Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


What does assisted suicide have to do with gay marriage?

When Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, finding a constitutional right to gay marriage, advocates of physician-assisted suicide had almost as much reason to celebrate as gay citizens who had been longing to marry. Physician-assisted suicide, or aid in dying, is the option currently available in five states for competent terminally ill people with less than six months to live

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Human Reproduction

Do lifestyle factors have an impact on sperm morphology?

The assessment of sperm morphology, determined by the cells’ shape and size, is an important part of male fertility testing. Previous research has suggested that only sperm with good sperm morphology are able to make their way to the egg in the woman’s body and fertilise it. Our knowledge of factors that influence sperm size and shape is very limited

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Single particle analysis taking biological research to the next level

Recent advances in technology have led to great developments in many fields – especially the field of medicine. In particular, better image detection has vastly improved electron microscopes, allowing for closer study of macromolecular complexes. The ability to visualize macromolecules in more detail, however, has raised even more questions to explore in the field of microscopy.

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Human Reproduction Open

Harnessing the power of scientific discovery in reproductive medicine

Reproductive medicine is a rapidly progressing field which generates a wealth of original and innovative research. As the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) gets ready to welcome a new open access journal to its prestigious family, we meet the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, to find out how he sees the field developing in the future

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British Medical Bulletin

Buyers beware: the digital dangers of purchasing medicines online

Recently, INTERPOL announced it had coordinated the shutdown of close to 5,000 websites illegally selling medicines online. Dubbed “Operation Pangea IX”, this ninth annual international week of action against illicit online pharmacies boasted the participation of over 103 countries from a multi-stakeholder coalition, led to 393 arrests, and resulted in the seizure of $53 million dollars worth of potentially dangerous medicines.

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Managing the time warp of loss: why do they want to marry the widow off

How does a widow see her future? What can a widow see in the present? My late husband Gene D. Cohen is considered a founding father of Geriatric Psychiatry and the grandpappy of the field of Creativity and Aging. With his son and our daughter, I went to Chicago to receive his Hall of Fame Award, only four months after his passing. With his son and our daughter, I went to Chicago to receive his Hall of Fame Award

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LGBT Pride Month: A reading list on LGBT older adults

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots. The Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village was one of the city’s few gay bars or nightclubs at that time.

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The profanity of disease

Over spring break, I spent a day in Tombstone, Arizona. This is the town where, if you don’t know the story, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, accompanied by their friend Doc Holliday, had a shootout with a group of cattle rustlers at the OK Corral. Though the Earp brothers wore the badges, when the tale is told the hero is usually Doc Holliday—noted gambler, crack shot, prodigious drinker

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US government’s premiere test program finds cancer risk from cell phone radiation: a game-changing global wake-up call

Have you heard that cell phones cause cancer, then they don’t, then they do? Confused enough yet? Let me break it down for you. Contrary to some claims, the new US government study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) is hardly a shot in the dark or a one-off event. With this largest best-conducted animal study, we now have three different studies within the past six years

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Molecular Human Reproduction

Preimplantation genetic screening: after 25 years and a complete make-over, the truth is still out there

More than 25 years ago, it was found that human embryos of about three days old cultured in the lab, showed chromosomal abnormalities in more than half of them. Many of these abnormalities were not coming from the sperm or the egg, but occurred after the embryo has cleaved two times, obtaining four cells, or three times, reaching the eight-cell stage.

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Historical lessons for modern medicine

When looking at the use of drugs in modern medicine, specifically anaesthesia and intensive care – it is important to realise that this is nothing new at all. The first attempts at general anaesthesia were most likely herbal remedies and opiates, evidence of which has been found as early as the third millennium BCE. Antiseptics, from the Greek words anti (against) and sepsis (decay) were also used in ancient times

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A look into clinical pathology and medical publishing

Clinical pathology covers a broad range of responsibilities and functions in medicine. As a discipline, it includes clinical (bio)chemistry, medical microbiology, hematology, coagulation, clinical immunology, and increasingly molecular diagnostics. We recently sat down with the Editor of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, Dr. Michael L. Wilson, to learn the vital importance of this field.

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European Heart Journal

The Mediterranean-style diet on heart disease and stroke

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in many countries, but its prevalence has changed significantly during the last 50 years. Death rates from heart disease have fallen dramatically in western countries, but increased in many ‘developing’ countries. These large population-wide changes suggest environmental factors, including diet, are a major determinant of the risk of heart disease.

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Bath salts in the emergency department

Psychosis, agitation, disorientation, or bizarre behavior due to drug ingestion is a common presentation to the emergency department (ED), and frequently psychiatry is consulted to assess for an underlying psychiatric illness. A working knowledge of how different substances are expected to affect patients is an important part of keeping up-to-date as a psychiatric emergency clinician.

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Losing Touch: A man without his body

Movement without touch: the life of Ian Waterman

When I first met Ian Waterman in the mid-1980s I could scarcely believe him. He claimed to have lost touch, and movement and position sense (termed proprioception) below the neck, though he could still feel pain and temperature, and his movement nerves were unaffected. Not only was I not aware of any such condition in medicine, but he had walked to the clinic and was sitting calmly as we chatted.

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