Public Health

Soap and water have been mainstays in the prevention of infection for open fractures but a new study finds that it is actually less effective than just using saline water.

The finding could lead to significant cost savings, particularly in developing countries where open fractures are common. 


Contrary to claims by vegetarians and the activist groups that promote their world view, eating a vegetarian diet could add to climate change rather than reduce it.


It used to be that poor people did not have enough food, and sometimes we are still told that they don't, but instead it is the case that poor people are far more likely to belief, and then the claim was that poor people had plenty of food, but it was the wrong kind.

This gave rise to the notion of "food deserts", areas in dense urban areas where large grocery stores are too expensive or regulations are too onerous to stay in business and instead only small bodegas can survive. Get rid of the food deserts and poor people would be less obese, but a new paper in PLOS Medicine disputes the notion that making another change without any evidence will cure obesity. 


I recently came across an interesting article syndicated through the DC-based "Tribune News Service" by Evan Halper, formerly an LATimes correspondent. Entitled "Nuclear pitched as the new green," it immediately caught my attention for a variety of reasons:

Women who used contraceptive implants or injections after an abortion are a lot more likely to have another one, finds a large United Kingdom study. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) such as implants and Depo-Provera are often promoted as contraceptive method of choice for women undergoing abortion.

The authors found that women who used either implants or the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera were more likely to have another abortion 2-5 years after the first termination compared to those who used other methods. While LARC methods are 'effective', explain the authors, "discontinuation rates are high, and therefore make terminations more likely." 


The largest commercial weight loss program (with >40% of market share) in the world has adopted a strange new strategy: Switch the focus AWAY from weight!

I'm not, like, a branding expert, or anything, but, didn't they kind of invent worrying about weight? Isn't that sort-of the Name of The Company?

More women than men suffer from chronic pain, described as pain that persists for more than six months. In addition, much of this pain remains undiagnosed or untreated.

As well as the pain associated with menstruation or the bearing of children, waiting rooms of pain physicians, rheumatologists and gastroenterologists show clear majorities of women.

When the NYTimes' columnist, Nicholas Kristof, writes based upon his experiences and observations among the impoverished and exploited women and children of the third world, he is resonant and inspirational.

Since some research suggests flame retardants could cause developmental problems - one type of organophosphate flame retardant (PFR) is listed as a probable human carcinogen by the 
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - companies have been offering to reduce their use in response to public concerns (real and manufactured.)

A new paper in Environmental Science&Technology finds that infants could potentially be affected the most and looks at potential exposure routes. 


There are claims by some that many diseases we now get more frequently are "lifestyle" diseases, caused by decadent Western  problems like plentiful food and too much science. Instead, it has also been posited, we simply are not killed by lots of other things young (organic food, lack of medicine. unheated homes) and that makes diseases of age look like diseases of lifestyle.

A new study adds to that, using using modern imaging techniques on hearts more than 400 years old found at an archaeological site. Archaeologists with the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research excavating the basement of the Convent of the Jacobins in Rennes, France, unearthed several grave sites dating back to the late 16th or early 17th century.