Monday, May 22, 2006
Have you heard of MIT OpenCourseWare? Here is a description of the OCW from their website: "MIT OCW is a large-scale, Web-based publication of the educational materials from the MIT faculty's courses…MIT OCW provides users with open access to the syllabi, lecture notes, course calendars, problem sets and solutions, exams, reading lists, even a selection of video lectures, from 1250 MIT courses representing 34 academic disciplines and all five of MIT's schools. The initiative will include materials from 1800 courses by the year 2007"(Link) (emphasis mine).
Anyway, I think this is a really very cool project. I get an email update and they've added an interesting ethics class:
Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series: Topics in Medical Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research. See the details here.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
"And finally, New Rule: Drug companies have to stop making up diseases! I don't know - I don't know what the terrorists are planning next for America, but if I had every problem they talk about in medicine commercials: breathing, lifting, walking, sitting, sleeping, crapping, not crapping, getting a boner and male pattern menopause—I would welcome death. Bring it on! Deadly nerve gas? Please, I've got seasonal allergies!" Full text
"Daily doses of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, from Eli Lilly, blunted symptoms in many patients and lowered their risk of experiencing a psychotic episode in the first year of treatment, the study found. But the drug also caused significant weight gain, and so many participants dropped out of the study that investigators could not draw firm conclusions about drug benefits, if any.
The long-awaited study, which was financed by Eli Lilly and the National Institute of Mental Health, raised more questions than it answered, experts said."
Sunday, April 30, 2006
"I was totally afraid of the dentist," she said. "Now I go to the dentist every six months and I just can't wait."
"Going to the dentist shouldn't be this bad thing," said Dr. Kimberly Baer, who did Ms. Romanick's dental work. "It should be like going to get your hair done."
At the Dentist's Office, X-Rays, Root Canals and, Now, Pampering in the NYT
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
"While some doctors say that the advertisements bring uninformed but very determined patients who simply must have Drug X into their offices, others say that allowing drug ads on television encourages people to talk about their health and may bring otherwise undiagnosed problems to light."
Listen Here. [Note: the link for the show is in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.]
"India's outsourced call centres are well known, but not its outsourced patients. By 2010, some estimate there will be two million patients in India on clinical trials. An entire industry has sprung up, specialising in recruiting patients and managing experiments. And a BBC investigation into the conduct of these trials has found that some patients are unaware they are being experimented on at all. "
See "Drug trials outsourced to India," and a trailer for the BBC documentary.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
will be presenting: "The Embryo Project: A Virtual Laboratory for Understanding Developmental Science and its Contexts"
Thursday 27 April Part of the IT Distinguished Women Scientists and Engineers Lecture Series 1:30 in Tate Laboratory of Physics, Room 133.
"From Transplantation to Translation: Stems Cells in History"
Friday 28 April: 3:35 p.m. Room 131 of the Tate Laboratory of Physics
(refreshments at 3:15 p.m. in Room 216).
Jane Maienschein is the author of "Whose View of Life?"
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"Then I see the wheelchair. It's similar to other prewar wheelchairs I've seen, but there's something unusual about the frame. Is this a tilting mechanism? A fancy suspension system? Looks like fine German engineering. I like vintage wheelchairs. An obsolete Everest & Jennings drive belt hangs in my office as a bit of nostalgia, like an old wagon wheel in a barbecue shack. I have an urge to jostle the chair, to see what that frame does. The sign mentions a German institution. So, no single owner. But even in institutions, people manage to bond with chairs. A state-owned chair may be occupied by the same person every day, parked beside that person's bed at night."
See "Wheelchair Unbound" in The New York Times Magazine.
Monday, April 24, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
Read it here
Friday, April 14, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
"Genetic tests, once obscure tools for scientists, have begun to influence everyday lives in many ways."
"It may be only natural then that ethnic ancestry tests, one of the first commercial products to emerge from the genetic revolution, are spurring a thorough exploration of the question, What is in it for me?"
"Prospective employees with white skin are using the tests to apply as minority candidates, while some with black skin are citing their European ancestry in claiming inheritance rights.
One Christian is using the test to claim Jewish genetic ancestry and to demand Israeli citizenship, and Americans of every shade are staking a DNA claim to Indian scholarships, health services and casino money."
Sunday, April 09, 2006
"The frenzy of our wired world, he argues, is giving nearly all of us the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. To conquer the enemy, he says, we first need to name it."
So he has come up with the following suggestions, among others:
¶Screensucking, which he defines as "wasting time engaging with any screen — for instance, computer, video game, television, BlackBerry." He goes on to use his new word in a sentence: "I was supposed to write that article, but instead I spent the whole afternoon screensucking." That concept hits particularly close to home.
¶EMV, or E-Mail Voice. This, Dr. Hallowell writes, is "the unearthly tone a person's voice takes on when he is reading e-mail while talking to you on the telephone." Researchers at M.I.T., he tells us, have developed a program that can electronically measure how engaged people are in a conversation, giving scientific certainty to your suspicion that you are not being listened to.
"Although tests of TGN1412 in monkeys showed no significant trouble, all six human subjects nearly died."
"...the British government announced it was convening an international panel of experts to "consider what necessary changes to clinical trials may be required."
"In statements this week, both Parexel and the drug's manufacturer, TeGenero, emphasized that they had complied with all regulatory requirements and conducted the trial according to the approved protocol. But they declined to answer questions e-mailed to them about the specifics of the science involved. "
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Here's a link to the report by the Center for Media and Democracy.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
"The fantasy of achieving a "bikini-ready" body on a deadline is an intoxicating incentive, according to those who have experienced and observed the behavior. And in a school setting, in which tightly knit groups of young women are all vacationing together, diets easily become competitive or, as Dr. Maine put it, contagious."
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Cosmedicine™": endorsed by Johns Hopkins Medicine. (Seriously.)
"Our business relationship with KAA is an opportunity to apply our expertise to an industry that we believe can benefit from our research and clinical experiences and a company that has expressed a commitment to representing its products' capabilities based on quantifiable study."
"We look forward to exploring with KAA other ways we can bring value to their company and, perhaps, to the skin health marketplace generally."
"Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty members receive standard fees for consulting with KAA on both their service business and Cosmedicine™. Johns Hopkins Medicine receives fees from KAA, holds stock in the company, and has a voting seat on KAA's board."
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
"But behind the scenes life coaches are also finding plenty of work in the entertainment business. As their ranks swell nationwide — the International Coach Federation says its membership has doubled to 9,500 personal and business coaches since 2001, 56 percent of them in the United States — a growing roster is specializing in celebrities and Hollywood. "
"Although the federation does not keep track of coach specialties, coaches who devote themselves to the entertainment business — many of them former actors, television network executives, film producers or scriptwriters who sell their services as insiders — say they have seen more acceptance and a doubling and even tripling of demand for their services in the last three or four years."
Saturday, March 25, 2006
"The Merchants of Cool" is all about marketing strategies for teenagers with a section
where they show cool hunters hitting the streets looking for people and other pretty
sneaky marketing strategies,which are especially worrisome because they target younger
and younger kids. There's also another Frontline 90 minute documentary, "The Persuaders"
which is all about how we're so overwhelmed by traditional advertisements that marketers
have to come up with more creative strategies...there's this one guy in it who
is especially interesting (and creepy) because he makes millions selling his ad strategies
to big companies, but his way of extracting what customers are looking for is this strange
pseudoscience/hypnosis practice which he does on focus groups.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
"You treat "customers" quite differently. Customers are in your place of business to purchase health care. You complete the transaction such a relationship suggests: health care for money. And then they aren't your customers any more. Taken a step further, you can make the case that the less time you spend with your customers, the better your bottom line will be. This gets everyone's attention."
Read the Op/Ed "The Doctor Will See You for Exactly Seven Minutes" in the NYT
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Sunday, March 12, 2006
A Wrongful Birth?
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Read about it and watch it online:
You may be experiencing the tragedy of andropause, the name now applied to something that was once called male menopause, and snickered at. That was before hormone replacement therapy."
Monday, March 06, 2006
"Pfizer ran ads for Viagra in 2004 that featured the drug's blue "V" logo as devilish horns behind a man's head, with statements like "Remember that guy who used to be called `Wild Thing?' The guy who wanted to spend the entire honeymoon indoors? Remember the one who couldn't resist a little mischief? Yeah, that guy. He's back." The ads were suggestive enough that the FDA issued one of its rare enforcement letters, asking Pfizer to stop running the ads."
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Read the Essay Here
Friday, March 03, 2006
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Have a look as well at Joshua Foer's 2005 article in Slate.com, "The Adderall Me: My Romance with ADHD Meds." Larry Diller writes about marketing stimulants in his 2001 Salon.com article, "An end run to marketing victory." The WBUR radio show On Point ran a program last week on ADHD drugs, especially the recommendation of an FDA advisory panel that stimulants be tagged with a "black box" warning.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
12:15 PM to 01:15 PM
Student Committee on Bioethics Lecture Series
Disease Mongering 101: The Marketer's Guide to Selling Sickness
Moos Health Sciences Tower - 2-650
University of Minnesota
Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher in Victoria, BC, Canada. He led a team of researchers which produced Canada’s first evaluation of the quality of media reporting of prescription drugs. He recently co-authored the book Selling Sickness: How The World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients (Nation Books, 2005).
Very amusing...As I expected, it told me "Your score in not typical of a person suffering from SAD," but then went on to say " We strongly encourage you to make an appointment with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss your symptoms." What symptoms??
Plus, you can see why so many people think they have SAD when according to the self-test, avoiding talking to people you don't know or finding it distressing to swear in public count as symptoms.
Fertility is not a miracle; it's a market. Or so says Harvard Business School professor Debora Spar in her new book, The Baby Business: How Money, Science, and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception (Harvard Business School Press, 2006.) Spar is interviewed by Lynn Harris in Salon.com, and (by podcast) on "The Leonard Lopate Show."
Monday, February 13, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Monday, January 30, 2006
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The first entry in this semester's Rhetoric Parlor Series will be this Friday at 4:15 in Magrath Library Room 8. Cristina Hanganu-Bresch will present from her dissertation in progress on the way pharmaceuticals are promoted to physicians. The official title of the talk is "The Visual Semiotic of Depression: Two decadesof antidepressant advertising in the American Journal of Psychiatry."
Here's a quick primer on semiotics. Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Everyone loves museums and galleries, and when you think about it, is there any more relaxing way to spend an afternoon than a peaceful stroll through a gallery of stylishly displayed human corpses? The Medical Humanities and Ethics Program at Northwestern University has dedicated the first issue of its newsletter, The Atrium, to the ethical debates surroung the display (and dissection) of human bodies -- bottled fetuses, anomalous body parts, and the plasticized corpses on display at Bodyworlds. It's called "Bringing Out the Dead."
Sure, folks may be lining up to see human bodies on display at Gunther von Hagens' Bodyworlds exhibit, but you have not really seen dead bodies on display until you have seen an exhibit by the The Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists (MART). MART is an organization "dedicated to the showmanship of animal oddities, natural adaptation and mutation." Their exhibits include artificial chimeras, mutant chickens, vampire mermaids, flying monkeys and a variety of road kill. Best of all: it's for sale. If you go to the on-line shop you can buy "Frogs Eating Human Toes." MART says, "Want your frog vomiting gore? We can do that. Prefer something more innocent? How about a frog sucking on a toe like a pacifier? We can do that too! Frogs eating toes....buy one for your mom!"
A Reason symposium is not the place for leftists who are worried about bioenhancement -- Bailey envisions an idyllic family picnic in 2010 where a 150 year-old great-great-great-grandma plays touch football with her 30-year-old great-great-grandson, while even Cohen, a bioenhancement skeptic, says "I’m enough of a free market person to believe that if something works in wealthy societies, eventually most people are going to be able to afford it" -- but if you are looking for a lively, literate introduction to the ethical issues surrounding enhancement technologies, this debate will get you started.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Guinea Pig Zero:
Notes from a Professional Research Subject
Founding editor of Guinea Pig Zero: A Journal for Human Research Subjects
Thursday Jan 26 2006
Moos Tower 2-650
University of Minnesota
Publishers Weekly says:
In 1996, freelance lab rat and activist Robert Helms, under the nom de plume Guinea Pig Zero, began to publish a zine with the same name. In Guinea Pig Zero: An Anthology of the Journal for Human Research Subjects, he gathers together a few dozen contributions (many of which he penned) exploring "this dark little corner of modern science from the subject's own viewpoint." From Donno's tale of going bonkers in a sleep-deprivation study, to Beth Lavoie's discussion of the various poisons to which soldiers in the Gulf War were exposed, to Helms's history of a 1935 test subject strike, these are strange and frightening stories that may make our trust in the medical establishment seem naive.