Archives for February, 2013

Can we “catch” breast cancer?

Third of five student guest posts by Dana Lowry In 1911, Peyton Rous first discovered viruses can cause cancer.  A chicken with a lump in her breast had been brought to Rous by a farmer.  Rous prepared an extract that eliminated bacteria and tumor cells and injected this extract into other chickens—tumors grew.  Rous suggested “a minute…

Second of five student guest posts by Nai-Chung N. Chang Tuberculosis (TB) is a major disease burden in many areas of the world. As such, it was declared a global public health emergency in 1993 by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a bacterial disease that is transmitted through the air when an infected…

First of five student guest posts by Kristen Coleman Every morning as I prepare for class, I go through the same internal dialogue, “to wear or not to wear my hearing aide.” I am forced to do this because when I was a child I, like most American children (about 80% by age 3 as…

It’s that time again. I teach a class every other year on infectious causes of chronic disease, looking at the role various infections play in cancer, autoimmune disease, mental illness, and other chronic conditions. Each year, the students are assigned two writing assignments-–to be posted here on the blog. Over the next week or so,…

For those of you in the general vicinity, the University of Iowa Department of Epidemiology will be once again sponsoring the Great Plains Emerging Infectious Diseases Conference on April 19-20 in Iowa City. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Peter Daszak, President of the EcoHealth Alliance: Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, is…

I have a post up today at the Scientific American Guest blog, discussing how an earthquake and denial led to prairie dog plague. It details an outbreak of plague in Victorian San Francisco–the first time plague hit the United States–and the many downstream consequences of that outbreak (which began in 1900 and wasn’t really contained…

Matt Damon: no poo for you

Readers may be familiar with Matt Damon’s charity work with water.org, an organization he co-founded. Water.org seeks to raise awareness of the lack of clean water by almost a billion people on earth, and lack of toilets by almost 2.5 billion–and more importantly, they work to remedy that situation by providing sustainable, local solutions. His…

So God created advertising

I didn’t grow up on a farm, but my dad did. He was the youngest of 13 kids, several of them who grew up to own farms of their own. As a kid, my family had almost an acre in the country, but the only animals we kept on it were stray cats and the…

Ivan Oransky and I moderated a session last week at ScienceOnline, the yearly conference covering all things at the intersection of science and the internets. We discussed the topic ““How to make sure you’re being appropriately skeptical when covering scientific and medical studies.” We started out discussing some of the resources we’d put up at…