- Inexplicably, world leaders in rogue countries continue to militate against climate control and suppress accurate observations about what we are doing to ruin our planet. This week’s issue of Science reports the latest news from Iran, where eight conservationists were not only jailed for “using wildlife camera traps to spy on military installations” in 2018; six of them were sentenced to 6 – 20 years in prison last month.
- Noise turns out to be a noxious pollutant for humans but also for animals: Scientists reported last week that noise confuses animals trying to track their prey. Even our ability to forecast weather is threatened by noise: the standard set for electronic noise from a radio band which was set as 5G is too much for accurate prediction of weather.
- Kelly Servick reported in Science this week that mosquitoes armed with a bacterium that works to kill potentially lethal viruses that cause diseases like Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya are proving effective! An amazing turnabout for the troublesome pest that plagues so many of us on summer days. The World Mosquito Program reports that there has been as much as a 76% reduction in the rate of dengue, (which is called “Break-bone Fever” because it is so painful) in some areas of release of the weaponized mosquito!
- Beware of telling yourself you are exempt from the effects of vaping because so far, even after years of use, you have not become a typical victim: a young man whose vaping utilizes some marijuana and perhaps Vitamin E as standard ingredients. And don’t deceive yourself that commercially prepared units are safe compared with products manufactured by inexperienced individuals for personal use. In this week’s issue of Science, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel warns that chronic vaping may produce chronic lung and heart damage. The NIH is concerned enough to have appropriated money to study both acute and chronic effects of the e-cigarettes, which are being heavily marketed by manufacturers, particularly to young people and to those trying to renounce regular tobacco use. Marketing is proving particularly effective among the young: over the past 7 years, high school users have escalated to almost 21% of students and middle school children have increased from 0.6% to 4.9% of users.
- Chinese scientists are getting unwelcome scrutiny from two directions: many in our own universities are being singled out for suspicion of supplying our scientific, US funded data to China and/or being dually funded by undisclosed Chinese money as well as US generated grants. Dennis Normile reports in SCIENCE this week that the Chinese Academy of Engineering has launched a series of investigations into the work of immunologist Cao Xuetao, the president of Nankai University in Tianjin. An American microbiologist, Elisabeth Bik, reported to PubPeer that some of the images authored by Xuetao might be duplicates of those published in his other papers. It might be the extent of scientific empires prominent Chinese investigators control, which makes quality control difficult, if not impossible.
- Genomic scientists, who have concentrated almost exclusively on European individuals, are now expanding their collection of data across Asia in what is called the Genome Asia 100K Project. This week’s issue of Nature reports that to date, 1739 individuals from 219 population groups and 64 countries have been catalogued, These expanded data bases will help explain the different susceptibilities of some populations to disease and their response to drug therapies.
Dr. Marianne Legato, Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer, and specialist in gender-specific medicine. She is founding member of the International Society for Gender Medicine and also the founder and director of The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University and its next iteration, The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine. These enterprises are the first collaborations between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender and sex. Her ground breaking textbook on Gender-and Sex Specific Medicine has been published in 2017 in the 3rd edition.
She has published extensively on Gender and Sex Specific Medicine, both scientifically and for the lay public. She is also the founding editor of the journal Gender Medicine, and the Journal Gender and Genome, published for the scientific community. In 1992, Dr. Legato won the American Heart Association’s Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease. She is a practicing internist in New York City and has been listed each year in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” since the feature’s inception in 1993.