Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Years of education may protect against dementia

Attaining a higher level of education is considered to be important in order to keep up good cognitive functioning in old age. Moreover, higher education also seems to decrease the risk to develop dementia. This is of high relevance in so far that dementia is a terminal disease characterized by a long degenerative progression with severe impairments in daily functioning. Despite a great amount of research emphasizing the relevance of education, it is not entirely clear how education protects cognitive functioning in old age and how much education is possibly ‘enough’.

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9780199930197

Designer nature: mosquitoes first and then what?

We’re told that we can insert a gene to confer sterility and this trait would race like wildfire through Aedes aegypti. Why this species? Because it’s the vector of the Zika virus—along with the dengue and yellow fever viruses. The problem is that A. aegypti isn’t the only culprit. It’s just one of a dozen or more bloodsuckers that will also have to be wiped out. After we’ve driven these species to extinction, we’ll presumably move on to the Anopheles species that transmit malaria.

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2016: the year of Zika

Zika virus (ZIKV), an arbovirus transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, was first isolated in 1947 in the Zika forest of Uganda from a sentinel monkey. It has always been considered a minor pathogen. From its discovery until 2007 only 14 sporadic cases – all from Africa and Southeast Asia – had been detected. In 2007, however, a major outbreak occurred in Yap Island, Micronesia, with 73% of residents being infected.

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9780198734628

Olympian pressure

Recent years have brought recognition that sportsmen and women may have mental health needs that are just as important as their ‘physical’ health – and that may need to be addressed. Athletes are people too, subject to many of the same vulnerabilities as the rest of us. In addition to our everyday anxieties, the sports world contains a whole host of different stressors.

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Journal of Public Health cover

Mental health inequalities among gay and bisexual men

Depression, substance abuse, and suicide have long been associated with homosexuality. In the decades preceding the gay liberation movement, the most common explanation for this association was that homosexuality itself is a mental illness. Much of the work of gay liberation consisted of dismantling the pathological understanding of homosexuality among mental health professionals.

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9780198753063

What does being a doctor mean to you?

Following on from this year’s Clinical Placement Competition, asking medical students “What does being a doctor mean to you?” – we are hoping to broaden our understanding of the medical profession, and appreciate exactly what being a doctor means in practice. What stories of highlights, difficulties, and uncensored advice can current doctors pass on, and how can we help those starting out?

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JNCI

Solutions to reduce racial mistrust in medicine

Black women in the United States have about a 41% higher chance of dying from breast cancer than white women. Some of that disparity can be linked to genetics, but the environment, lingering mistrust toward the health care system, and suspicion over prescribed breast cancer treatment also play roles, according to a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

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maloy photo

Emergency Departments as front line for opiate epidemic

There is no question that opioid use disorders are a serious problem in the United States. Increasing recognition of the scope of the problem has led to political and policy attention. While evidence-based treatments for opioid dependence are available, they remain difficult to access. Treatments that involve opiate replacement such as methadone are particularly stigmatized.

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BJAED Aug front matter

How do performance-enhancing drugs affect athletes?

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are drugs that improve active performance in humans, known colloquially in sports as ‘doping’. Perhaps the most famous abuser of PEDs to date is Lance Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France champion, who in 2013 confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, and was stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005.

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9780199687756

Scientific method and back pain

Do you have back pain? Statistics show you likely do. Or you have had it in the past or will in the future. Back pain can be a million different things, and you can get it an equal number of ways. Until you’ve suffered it, you don’t realise how disruptive it can be. Trying to fix back pain is a superb way to make people understand the power of scientific method and how to use it.

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9780199677337

Around the world in spices and herbs

On supermarket shelves, we are given a mind-numbing array of choices to select from. Shall we have some peppercorns on our macaroni, some cinnamon for baking, or a bit of rosemary with roast pork? Five hundred years ago, however, cooking with herbs and spices was a much simpler choice.

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Brain journal

The lifelong importance of nutrition in pregnancy for brain development

The importance of a healthy diet for proper functioning of the brain is increasingly being recognized. Week in, week out studies appear recommending a high intake of certain foods in order to achieve optimal brain function and prevent brain diseases. Although it is definitely no punishment for the most of us to increase our chocolate consumption to boost brain function, the most important period during which nutrition affects our brain may already be behind us.

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Announcing the winner of the 2016 Clinical Placement Competition

This May, our 2016 Clinical Placement Competition came to a close. In partnership with Projects Abroad, we offered one lucky medical student the chance to practice their clinical skills, with £2,000 towards a clinical placement in a country of their choice. We asked entrants to send a photograph with a caption, explaining “What does being a doctor mean to you?”

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INTHEA

Zika, sex, and mosquitoes: Olympic mix

Zika continues its romp around the world. In its wake, controversy erupted over the Olympic Games in Brazil, with some calling to move or postpone the Games – but is that really justified? Zika has already moved outside of Brazil in a big way. To be clear, the Zika epidemic is dramatic and awful. Mosquito-borne transmission of this previously obscure and seemingly wimpy virus is ongoing in 60 countries

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9780199981199

Suicide and the First Amendment

What does suicide have to do with the first amendment right to free speech? As it turns out, the question comes up in many contexts: Can a state university student be disciplined for sending a text threatening suicide to another student? Can a young woman be criminally prosecuted for repeatedly texting her boyfriend to insist that he fulfill his intention to commit suicide?

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