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Combatting antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance continues to pose a major threat to public health. Wrong or incorrect use of antibiotics may cause bacteria to become resistant to future antibiotic treatments, leading to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance in European hospitals and communities. European Antibiotic Awareness Day is held on the 18 November each year and aims to promote research on finding new antibiotic drugs as well as encouraging prudent antibiotic use.

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Brain network of psychopathic criminals functions differently

Many criminal offenders display psychopathic traits, such as antisocial and impulsive behaviour. And yet some individuals with psychopathic traits do not commit offences for which they are convicted. As with any other form of behaviour, psychopathic behaviour has a neurobiological basis. To find out whether the way a psychopath’s brain is functionally, visibly different from that of non-criminal controls with and without psychopathic traits, we talked to Dirk Geurts and Robbert-Jan Verkes

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What does research say about electronic cigarettes?

To mark the Great American Smokeout, a day where smokers across the country – with support from family and friends – take steps to quit the habit, we got in touch with the Editor-in-Chief of Nicotine & Tobacco Research, published on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco, to learn more about the potential pros and cons of electronic cigarettes.

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Were farmers America’s first high tech information workers?

Settlers in North America during the 1600s and 1700s grew and raised all their own food, with tiny exceptions, such as importing tea. In the nineteenth century, well over 80 percent of the American public either lived at one time on a farm or made their living farming. Today, just over 1 percent does that in the United States, even though there is a surge going on in small organic family farming.

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Pathogen contamination in a clinical laundry facility: a Q&A with Karen E. Michael

To learn more about how bacterial pathogens are kept in check and the effectiveness of clinical laundry services in removing these bacteria, we asked Karen E. Michael, PhD candidate and an author of FEMS Microbiology Letters article “Clostridium difficile Environmental Contamination within a Clinical Laundry Facility in the USA”, to answer some pressing queries.

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Can marital quality affect your risk of getting diabetes?

Diabetes remains one of the top ten causes of death in the US, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 9% of the population has diabetes. The risk of getting diabetes can be largely reduced through factors such as proper diet and regular physical activity. Many of the resources on diabetes focus on how lifestyle changes can lower the risk of diabetes and prevent harmful complications.

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World Diabetes Day 2016

November 14 is World Diabetes Day, an observance day led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and recognized by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. The day aims to raise awareness of the condition globally. The theme of the 2016 campaign is “Eyes on diabetes” and focuses around screening, diagnosis, and treatment to reduce the complications of type 2 diabetes.

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Ending violence against children

Earlier this year, the first-ever nationally representative study of child maltreatment in South Africa revealed that over 40% of young people interviewed reported having experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. This figure is high, but it is not unusual: similar studies on violence against children have been conducted across 12 other countries, with many revealing equally high rates.

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The evolution of human memory

Like all biological traits, human memory reflects a long evolutionary history, most of it shared with other animals. Yet, with rare exceptions, evolution has either been overlooked in discussions of memory or treated in an outdated way. As a result, a simple idea about the cerebral cortex has reigned for more than a century: that its various areas specialize in functions characterized as memory, perception, the control of movement, or executive control (mainly decision-making).

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The complex world of climate change governance: new actors; new arrangements

Climate change governance dramatically challenges traditional International Relations (IR) notions of decision-making. The greatest challenge involves understanding the many ‘actors and the arrangements’ that describe this critical global governance issue. The field is made up of much more than the traditional intergovernmental and international organizations and their actions in a critical global issue.

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Where to eat in San Diego during SfN 2016

In just a few days, the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting will be kicking off in San Diego, California. I’ve had a number of homes in my 48 years; the most recent being the New York/New Jersey area for the last ten years as part of Oxford University Press. But the longest home, and the one I keep coming back to, is San Diego. The weather is perfect, the multi-cultural facets are inspiring, the local universities top-notch, and the food scene is divine.

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The good and bad of ghostwriting

I just found out that a scientist whom I greatly admire is writing his first book. Only he’s not. He’s hired a writer to do the heavy lifting. The hired writer’s name won’t appear on the cover. He’s signed on the dotted line in the invisible ink. Ghostwriters don’t write about ghosts, but waft around in the background like them. Unlike real ghosts, such behind-the-scenes authors deal in reality, turning the ideas of ‘living’ authors into words for them to take credit for.

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“True” stories of the obesity epidemic

“Eat right and exercise”: amid the cacophony of diet fads and aids, conflicting reports regarding what causes obesity, and debate about whether and what kind of fat might be good for us after all, this seems like pretty sound and refreshingly simple advice. On the surface, it is: it’s hard to argue against good nutrition or circulation. But dig a bit deeper and it’s a veritable political and cultural minefield.

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Unleashing the power of bioscience for human health

The 21st century is said to be the century of bioscience, with the promise of revolutionising human health. Every week we hear of dramatic discoveries in research labs, new genome links to disease, novel potential treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, nanotechnology applications to create miniature machines for inside the human body, and digital health tools to track the state of our health as we go about our lives.

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Evolution of the Cerebellar Sense of Self

Getting to know your cerebellar self

The cerebellum is an intriguing part of our brain. Its name is the diminutive form of cerebrum, so literally means ‘little brain’. It is true that, in humans, it occupies just 10% of the brain volume, yet recent research shows it accounts for approximately 80% of the nerve cells; a complex network of approximately 69 billion neurons! Why does the ‘little brain’ contain such a disproportionate number of neurons?

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A new philosophy of science? Surely that’s been outlawed

The main thing that drew me to the history and philosophy of science was the simple desire to understand the nature of science. I was introduced to the exciting ideas of Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend, but it soon became clear that there were serious problems with each of these views and that those heydays were long gone. Professionals in the field would no longer presume to generalize as boldly as the famous quartet had done.

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