions, questions and suggestions with us as you go through this issue. PDF versions of the newest issue can be downloaded at www.nphr.org


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Public Health in the News (February 8th, 2015)

Global

National

  • Ever wondered how many microorganisms are in your public transportation system? An 18 month old research experiment in New York City (pathomap) attempts to track and inventory the diversity of bacteria in New York subway system.
  • A recent MMWR report from CDC indicates that the number of Blacks and Hispanics dying from HIV in the past 5 years has dropped.
  • Convinced that its initial $500 million pledge to halt childhood obesity is having an impact, the Robert Woods Johnson foundation is pledging an additional $500 million towards ending childhood obesity.
  • February is National Heart Awareness Month. As a concrete step towards improving cardiovascular health outcomes, the  CDC initiated the Million Hearts™ challenge.
  • A strange paradox was unveiled this week as it has became clear that rapidly declining Ebola rates might make it difficult to test newly developed Ebola vaccines – great news for countries that struggled with the disease but difficult news for drug discovery efforts.

 Local

  • 5 Chicago area children have now been confirmed to have the measles, further intensifying the ongoing vaccination debate.
  • A recent report from the Illinois state’s auditor general released Thursday found $3.7 million was paid for medical care for over 1,000 people who were already dead. Furthermore the report showed that nearly 6,000 people were still marked as eligible for medical services despite being listed as deceased.

Northwestern

  • Dr. Robert Murphy gave an exclusive interview on the growing  national measles concern with WGN Chicago.
  • Dr.Michelle Birkett was recently highlighted in the Huffington discussing LGBT associated bullying and recent research observations that it gets  better with time.
  • The Northwestern Public Health review Review recently released its fall issue at www.nphr.org


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Public Health in the News – February 1, 2015

Global

National

Chicago

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – January 24, 2015

Global

  • The mystery of tuberculosis revealed? Scientists have uncovered the family secrets of a bacterial killer that accounts for 1.3 million deaths worldwide. A team reconstructed the evolutionary history of the Beijing lineage of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a strain associated with the massive spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Eurasia.
  • 2014 was the hottest year on record (since weather record have been kept), resulting in the symbolic doomsday clock moving to three minutes before midnight, as close as it’s been since the cold war.
  • Despite waning numbers, two pharmaceutical companies prepare to launch Ebola vaccine trails.
  • A great piece by a fashion historian about how fashion has (and can again) encourage vaccination.
  • Cholera cases in West and Central Africa tripled last year, particularly in Ghana, Nigeria, and DRC.

National

  • Only about 23% effective, this year’s flu vaccine flopped. So, how do we get a more effective flu vaccine? Bloomberg weighs in.
  • The CDC reports  that nearly one third of reproductive-age women in the US had an opioid painkiller prescription filled every year between 2008-2012, increasing risks for birth defects.
  • Between 2012 and 2014, a drug-resistant superbug infected 32 people at a Seattle hospital caused by a bacteria spreading through contaminated medical scopes.

Illinois/Chicago

  • The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) awarded $13 million to more than 50 local non-profit organizations to provide HIV prevention and housing services to residents.
  • January is National Radon Action Month and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) encourages Chicagoans to test their home for harmful levels of radon.
  • Chicago State University ranks as one of the worst colleges in the nation when it comes to providing students with sexual health resources, a national survey found.
  • How are older city hospitals competing with newer suburban hospitals? See Crain’s analysis of why so many hospitals in Chicago sit empty.

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – January 18, 2015

Global

National

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – January 11, 2015

Global

National

  • The pesticide chlorpyrifos—used on corn, soybeans, fruit and nut trees—may pose health risks to workers who mix and apply it, and may contaminate drinking water, according to a new EPA report.
  • Two major US cancer science and treatment groups call for more regulation of e-cigarettes and more research into vaping’s health effects.
  • Despite what Americans might think, the US actually ranks pretty badly on the Commitment to Development Index, a measure of global poverty eradication efforts, recently published by the Center for Global Development.

Illinois/Chicago

  • KCBX Terminals, a firm controlled by industrialists Charles and David Koch, announced Tuesday that it will build a $120 million structure to enclose towering mounds of the dusty harmful refinery byproduct petroleum coke, despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vow and efforts to rid Chicago of it.
  • Illinois is now accepting petitions to expand the list of medical conditions that qualify for treatment with marijuana, though officials have yet to name the board that will decide the issue.
  • In these frosty temperatures, do you ever wonder those the CTA heat lamps actually help make you warmer? A Chicago Tribune article explores the issue.

Northwestern

  • Dr. June K. Robinson, a professor of dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, is quoted in a New York Times article of the harmful effects of indoor tanning.


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Public Health in the News – January 4, 2015

Global

National

  • In a wonderfully written blog post, science writer Ed Yong tells the story of how cholera-causing bacteria kill other microbes and “steal the powers of their fallen rivals,” Highlander-style.
  • Many studies have linked a variant of a gene called FTO to an increased risk of obesity. However, this link may be influenced by the environment as well – a new study shows that this gene is a risk factor only in people born after World War II.
  • Smartphone apps are changing healthcare. NPR’s Science Friday interviews Eric Topol, a cardiologist who recently released a book that details how patients are using their smartphones to take their health into their own hands.
  • We know that increased consumption of red meat might be leading to increased cancer risk – and now we might know why. A new study found that a certain sugar found in meat led to increased inflammation, which in turn promoted conditions that sometimes lead to tumor growth.
  • Wired lists some of the weirdest things we learned this year about microbes.

Chicago

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – December 28, 2014

Global

  •  Peter Piot, who discovered the Ebola virus, offers a unique analysis of how precious time was wasted in the early stages of this year’s outbreak—and how we must prepare better for the next time.
  • An excessive amount of antibiotics is present in China’s major rivers, exposing millions of nearby residents and local ecosystems to grave risks.
  • Understanding mental health as a public health problem is becoming more and more important as an estimated 350 million cases of clinical depression are reported by the World Health Organization per year.
  • Dengue is on the move, threatening large swaths of Europe, Africa, and South America due to climate change and urbanization, new maps of dengue vulnerability published by the United Nations University reveal.

National

  • Another concerning mishap at a CDC laboratory - this time with Ebola virus samples which were erroneously though to have been killed – indicates the need for improvements to be made in laboratory safety policies and procedures.
  • Eating fast food may lead to lower student test scores in math, science and reading, a recent study of U.S. school children said.
  • The Washington Post reports on a new study that has found, not surprisingly, that iPads, tablets, smartphones disrupt good sleep.

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern

  • Northwestern experts bring public health expertise to Ethiopia.
  • A Northwestern Feinberg study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that smoking pot in teens and young adults is unsafe for developing brains.
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