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Category Archives: Medicine

2018 Annual Report of Medicare Trustees to Congress

Medicare fund on a course to run dry by 2026 – “The Medicare Program is the second-largest social insurance program in the U.S., with 58.4 million beneficiaries and total expenditures of $710 billion in 2017. The Boards of Trustees for Medicare (also Boards) report annually to the Congress on the financial operations and actuarial status of… Continue Reading

BEA Releases for the First Time Detailed Data on More than 200 Medical Conditions

BEABlog: “The Bureau of Economic Analysis for the first time released statistics that provide information on how much Americans spend to treat more than 200 specific medical conditions, such as acute myocardial infarctions, chronic kidney disease, and osteoarthritis. The new statistics, which cover the years 2000 through 2014, are part of BEA’s Health Care Satellite… Continue Reading

Doctors hail world first as woman’s advanced breast cancer is eradicated

The Guardian – Immune cells from the woman’s own body used to wipe out tumours: “A woman with advanced breast cancer which had spread around her body has been completely cleared of the disease by a groundbreaking therapy that harnessed the power of her immune system to fight the tumours. It is the first time… Continue Reading

UN representative reports on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to US

Via Common Dreams: “The United Nations has released a scathing report on poverty and inequality in the United States. The findings, which will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21, follow an official visit to the United States by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights,… Continue Reading

Commentary – Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’

OpenDemocracy – “Data is making us dumber. This seeming paradox has been gaining currency, at least in the tech-saturated Global North. We’re increasingly bombarded with advice on how to manage data overload. The English comedian Dave Gorman summed it up in the tongue-in-cheek title of his recent book: “Too much information: Or: Can Everyone Just… Continue Reading

FDA list of drugmakers the agency says are using “gaming” tactics to keep generic competition off the market

Business Insider: “The FDA just published a list of drug makers the agency says are using “gaming” tactics to keep generic competition off the market. The list of 52 drugs are made by some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, Pfizer, Mylan, and Valeant “FDA is committed – among other things – to addressing… Continue Reading

Mapping Immune Cells in the Human Body

Center for Data Innovation: “Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Broad Institute, a genomic research center, have published a database of genetic profiles of over half a million immune cells. The data includes information about the characteristics, structure, and metadata of 224,000 cells from bone marrow and 306,000 cells from umbilical cord blood. This… Continue Reading

Prescription drugs that kill: The challenge of identifying deaths in government data

Data Driven Journalism – Mike Stuka: “An editor at The Palm Beach Post printed out hundreds of pages of reports and asked a simple question that turned out to be weirdly complex: How many people were being killed by a prescription drug? That question relied on version of a report that was soon discontinued by the U.S.… Continue Reading

Atlantic – the decline of women who are mothers in America

The Atlantic: “As the American population grows, so does the number of American moms. But, more than a century after Mother’s Day became an official holiday, even as that number increases, the share of the American population who are mothers is at the lowest point it’s been in a quarter century. It’s frequently noted that… Continue Reading

You Can’t Opt Out Of Sharing Your Data, Even If You Didn’t Opt In

FiveThirtyEight: “…Yonatan Zunger, a former Google privacy engineer, noted we’ve known for a long time that one person’s personal information is never just their own to share. It’s the idea behind the old proverb, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.” And as far back as the 1960s, said Jennifer Lynch,… Continue Reading

Vital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases – US and Territories, 2004–201

CDC Early Release, MMWR, May 1, 2018: “Vectorborne diseases are major causes of death and illness worldwide. In the United States, the most common vectorborne pathogens are transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes, including those causing Lyme disease; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; and West Nile, dengue, and Zika virus diseases. This report examines trends in occurrence… Continue Reading

Book Review – ‘The Efficiency Paradox’ Review: Big Data, Big Problems

WSJ – Though technology is making our lives ever more convenient, it also may be having the unintended effect of lowering our skill set. Gregg Easterbrook reviews “The Efficiency Paradox” by Edward Tenner. “‘Big Data” is the Big Bad of our moment. Companies and governments amass enormous troves of information about our online and offline… Continue Reading